1. Expert Q&A: Living well as a carer - Weds 28 August, 3-4pm

    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

    Angelo, our Knowledge Officer (Wellbeing) is our expert on this topic. He will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 28 August between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

Antipsychotic medication and alzheimers

Discussion in 'Younger people with dementia and their carers' started by Weatherwax, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. Weatherwax

    Weatherwax Registered User

    Jul 14, 2009
    11
    South Yorkshire
    Hello, it's been a while since I used this forum,I suppose I should say a few words about why I'm on here at all.

    My mother is 63 years old and has been symptomatic of alzheimers for about 5 maybe 6 years it's difficult to pinpoint exactly. She has been getting on with life reasonably well but recently she had a big deterioration in her well-being and memory including times when she has told the strangest of lies about people and has been quite paranoid about the window cleaner stealing her purse etc. It seems she hears things at night now, has made allegations of paedophilia about an old family friend (utterly untrue and so distressing)but still manages,sometimes, to be plausible at first pass.
    The memory team decided to start her on an antipsychotic medication along with galantamine and I wondered if anyone else has seen these symptoms in their loved ones?
    I was prepared for the memory loss and the changes in personality but not the outrageous lies and allegations. It's making life very difficult.

    Thanks for reading this and thanks in advance to anyone taking the time to answer.

    Weatherwax
     
  2. Jo1958

    Jo1958 Registered User

    Mar 31, 2010
    3,724
    Yorkshire
    Weatherwax, hi
    I am so sorry to hear of your mother's problems but I think they are fairly typical and signs of this disease getting a bit worse and progressing, my heart goes out to you and your family as you witness these changes.
    Take care of yourself and keep posting, there is help available.
    Best wishes, Jo
     
  3. Weatherwax

    Weatherwax Registered User

    Jul 14, 2009
    11
    South Yorkshire
    antipsychotic meds and alzheimers

    Thanks for taking the time to reply, much appreciated.
     
  4. MrsP

    MrsP Registered User

    Mar 19, 2005
    115
    Hi Weatherwax

    My Dad became increasingly paranoid when he was in the early stages - he would bang on his neighbours door in the middle of the night demanding his photo's back that he thought they had stolen. As he lived by himself, we were not always sure of the things he did and said, but it was horribly distressing to see. I know that there is a lot of bad press around anti-psychotics and alzheimer's but I'm obviously in no position to make a judgement on that. They did fiddle with dad's medication but I'm not sure it ever had the desired effect.

    It must be awful for you listening to the accusations - I wish I had some clever answers for you. I'm afraid I don't.

    Take care, Kate x.
     
  5. Weatherwax

    Weatherwax Registered User

    Jul 14, 2009
    11
    South Yorkshire
    antipsychotic meds and alzheimers

    Kate, thanks for the reply it is hard at the moment, perhaps a side of alzheimers that's not recognised by most people and so it's causing a lot of upset. I'm not particularly worried about her new medication, and she's going to a day hospital on Monday for a new weekly assessment so that they can monitor her condition which is reassuring. I am wondering how bad this will get before the situation changes again, will she need to be sectioned under the mental health act? I guess there's no answer to some questions though, time will tell.

    Thanks again

    Weatherwax
     
  6. lin1

    lin1 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2010
    9,322
    Female
    East Kent
    Hello

    am afraid its quite common to accuse and say things that are not true, sometimes their is a nugget of truth tho. i found that I had to be careful of what mum heard on the tv, as to mum it was real

    personally I think its a way of trying to make sense of what is now a very confusing world,eg cant find the photos, she is perfectly sure they were thereand has not moved them herself:rolleyes: they are not there now, so someone had to have stolen them.

    most houses creak a bit at night, for some time mum used to believe someone had got in.

    mum also believed that people were coming in and staring at her, it took us a while for us to realise, that it was us looking in mums room to check all was ok when we thought she was asleep

    sorry I know this is of no help
     
  7. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,116
    Kent
    Paranoia, delusions, confabulation are very sadly part and parcel of the symptoms of the disease in many sufferers.

    Antipsychotics can help reduce the symptoms, even though they might not get rid of them totally, but one thing which should reassure you is the effect of the drug is being monitored carefully at the Day Hospital.

    Hopefully, as happened with my husband, prescription of an antipsychotic will prevent a section.
     
  8. Weatherwax

    Weatherwax Registered User

    Jul 14, 2009
    11
    South Yorkshire
    Thanks again for the replies. Confabulation was something that mum relied on heavily in the early days of diagnosis. She had been a social worker for a number of years, dealing with complex child protection issues and I think she became adept at "thinking on her feet". It was noted that she was using this strategy to cope and it delayed her diagnosis of paranoia.
    Since I read through the posts again I wonder if one of the allegations that mum had made is based on her previous job? I guess it makes sense for her to mention paedophilia in the circumstances.

    Thanks once more for the replies
     
  9. Annella

    Annella Registered User

    Sep 22, 2010
    25
    Tasmania
    I can also really relate to what you have said about your mother. My 60-year-old husband has said some terrible things about very dear, beautiful friends, but thankfully not to their faces. Somehow he creates a situation in his mind - often a shouting match or conflict of some kind - and it then becomes fixed in his mind as reality, even if it never occurred.

    He hit his head after coming off his bicycle in 2001 which brought on the EOA. He repeatedly accuses me now of becoming hysterical at the time and screaming at him that he had ruined my life and saddled me with caring for him. I can't remember the number of times he has said that he can't ever forget how horrible I was to him at the time and doesn't know if he can go on living with me. Of course it didn't happen but I have to acknowledge his pain every time he brings it up and apologise for something I never did. His anti-psychotic medications seems to make it all disappear.
     
  10. Weatherwax

    Weatherwax Registered User

    Jul 14, 2009
    11
    South Yorkshire
    antipsychotic meds and alzheimers

    Thanks for all your replies once more.
    Mum deteriorated further over the last weekend to the point where she needed admission to an EMI on Monday. We were at breaking point I think, she was refusing medication and therefore was not getting the benefit from regular doses. Her paranoia was worse and her delusions more florid. I've been to see her most days since, she seems happier and more settled than she has in a long while. I'm not sure how long this admission will last, part of me thinks it might not be terrible for it to be long term and then I feel guilty. I could have a degree in guilt i think :(

    Cheers Weatherwax
     
  11. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    18,972
    Derbyshire
    Hello:
    If the assessment determines that your Mother needs long term care, please accept it as the illness and in no way should you feel guilty; sad maybe but not guilty.

    It seems your Mother had reached a difficult phase and I just hope medication helps.
     

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