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Hi all, new to the forum and just wanted to see if anyone might be able to shed some light on our situation. So my wife is extremely close to her grandparents, they're basically her mum and dad. Her grandfather is 85 and has had a few health problems in recent years and through all this her man who is 80 has been reasonably well health wise.

Anyway recently she has not been feeling herself, worrying, dithering, overthinking tiny things. So she went to the doctors and he gave her anti depressants?? This led to her being hospitalised to due dangerously low sodium caused by siadh caused by the pills. Needless to say they have changed doctor. Anyway she is out of hospital now but all of that kind of masked what was wrong in the first place. She is now even worse. She wanders round at night because she has the wrong socks on? Wrong dressing gown? She's obsessed with the toilet, she wanted to phone 999 because she was constipated, she constantly takes movicol then wonders why she has diarrhea. She wants to take a sleeping tablet then worries when she's taken it. Worries she's going to choke on chocolate because it got stuck in her throat a while back etc, it's so sad to see.

This is just a brief outline of what is going on to give you an idea, my wife is so worried. Nan doesn't take any medication other than blood pressure pills which has led me to discover vascular dementia as this has come on in a matter of weeks. She has always been a bit of a ditherer and a bit fidgety in recent years but nothing like this.

I should note there is a history of huntingtons in the family but 80 is very very late for this to surface.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance X

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I've spoken to uncle and she has been tested twice for uti so unfortunately not just that by the sounds of it
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Sorry, about the uti, she went in hospital for hyponatremia caused by siadh, or low sodium from not emptying bladder so I can only think a uti would be one of the first things they tested? They did lots of tests, she has had 2 lots of blood tests since but her son (wife's uncle) has taken her so to be honest I really can't say 100% that she has been tested but could this really have been missed? Thanks
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Ideas not mess, d'oh
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Wow thanks so much for your replies, some really helpful stuff there. The house is a good long term prospect for us as a family but there are lots to consider, I just feel she would be so much more comfortable with us there, I do quite a lot for them too, but I realise the situation may only last a few years till full care, or worse, comes along, but obviously when buying a property I have looked beyond that.

Grandad is holding up ok but I know he'll be really worried about all this so again, we need to make him feel comfortable and safe as well. Great advice about calming techniques which I will speak with the family about.

I will also look at some mess you have mentioned. Thank you all again so much
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Has Nan been checked for a UTI? Right? Don't get a house next to them unless you like the house. You need to be happy with it....unless you can rent it. Jeanne is right....they might not be able to live by themselves for long . And if you move next door it might be that your wife moves in with them. Lots to consider there. Motion sensors for Nans movements, etc. Galantamine (Razadyne) is just one of the meds used for ALZ and I do not believe it has any soothing qualities. My Dad has taken it for years with Namenda and it has provided some slow down in his disease. But it sounds like Nan needs Seroquel, or an anti-depressant, or Ativan, or Depakote or something for mood swings. Your doctor should look at her medicine list and see what will work. Keep on investigating. How is Grandad through all this???
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Pending further evaluation, try nonmedical approaches to calm her down.

Music, art and pets are great therapeutically. Play her favorite music when she becomes agitated. If you don't have pets, ask neighbors you know if they'll stop by periodically when walking their dogs. If there aren't any such neighbors, buy a little furry toy that looks very lifelike and encourage her to hold it when she's agitated.

Country and Country Extra magazines are two of the greatest therapies I've found. The photos range from stunningly beautiful to amusing - from majestic mountain ranges to cute photos of children with farm animals. Thumbing through the magazine is relaxing and calming.

Also try to redirect her anxiety through tales of past events, where she grew up, what their home life was like, pets they had, etc.
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I think if your wife is spending a lot of time with them it could be helpful for her (not them) that she is able to pop home easily when she isn't needed. That said, I would only consider this if the move would make sense for you both in the long term.
Dementia only gets worse, sometimes rapidly, often very slowly. Eventually one or both of them will need full time care. Be careful that you will not be nominated for that roll simply through proximity, being willing and able to help out now should not be misconstrued as volunteering for years of servitude. The family, including the grandparents, need to come together and agree on a long term plan and fair compensation for anyone contributing more than the rest.

