Constant walking......

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by yak55, May 18, 2019.

  1. yak55

    yak55 Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
    616
    Has anyone had any dealings with Zopiclone?

    My mum has been in a care home for almost a year. She has had Alzheimer's since 2014 or maybe earlier. My Dad looked after Mum with my help and then he suddenly became ill in July 2017 and four weeks later he died so a massive shock and Mum camento live with me. She never slept through the night, getting up sometimes as soon as I'd helped her into bed, getting dressed with coat shoes and handbag and sat in a chair, sometimes downstairs in the dark but she couldn't say way when I asked her. Eventually we made the heartbreaking decision that she needed professional round the clock care. Since she has been in the home she has very rarely slept in her bed, often she sleeps for a while in a recliner, because of this her oncebslim legs have become red, swollen and warm and she is now having steroid cream applied after a course of antibiotics didn't work. If this doesn't work does that mean mums legs may become ulcerated?
    Today the gp increased mums dose of Zopiclone from 3.75 to 7.5. I am worried that she will either fall because the urge to walk is strong or be like a zombie during the day.
    If you have any personal experience of a similar situation I'd be grateful to hear them and for any advise. Thank you
     
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,848
    Female
    Scotland
    Did he increase the dose to try and get her to go to bed and sleep? 7.5 mg is standard and she will eventually get used to it and it won’t work anymore but it may change the pattern of her behaviour by then.
     
  3. la lucia

    la lucia Registered User

    Jul 3, 2011
    591
    My mum was like this. She could wake up at 20 minute intervals all through the night. We had an electronic pressure mat installed on the floor next to her bed - it would beep in my room... I was hallucinating from lack of sleep.

    But, if your doctor is prescribing zopiclone he's treating it as a sleep problem and it's not. It's an agitation problem and that's what needs treating. I would get contact details for the Community Mental Health Team and ask for an urgent referral for your mum. That's how I solved the problem.

    It took a couple of visits and the willingness to go down the trial and error route but mum was prescribed Mirtazapine and thankfully it worked. But it's all off-label prescribing and what works for one may not work for another. Mirtazapine targets, only at low dose, the receptor in the brain that gives a person the 'urge' to get up. It's not a sleeping medication.
     
  4. yak55

    yak55 Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
    616
    Hi, that's interesting as I keep on to the care home that it's not something that mum can help but hadn't thought about contacting the mental health team which is a good idea, now it's the weekend, groan! I will have to wait until Monday now and will speak to someone urgently, thanks for the advice
     
  5. yak55

    yak55 Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
    616
    Hi, I'm really not sure about a sleeping tablet, I hate the idea but it's the gps way of trying to get mum to rest her legs which I know is important but someone else has mentioned getting in touch with the mental health team for advice as mum is clearly agitated hence the walking but as I keep telling the home, mum can't help it, it's the disease!
    When a carer said to me in front of mum that she'd been naughty and not slept in her bed I was livid, it really touched a nerve, I've not said anything to the manager but I need to as it's been playing on my mind
     
  6. la lucia

    la lucia Registered User

    Jul 3, 2011
    591
    You are right to be concerned as agitation and getting up repeatedly in the night are very common problems for people with dementia. They should know that. Mirtazapine made my mum sleep all night but it had no drowsy effects during the day

    I'd also keep a sharp eye on your mum's legs because that doesn't sound right at all. Why didn't they try another antibiotic? I'm assuming they've done a blood test to rule out any infection? But red, swollen and warm does not sound good.

    I'm partly saying this after having a sinus infection for nearly a year!! It kept also infecting my eyes. It took a consultant and 3 weeks of VERY strong antibiotics to get rid of it. The GP hadn't figured out what was happening at all.

    Anyway, I hope you can get a solution to these things. You could Google CMHT for the relevant area and find out if you can just call for an appointment. In our area carers can self-refer for everything.
     
  7. love.dad.but..

    love.dad.but.. Registered User

    Jan 16, 2014
    4,399
    Kent
    Initially when I looked after dad in his home and a constant night pacer GP was very reluctant to prescribe zopiclone as he was finding his way round the house up and down stairs sometimes in the dark and GP was worried as we were that if medicated it could introduce a falls risk. Fast forward to his NH..still constant night waking and walking...although I had health poa and wasn't informed, their GP after NH request, prescribed 3.75 zopiclone. It didn't make any difference to his sleep and as his dementia declined he started having frequent falls most likely caused by the dementia rather than zopiclone I felt I insisted that it wasn't increased. So as I had researched, zopiclone can increase the fall risk in people with dementia significantly and he was by now causing injury through very frequent falls I met with the GP at his NH and she agreed with me to stop zopiclone immediately. The manager wasn't happy however I would rather something catastrophic had happened because of his dementia than the serious consequence of medicating and making a serious fall problem worse. Dad also had swollen legs and of course couldn't understand to rest them. I really feel there reaches a point where trying to prevent something in dementia is counterproductive with allowing the illness to take its course and which action is the lesser risk and benefit in the best interests of the pwd. The home should be managing and accepting it as a natural part of dementia for some night time walking rather than always thinking to medicate...of course I would have preferred dad to rest and as the gp said with napping àcross 24 hrs he was probably sleeping enough and of course the home would prefer all residents to be asleep at night...but no 2 people with dementia are the same.
     
  8. yak55

    yak55 Registered User

    Jun 15, 2015
    616
    Thank you
     
  9. Antipat

    Antipat Registered User

    May 20, 2019
    16
     
  10. Antipat

    Antipat Registered User

    May 20, 2019
    16
    I take Zopiclone 7.5 … I usually only take a half one... I do think it might you leave me a little groggy , but it is the only way I can sleep . My husband has dementia and is quite a restless sleeper, so if I don't sleep he doesn't . I have worked with a lot of people who take meds for sleep, and I know one woman who could take 2 -7.5 zopiclone and still be awake …
     

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