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Care Home and rapid deterioration

Little Circles

Registered User
Mar 30, 2017
70
Derbyshire
Is it common for the PWD to deteriorate when they go into care
My Mum has been in three weeks and hardly knows any of us
She slapped another resident who she thought was my Dad, he was at home and the person she slapped was a lady !
They have put her on Risperidone and now Lorazepam plus an antidepressant
I visited today as did my brother and she barely knew us - thought I was her Mum
 

millalm

Registered User
Oct 9, 2019
68
Yes they can deteriorate quickly but it sounds like she may have an infection as often it is a UTI that brings about a dramatic change in behaviour so first thing make sure they test for that. The change in environment may also be having an unsettling impact on her. Ironically the Risperidone, Lorazepam and anti depressant may also contribute to her abilitiy to be aware of who and what is going on. The Risperidone does help with delusions but I found the drugs also dulled my Mum's senses and motor abilities so don't let them rush to increase the doses. You haven't said how your Mum behaved at home, is it possible that you are now aware of issues she may have had there? I found that once my Mum was in the care home I was able to see more clearly some things that had been happening even when she lived with me. It is very early days for you, so it is also possible that she just needs time to settle. Try not to panic , it is early days for you too :)
 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,141
Sometimes the unfamiliar environment of a care home can expose issues you weren't previously evident. People with dementia can successfully cover the things they can't do, or can't understand, when in a familiar environment at home. It's possible she recognised you partly due to the context - she knew that one of the people who came to the house was Little Circles. Now she hasn't got the anchor of being at home, she can't put you in context.

It may be temporary though, rather than a permanent deterioration. My mother was stressed and not sleeping well the first few weeks in the CH so she appeared to deteriorate, but then settled back down to a more even keel.
 

millalm

Registered User
Oct 9, 2019
68
So it sounds like perhaps the issues were already there but seeing her in a new environment, and seeing extreme presentation of her symptoms is causing your alarm. It is very hard to see your loved one through stranger's eyes and I know for me seeing my Mum in the care home even after almost 3 years, is sometimes a shock, especially if I have been away for a few days. The mixing up of who people are and the relationships between them is a very common issue in the middle to late stages . It is great that she knew you belonged to her, even if she thought you were her Mum. I find it's best just to go along with whoever she thinks I am, but I can usually tell if she thinks I am a stranger because she is extra polite with how she thanks me... 'you are very kind' . Offering please and thanks is really the only sensible speech she has left so I am just happy to hear her voice. As @Sirena suggested it may be a temporary decline due to the move so try to stay positive in the meantime :)
 

kindred

Registered User
Apr 8, 2018
2,366
So it sounds like perhaps the issues were already there but seeing her in a new environment, and seeing extreme presentation of her symptoms is causing your alarm. It is very hard to see your loved one through stranger's eyes and I know for me seeing my Mum in the care home even after almost 3 years, is sometimes a shock, especially if I have been away for a few days. The mixing up of who people are and the relationships between them is a very common issue in the middle to late stages . It is great that she knew you belonged to her, even if she thought you were her Mum. I find it's best just to go along with whoever she thinks I am, but I can usually tell if she thinks I am a stranger because she is extra polite with how she thanks me... 'you are very kind' . Offering please and thanks is really the only sensible speech she has left so I am just happy to hear her voice. As @Sirena suggested it may be a temporary decline due to the move so try to stay positive in the meantime :)
I think this is very wise. In my work as volunteer and family support at the nursing home, I do hear families say that their loved one has deteriorated quickly. Thing is that residents often come in to the home at the point of, or just before a crisis or rapid deterioration and what people then see is that deterioration. It's often not a reflection of the fact they have gone into a home.
warmest, Kindred.
 

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