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Everything seems to be getting worse daily, the arguing, combativeness, total confusion, wandering, saying and arguing over things that don't even make sense. Saying we are not at home, refusing meds and hardly eats... the list goes on and on...I am one of 3 that are caring for her and we are all at our wits end...the thing that gets me the worst is that she just simply will NOT QUIT. She gets something in her mind and absolutely will not give up on it she fights and screams and when she doesn't get her way she will sob like a toddler for hours and then come full circle again...is any of this "normal?" She is also constantly going through our things! We have found things she has taken in her room and purse, but naturally she didn't do it...always in the bathroom, we often wonder if she actually uses it every time she is in there...she is not capable of making herself a cup of tea but screams at us if we try to help or do it for her. Takes things apart almost daily ex. The stove or cable box. She gets the mail and loses bills...sorry this seems long winded, I'm trying to include all behaviors I can think of that occur daily and to see if anyone else has anything similar and how they cope... when do you decide that you simply can't do it anymore and seek outside help(which she would refuse) or place her somewhere? Thanks in advance...

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My mom has alzheimer's and was living with my brother until she had an "episode" where she got violent with him. He had the police called and she was taken to the ER and from there to a psych hospital where they took her off all her meds and put her on others to stabilize her. I picked her up from there and brought her to my house. Our family is sort of the opposite from yours in that all of my siblings except 1 wanted her put in a "nursing home", meaning the first one that opened up, good or not. They were done with her.

She came home with me and things were ok for a couple of months and then she started with the same bawling at the drop of a hat and then fine a half hour later. It was like a yo-yo living with her. Up and down, up and down. She was throwing things at me when she got upset. Basically all the behaviors your described.

In one of her more calm moments we went to the local behavioral health center for an "assessment" and they recommended admitting her to their geriatric locked ward to again adjust her meds. Wonder of wonders she agreed, so we didn't have to go the ER ambulance route like my brother did.

Of course after a few minutes in the locked down ward she did want to come home, but by then it was too late for that. I visited her every day.

The psychiatrist felt that she had pseudobulbar affect or PBA, which apparently is common with dementia patients? So she is on medication for that. As well as they doubled her Depakote and Risperdal doses.

So now she is home and no more crying jags. She's still my mom, meaning she's not a ray of sunshine and if there is a downside to something she will look for it... but she is not super mean now and she doesn't get so upset at everything anymore. Very doable to care for her now.

Now all that said...lol...she did take apart the toilet paper holder and put part of it in the toilet yesterday morning. Thank whomever that she doesn't flush the toilet anymore! So that told me that she needs to be accompanied to the toilet from now on. Well during the day anyway. I'm not getting up in the night to take her to the toilet.

And she still "snoops" into anything and everything. It is just like MidKid said... you now have a BIG toddler in your house. And I'll add that she's a toddler that you cannot discipline or teach. So move everything you value away to storage. Put plastic over your nice wood dining room table. Leave nothing on the coffee table that can't be put in an inquisitive mouth.

I've found that leaving baskets around with lids and books and photo albums and toys inside keeps her occupied for a while as she "snoops" in there. Give her things to look at and pick up.

Oh and the best $100 ever spent was on this robot kitty cat from amazon, called Joy for All. She LOVES that little kitty and talks to it endlessly. It keeps her occupied in car rides and waiting at doctor's offices. Both of which were really sore spots before.
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?? as to why they changed out Gabapentin since that is for nerve pain, specifically neuropathy in the feet and RLS. Ativan is a benzodiazepine--they are drugs not even closely related to each other. The Ativan should have calmed her down.
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Wornout, I feel your pain. I care for my mother 93 with dementia. I have a brother and a sister but here I am 24/7. My mother was acting like this for the longest time cursing at me, screaming at me, telling me she hates me, had a comment for everything that I did for her. I was at my wits end. My siblings told me to grow a thicker skin. (That helped a lot) I had her checked for UTI, nothing. I finally spoke to her geriatric doctor and he put her on Haldol. She is still nasty and sarcastic and always looking for a fight, but at least they are not as severe as they were. The anti-psychotic drug was a great help (even though I was looking or an elephant tranquilizer), You are not alone!!!!!
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No advice to offer. Just want to tell you that you are not alone. Glad you reached out to this community. Hoping things improve.
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In addition to the great advise you received above, I will add that this is the most challenging phase but this too shall pass. I also encourage you to watch Teepa Snow videos but also read about validation strategies by Naomi Feil. Don't argue, it makes things worse, acknowledge and redirect. Caregiving is not for everyone...if you choose to place your loved one, it is okay, you are still making sure proper care is given.
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Freqflyer, she was checked 3 days ago... also she has no other ailments that she takes meds for. Aside from the dementia/Alzheimer's, she is in great shape...she is always stating that she is getting better and is going to get her life back...sigh thanks for pointing out to the mountain of info at the bottom of the page!
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Wornout19, when was the last time Mom was tested for an Urinary Tract Infection? Such an infection can cause an elder to become combative and very out of sorts. The test is quite easy, and antibodies helps to clear up the infection. It's worth looking into. If that doesn't help, then you know it is the dementia doing the talking.

