A sudden deterioration

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Linbrusco, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    #1 Linbrusco, Aug 2, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
    Is it any wonder that this has coincided with Mums Geritrician clinic sending his recent review of Mum, to her address instead of mine!! I was so angry! :mad:
    She has all but forgotten about the letter now, but she was most upset when she gave it to me but didn't ask questions.

    Since this Mum is now confused about dates.
    Her phone displays the day and month. She will say " why does my phone say August 1st"
    When you explain that the date today is August 1st she will say " and what will it be tomorrow"
    So you explain today is August 1st, tomorrow is August 2nd, the next day is August 3rd etc
    She says " oh is that how it works, no one told me. So what will my phone say tomorrow? Do the dates just go on and on? "

    Also I have been doing Mums medication for last 2 yrs.
    She has a box with Mon-Sun and has breakfast, evening and bed tablets.
    I over see her evening and bed tablets in particular.
    Now she is asking if she has to take her tablets at breakfast, and if she takes the breakfast ones, she then thinks she has done something wrong.
    Now seems to be confused between breakfast, evening and bedtime?
    She is also obssesive with her tablets, constantly talking about them, and as the week progresses and the box becomes more empty she stresses about it. By Friday she is phoning me and asking me constantly when I will fill them up. Which I do every Monday.

    Mum also has a lady from Alzheimers Team who picks her up every Monday & Tuesday and takes her to an activity group and has done for over a year.
    Now Mum is asking how the lady will know to pick her up, should we phone her, will her groups be on and how will the lady know?

    In all other aspects Mum is the same. No physical symptoms of a UTI and is drinking enough. This has been happening for the last 2 weeks since the letter.

    Its so worrying as this latest decline has already had Dad close to tears.
    Yesterday my sister took Dad for the night, and I stayed with Mum to give him a break.
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Oh gosh Linbrusco, Im so sorry.
    I recognise all of those things. I dont know what else to say.
  3. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013

    Yes. These changes are not just worrying they are a bit frightening when you are in the midst of them. I think it is just another step down the dementia road. John has twice recently told me that he must go home as "Marion will be worried about me".

    He has periods of looking around our house in a dazed fashion obviously wondering where the heck he is. I have to take him for a walk round the streets to clear his head and when he gets back he usually seems more sensible. I think the thing is to try and break the chain of confusion by some kind of distraction.

    Best wishes with your Mum
  4. Kjn

    Kjn Registered User

    Jul 27, 2013
    I feel for you, it's so hard isn't it.
  5. Linbrusco

    Linbrusco Registered User

    Mar 4, 2013
    Auckland...... New Zealand
    Since I posted I have talked to one of Mums Alzheimers Group Coordinator who picks her up 2 x a week.
    She says that Mum is very anxious about money.
    If she doesn't have the exact amount of change in her purse to buy a coffee, despite having small notes she panics.
    When I told her about the other sudden changes in Mum, she said she felt that Mum may need to be on an anti anxiety medication.

    To be honest I'm a bit wary of anti anxiety/anti depressants for Mum, as even a very small dose sleeping tablet a while back knocked her out for 10 hrs, and made her quite dopey the next morning :confused:

    After recent events will be taking Mum to her GP, but would appreciate feedback on anti anxiety meds.
    Thanks :)
  6. Hibni

    Hibni Registered User

    Sep 16, 2013
    At the beginning of 2011 I dragged my mother to her GP because she kept saying 'I don't feel well' and wasn't eating much. At the same time I noticed that she had memory issues which she sometimes found stressful. Almost as a long shot, the GP prescribed an anti-depressant. The first one made my mother feel as though she was going to die so we stopped it quickly. However, after a few days on another anti-depressant my mother began to feel better and started eating properly. Her stress levels dropped and her memory improved (a bit!). In October of that year she was officially diagnosed with mild Alzheimer's.

    My mother has been taking the anti-depressants ever since and in general she is fairly calm. Obviously her AD has got worse although from reading the posts on TP it's probably still at the mild stage.
  7. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Linbrusco, I wanted to reply to your query about anti-anxiety and/or anti-depressant medications for those with dementia.

    Prior to her hospitalization, diagnosis of dementia, and move into a care home, my mother also displayed the sort of anxiety you mention regarding dates, the calendar, and money (not exactly, but very similar). This went on for about two years or more and seemed to get worse after some health issues that resulted in extra doctors' appointments and then an obsession with dates and appointments, and of course anxiety related to not being able to keep track of same and worrying about "what do I have to do," which was quite pitiful. The anxiety was hugely overwhelming and occupied most of her waking time, and also interfered with sleep. Medications were tried but as my mother (due to the dementia) couldn't properly take her medications, they didn't help. (Turns out you have to take the pills for them to work, Mother!)

    Fast forward to my mother's stay in hospital and her subsequent move to a care home where she sees a very good neurologist with expertise in patients with dementia, and several medication adjustments, and the anxiety has disappeared. She's been in the care home for about six months now and I believe she is currently taking 2 or 3 different medications to control the anxiety/depression/sleep problems/whatever it is.

    Of course, a huge part of the lessening of anxiety is that she is no longer living alone at home, with no services, and feeling overwhelmed by not being able to cope. She's also eating proper meals and has company 24 hours a day, instead of living on coffee and biscuits and ice cream and being completely isolated. So it's a little difficult to say, yes it was this medication, or no, it was the move into the care home that calmed her down (past the initial upset), since it's probably a combination. However, the doctors so far show no signs of wanting to take her off the medications. She will see the neurologist again next week so I will learn more then.

    And of course, everyone reacts to different medications differently, so you can't say for sure what will work until you try it, but I do think it's possible your mother could get some relief. It would probably be a good idea to mention to the doctor the name and effect of the sleeping medication that knocked your mum for a loop, but not all the anti-anxiety and/or anti-depressant drugs necessarily have a sedative effect, so while I'd express that concern to the doctors, I wouldn't not try them, if that makes any sense.

    Hope something in there may prove to be helpful.

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