Any experience of Anti-Depresants for later stage Alzheimers?

referee50

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
24
Hi all, my Dad has become very depressed and withdrawn over the last month or so. He is in a Care Home where he has been reasonably settled for the last 2 years. His last review by the Older Persons Mental Health Team showed a drop in his MMSE from 23 to 11.

His refusals for help with personal care are increasing, the Home are trying their best but he almost seems to have learnt that any form of agitation on his part will send the carers away - needless to say he is getting rather dishevelled.

We requested a Dr visit, which was done. He did allow the Dr to examine him (once he got past his 3 pairs of pants, 2 vests, Pyjama top, shirt and Cardi)! He seemed OK and the blood and urine tests came back negative for any infection. He does have Prostate Cancer and is on Hormone Treatment for that. The Dr prescribed a cream for a rather intimate area, but Dad won't allow anyone to apply this!! It might be worth mentioning at this point there are no male carers at the home, I am even starting to wonder if I could book one to go there every few weeks to see if they could get him washed?

I am now waiting for the Mental Health Team to re-visit to decide if Anti-Depressants may help as the Dr did not want to prescribe anything that may react with the Donepezil, but I am understandably concerned as to how this could effect him. Does anyone have any positive or negative experiences with this type of situation, your input would be very much appreciated.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,317
South coast
I must say referree, that I am wondering what sort of CH your dad is in.
Wearing multiple clothes, refusing personal care etc are par for the course in dementia and the carers should have strategies to make sure he is clean and properly dressed.
Is he in a dementia CH, or is he in a CH that will also accept people with dementia? It makes a lot of difference.
The dementia will only progress and if he is in a home that is already struggling to meet his needs then there will come a time when his needs are beyond them.
Time to start looking at other homes, maybe?
 

referee50

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
24
I must say referree, that I am wondering what sort of CH your dad is in.
Wearing multiple clothes, refusing personal care etc are par for the course in dementia and the carers should have strategies to make sure he is clean and properly dressed.
Is he in a dementia CH, or is he in a CH that will also accept people with dementia? It makes a lot of difference.
The dementia will only progress and if he is in a home that is already struggling to meet his needs then there will come a time when his needs are beyond them.
Time to start looking at other homes, maybe?
It is not something that has not crossed our minds, but his Dr and CPN all state moving him would not be a good idea ( and he is now self funding and they agreed to keep him with no top up). It is a Care/Residential Home that accepts Dementia sufferers. However, you are right, they should be able to cope with him. Requests for personal care are made frequently throughout the day but he is pretty much refusing all help every time he is asked. A "DOLS" order was requested in January, but has still not happened, apparently the team are "very behind"....
 

tealover

Registered User
Sep 8, 2011
168
You have my thoughts and hugs.

Tonight I have been to see Mum......she is wearing 4 skirts.

I have once again (just finished long stretch at work) repeated the conversation regarding dignity that I had last Wednesday with the Manager. It breaks my heart. I will go earlier tomorrow if I can and see him,.........the carer said she had never noticed .......

We are looking at alternatives and that sentence posted earlier - are they a home for the patient with dementia or are they a home that takes dementia patients (or WTTE) will be a question of mine. However, I do worry that we wouldn't be doing the right thing but I have so many concerns currently that I am sure we are.

Similarly, my Mums MMSE has just been done - gone from 24 in 2014 to 13. They are suggesting Memantine........anybody any experiences to share? Thank you xx
 

Spamar

Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
7,030
Suffolk
OH took citalopram for years, also donepezil until the last few months. No problems.
Memantine was introduced a couple of years ago after he went through a period of delusions, hallucinations etc. he was immediately put on an antipsychotic, but these are not really suitable in long term, but it was dropped in favour of Memantine, which worked very well. It was my impression that Memantine was only given when delusional or otherwise difficult behaviour was a factor, but may be wrong.
 

tealover

Registered User
Sep 8, 2011
168
OH took citalopram for years, also donepezil until the last few months. No problems.
Memantine was introduced a couple of years ago after he went through a period of delusions, hallucinations etc. he was immediately put on an antipsychotic, but these are not really suitable in long term, but it was dropped in favour of Memantine, which worked very well. It was my impression that Memantine was only given when delusional or otherwise difficult behaviour was a factor, but may be wrong.
thank you