Arm yourself with all the knowledge you can get your hands on, it won't make what Mom is going through easier for her, but you would get more of an understanding what in the heck is going on.

Scroll down to the bottom of this page to the blue area. On your left you will see ALZHEIMER"S CARE.... click on that, and start reading. Lot of eye opening information that will come very useful for dealing with Mom. And pass this information onto the other 2 people who are caring for your Mom.

My own Mom was great at saying about doctor's, mainly doctors who are women "they don't know what they are talking about".

It is an extremely difficult to balance medication especially if Mom is taking other prescription meds for other issues, such as high blood pressure, thyroid, etc.
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BarbBrooklyn, she is under care of a geriatric psychiatrist after having to spend 10 days in the ward under lockdown for an even worse episode. Returning home she was on Zoloft and gabapentin. At monthly check 2 weeks ago psych changed from gabapentin to Ativan, at first it seemed to calm her now it seems like it makes it worse. Have a call in to psych because we don't feel we can wait another two weeks for recheck. This morning she was demanding that her friend( who will go for lunch or an activity) is taking her to see another doctor to get another opinion as this one doesn't know what she is talking about...she has seen 3 differ doctors who have all said the same...she argues with them too...sigh, will the friend take her? Who knows as sometimes we feel that they think we are fabricating things because she is on best behavior around them and they only spend a couple of hours with her. One friend won't even take her to ANY store any longer because she takes off to get any kind of medicine she can get her hands on, which is NOT PERMITTED, and a trip to Walmart turns into a 4 hour ordeal...
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Sounds like it is time for placement. Hard to face, I know, but your mother(?) is causing a lot of stress in the home. My mother is beginning to do almost all of those same behaviors-- she does not live with me, the brother with whom she does live is in denial about it. I wanted her placed 2 years ago after rehab for a hip replacement made her 100% reliant on others. Got outvoted by the rest of the sibs (3 of whom are never around)...so she's still at brother's now in virtual and literal lockdown. She also refused outside help which would help with the independence she wants but no longer has. I had to step away from weekly caregiving, it was making me sick to deal with her. She'd fight with me, get angry, I'd end up driving home in tears every time. She has 1 friend who can drive her to Bingo and brother takes her to the grocery store once a week.
I don't know how long you can stand this. People can "outlive" your love for them. Sounds cruel, but it's true.
She'd likely be happier somewhere that has a lot of activities to choose from, and perhaps she benefit from a psych overhaul--there may be meds she can take to calm the tantrums. That's ONE thing mother STOPPED doing when she started having dementia--she stopped throwing tantrums. Thank goodness for that. Still she obsesses over small things until they're fixed, then moves on to the next "small thing" ..it's neverending.
I wish with all my heart my sibs would agree with me that she;d be better off in an Assisted Living environment, but that will never happen.

I wish you luck--it's like having a toddler in the house, but a BIG toddler.
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Wornout; Combativeness is often seen in dementia patients.

What sort of doctor is following your mom? Have you reported these behaviors to her/him and what response are you getting?

Many of us here have had tremendous success with having our parents seen my geriatric psychiatrists who can sometimes work wonders with medication.

Of course, it may be that mom needs a higher level of care, such as memory care. Sometimes our folks need more that just our love and "amateur" care.

Watch Teepa Snow videos on YouTube; you might get some good techniques from there while you're exploring other options.
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