Can anyone give me advice ?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by jackie39, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. jackie39

    jackie39 Registered User

    Mar 19, 2005
    4
    Leeds
    My mum has alzheimers and was prescribed Aricept 2 weeks ago and things have gone downhill fast since. She seems fine (well mostly) during the day but its when it comes to the evening - she says she doesn't live at her house and insists we take her home. To get round this we tell her that she must stop there that night as the home carers are coming in the morning - she usually accepts this. But not tonight - she got quiet aggressive and said why hadn't I told her she was stopping there and why did I lie to her. I then tried to convince her that it was her house but she wouldn't accept it at all - she then told me to go away and that I'd really upset her. I had to leave her cause she was getting really upset. I just don't know what to do to convince her that its her house - any advice welcome :)
     
  2. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Jackie
    My wife has taken Aricept for 7 years,I cannot think they play any part in your problem,of Mother wanting to go home.
    This is what is known as sundowning,always seems to happen at thr end of the day
    After 7 years I still get this ,not every night ,but quite often.
    You can only try to ignore it, or tell a tale as you did,this is one of the times when we sometimes have to tell white lies.
    I have read of people putting the AD sufferer in the car driving round the block and then saying "now you are home".
    Jackie there is no answer ,you cannot reason with the unreasonable,try to divert the conversation and think up your own stories to change the subject.
    Hope this helps a little
    Best wishes
    Norman :confused:
     
  3. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    513
    Shropshire
    #3 Kriss, Mar 19, 2005
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2005
    Hi Jackie

    as Norman says Aricept is unlikely to have any bearing on this particular symptom. My Dad never had aricept but dealing with his "sundowning" was one of our biggest challenges. My rules were "delay, divert and distract".

    Suggest "I need a cup of tea before we go...", "better get changed before we go...", "if you can just wait for me, I am waiting for x to arrive in a minute then we can go...", "can you help me fold these clothes/sheets/? first...". Get the idea? Then bring up any alternative possible, tv news, old photo's, anything to break the focus, if all else fails then we did on more than one occasion take a trip in the car or a walk up the road again interspersed with more diversions/conversations until arriving "home" for another cup of tea!

    Try to remain as calm and (appear) relaxed as possible. It always seemed worse when Dad was tiring maybe we had been out for a few hours and broken his routine - but by virtue of him already being tired the episode would pass usually before we reached the extreme of actually going out of the door.

    Do NOT attempt to physically restrain her, you MUST go with the flow.

    Good luck

    Kriss
     
  4. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    824
    My Dad does the same, although I didn't know it is called 'sundowning' (this seems a perfect name for it). My Mum took a long time to realise that she wasn't going to convince Dad that he was already 'home' and didn't need to go back to the town where he was brought up. She has since become a bit more canny and we have learnt to use many of the suggestions above by trial and error. Sorry I cannot think of any more.

    Good luck Jackie.
     
  5. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Jackie
    if you go to the top left hand corner of this page and click on factsheets you will find some useful information there.
    Put" sundowning" in the search facility and you will find some information on the subject.
    Come back to us when you need
    Norman
     
  6. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    785
    Buckinghamshire
    sundowning

    My experience of sundowning is less linked to the end of the day (although that is, of course, when it is most likely to happen), but more to broken routines and tiredness. It helps me to remain 'detached' when I remind myself not to take the request literally (wanting to go back to London, back to Mum and Dad, back home, when we are, in fact, sitting in our own four walls of 20 years) - they are a cry for the comfort and the safety of things of yesteryear that still have meaning and substance.
    These situations are hard to deal with, sometimes, even scarey (both for the patient and the carer!), but thankfully, they do usually blow over.
     
  7. barraf

    barraf Registered User

    Mar 27, 2004
    308
    Huddersfield
    Dear Jackie

    I must agree with all the others, I don't think Aricept has anything to do with the sundowning, not in my experience anyway.

    Margaret has the same symptoms most evenings, and it is most distressing to have to try to cope with their profound belief that their home is elsewhere.

    Just this evening Margaret said "I don't know who you are", we have only been married 53years.

    She still wants to go home to her mother's about 4 evenings out of 7.

    I usually manage to change the subject, but sometimes we are up until the early hours before I can get her to agree to go to bed.

    Just don't argue, you are wasting your energy, logic is not a feasable route with dementia sufferers.

    I usually lock the doors and pocket the keys when she starts, as in the early days she got out (walking back to her mothers) and although I found her we had to walk a long way before I could get her back into the house.

    As Norman suggests, try reading the fact sheets you may find them of help.

    Barraf
     
  8. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    513
    Shropshire
    A further note from what Barraf said - I agree lock doors if possible it will at least slow down and "escape". However you may need to resort to more inventive methods of at least pre-warning you.

    Dad would often get up in the night, get dressed (sort of!) and make a break for it! He had worked nights for many many years and it was second nature to be up and about - moving very quietly so not to disturb anyone else. Mum never had a decent nights sleep as she was always worrying about this happening and we had considered door alarms and all sorts but thought they would be too upsetting if they were very noisy/piercing. Eventually we hatched a plot to hang a strategically placed set of wind chimes in the hall that with the merest brush would make a gentle but clear sound - enough we hoped to wake my lightly sleeping mother - and they could not be silenced by hand only time, so even Dad would be unable to reverse the effect.

    It at least would have given Mum some peace of mind to be able to fall into a half decent sleep taking away the worry of "not hearing Dad get out".

    Kriss
     
  9. Mjaqmac

    Mjaqmac Registered User

    Mar 13, 2004
    939
    Dear J

    My mum never took Aricept but suffered with sundowning regularly. It has always been one of the most difficult aspects of Alzheimer's there is to deal with, I find. It used to happen in and around 5pm-7pm, then she would settle down.

    Distraction is the best way of dealing with it, ask do they want a cup of tea, bring out a photo album anything to keep them calm and you sane!

    It's awful, but you'll find your own ways to deal with it, don't worry, carers become very inventive and knowledgeable the more you get to know this illness, it is very frightening at the beginning but you will cope.

    Good luck.
     
  10. jackie39

    jackie39 Registered User

    Mar 19, 2005
    4
    Leeds
    thanks

    Thanks for all your advice - its nice to know that we're not the only ones this is happening to - even thou at times it feels like that.

    Its just so hard seeing mum like this and not knowing whats going to happen next and how to cope with it.

    Thanks again
    Jackie
     

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