There are all kinds of medications that help with anxiety and other out of character behaviours, but she really needs to be evaluated and prescribed what the doctors feel will help her unique situation.
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Persons with dementia are not usually able to live alone long term. They need at least someone on the premises with them and that can soon evolve into needing around-the-clock care (as in 3 shifts of people awake). Being right next door would be a big help, but it might not be sufficient in the long run. Do you like the house? Would this be a good neighborhood for you?
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Hi everyone, thanks for all the replies, it's looking very much like dementia now, nan has been referred to the memory clinic but things have moved at a rapid rate. She is getting herself in a mess and has changed so quickly. Is there anything that might at least calm her down and give her some respite at least for the time being, one cater mentioned galantamine? All this dementia stuff is new to us and actually quite an eye opener.

Also, and this may be a long shot, but the house next door to nan and grandads has come up for sale, we only rent at the moment so it's not like we're upping stocks for no reason, but I guess my real question is, wether we do this or not, is that do dementia sufferers gain from feeling safer, which I know she would, or is it like a catch 22?
My wife is pretty much their primary care giver so it would end up being her job anyway?

Just wanted to get some thoughts on it, thanks
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My wife, 75, has been having "memory issues" for about a year. At her age, her mother and maternal grandmother also had problems. Worse still, her big sister, 78, has full-blown Alzheimer's--doesn't know her own son face-to-face. She's in "a home," saying things to her daughter about needing to "go home to take care of Daddy." (Her father died in 1983 and would be 110 by now). Back to my Mrs. When she complained to our doctor, the latter immediately put her on Namenda and Aricept. These don't cure Alz., but they slow down its progress. She can still cook, do laundry, and drive, but now I always have to go with her to remind her where to turn and which building and floor to go to. She is well aware of all this and is very sad, though not apparently depressed: I hear her singing and whistling all the time. A major problem is my own disability, which is physical. I'm a partial paraplegic, unable to stand for more than a few seconds or to walk at all. So I can't drive w/o hand controls, and my license expired 8 years ago when I was recovering from a botched surgery. By the time I'd got over that, I'd have had to take the written AND the driving test. I haven't taken one of those since 1957! I may still do it if she gets too goofy to drive. Our long-term care policy will let us have caregivers at home, and we may need them sooner than we'd like.
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I agree with your comment of what previous generations acknowledged. My MIL had serious mental issues which became more pronounced as she aged. Just being open to anything taking place is the best way to be. Hope all goes well.
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Hi Anne, thank you for your reply, I was thinking anxiety/ocd to be honest myself as this is very much what the symptoms are like but she really has no history of it, but then I guess it's difficult to tell in elderly as their generation probably wasn't particularly aware of those kinds of issues. We are making notes of things so hopefully when the new GP gets everything she needs we may begin to get some answers. Thanks again for your time and I will take on board any suggestions anyone has to offer
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Anxiety disorder is not uncommon in seniors ...especially those who worry about anything at all. Has she ever been observed as being obsessive-compulsive? Seniors get in a worry loop and just keep going on and on. Have you made a list of what she does and maybe even the time of day to see if she has a pattern? Does she have sundowners? Does she rest or a good period of time so she gets in a REM sleep pattern? You should put away any meds etc that might be harmful for her to take at this point in time. Probably not a good idea to give her any sleeping pills that are over the counter as she might fall. A UTI might also be the cause. Research some signs of that on the net. Cranberry supplements are better than diluted cranberry juice as it contains sugar which is just a continuous breeding ground for uti's. Hopefully you can get some medical help ASAP so you can all feel a bit more comfortable taking care of Mom.
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Stumped, not stupid, ha ha
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I meant to say that all her paper with hasn't been transferred yet
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Hi, thanks so much for your reply, she has seen her new doctor and she was very good apparently but we're in the middle of the switch from the last doctor (who also said there was nothing wrong with her less than 24hrs after collapsing and being rushed into hospital) anyway, they did every test under the sun whilst she was in but I will mention a uti when she sees her new gp, and I will look more online for dementia, though we are a bit stupid as nothing 'classic' seems to be jumping out at us, her memory seems ok etc, it's just lots of fussing and obsessing about things, thanks again
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Well, has she been checked for a UTI (urinary tract infection) or other infection? Strange as it may seem, when residents of care facilities suddenly "go off" one of the first things the nurses think of is UTI, it can really cause weird behaviours in the elderly.
Beyond that, it definitely could be dementia. Do you have access to a good doctor that will evaluate her for that? There are tests that you can look at on line (the MMSE is one) to give you some ideas what you are looking for.
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