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dad displaying symptoms but refused consent for tests at clinic

TNJJ

Registered User
May 7, 2019
1,376
cornwall
Hello everyone. I haven’t checked in for a while, but a lot has happened in the meantime. To summarise: dad is now on memantine, and generally speaking his moods and aggression levels have decreased. He is also experiencing more episodes of mental clarity than before, so I am hopeful that he can stay on them for the time being. He does still have episodes of confusion and anger, but nothing close to the dangerous levels of aggression he was experiencing before and after starting his previous meds (donepezil - now ceased).

We also finally saw a specialist last week regarding the aneurysm, and the doctor concluded that it’s of a size that doesn’t require operating on at this time, but they will continue to monitor it every 6 months.

Now we come to the main reason I am here. How do we respond when the PWD insists they were “never told about something”? This happens a lot and conflict can mostly be avoided by diversionary tactics or self deprecation; however l, when it comes to more serious issues, specifically money-matters, it is proving very tricky. Lately my parents have sold a property they owned and used to let out. The sale went relatively smoothly but my Dad still got very confused throughout and repeatedly asserted that no one had told him about the fees and other related expenses (including the money to be paid back to the mortgage lender). It is really difficult to know how to answer, so any tips would be appreciated. We have tried a few different methods (mentioned as above) but when it comes to money this does not placate him and he gets really angry with Mum and accuses her of hiding things from him. I know that itself is symptomatic of the disease, but any experience you can share in similar situations would be much appreciated. It’s so easy to keep getting it wrong, and when we do it always results in anger. Thank you for reading.
My dads fixation is money. Who owes him etc.I try distraction but it doesn’t always work. Agreeing doesn’t either.My dad will literally jump out of his chair with temper. He cannot walk without a frame so at least he cannot hit me.Although he is very good at throwing.So no more ideas than you have already tried. But I wanted you to know you are not alone.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,160
South coast
If mum (and now OH) said that "no one had told her" something, I just used to say - sorry, I thought I had.
I also used to avoid talking about subjects that would trigger it off. Money seems to be a common factor on this forum. I suspect that they know that having money is important, but no longer understand how banks, etc work, so when they ask about their money they dont understand the answers and are therefore not reassured.
I know that we want to involve our PWD in important decisions, but sometimes its best to say nothing and just get on with it.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
686
High Peak
This all sounds very familiar! My mum's stock response was, 'Well, nobody told me!'

This was her reply when she was told about anything she couldn't remember, e.g:
The doctor came to see you yesterday, your mum died 40-odd years ago, you've been here (in the CH) for more than 2 years, yes, I you do have 2 grandchildren, etc, etc.

It is dementia logic at work. They have no recollection of the event so either it never happened or, 'Nobody told me!'

We got into a strange and unpleasant discussion once when I was trying to explain she had only 2 children, myself and my brother. (She had confabulated 2 sons who lived in America...) She told me that 'everything was different in those days,' (another favourite response to explain the unexplainable). ' Nobody told you when you had a baby - they just gave you one and you just had to get on with it.' Unfortunately she got into this tale and told me that R (my dad) wasn't my father and that she was only a child when she was given her children (she was 29 when she had me!) and you didn't know whose kids they were, etc etc. It wasn't a good day :(

'Fraid I don't know what to suggest really - it's fairly typical dementia behaviour.

Good luck...
 

Eowyn

Registered User
Jul 27, 2019
21
Wow! So many responses already. Thank you to you all, I really appreciate you getting in touch. While there is no ‘magic wand’ approach, it’s oddly reassuring to know we aren’t alone. Thank you again.
 

DesperateofDevon

Registered User
Jul 7, 2019
2,660
Wow! So many responses already. Thank you to you all, I really appreciate you getting in touch. While there is no ‘magic wand’ approach, it’s oddly reassuring to know we aren’t alone. Thank you again.
we have LPA for finances & health in place. aged mother doesn’t think I’m capable ( or trust!) me with finances but my OH ... (his nick name isn’t golden balls for nothing! ) so I defer to him & aged Mother is accepting of that. It seems each family member has a different role to play & with mum she can process this easier
Finding a person in the family who can connect & have that financial role who will be listened to is the first thing. it’s taken time but we finally got there!
 

Eowyn

Registered User
Jul 27, 2019
21
Hello again. I’ve been reading through the comments on other threads trying to find an answer to a question, but I can’t find anything specific enough so I thought I would post it here and see if you good people can offer any tips.

After several challenging weeks in which the aggression rapidly escalated into physical anger and violence, dad was put onto a ‘home treatment plan’ with the memory clinic. They prescribed a regular dose of .5mg clonazepam initially to ease the aggression while they assess an alternative. Since then (approx 10 days ago) he has been experiencing severe capgras (lasting hours at a time) and hallucinations. Yesterday was the worst episode so far which started with a phone call where he asked me to come over and take ‘this person’ away (he meant mum) and resulted in him driving over to mine and (we sat at a distsnxe in the garden) and rambling for about 30 mins about how someone has been in the house all day and they have been using his things and arguing with him, so he had to escape and talk to someone. It was so upsetting, I didn’t know what to say. I tried to agree with him and not dismiss his claims, but he made so little sense that I didn’t have much to get hold of.

So my question is: how do we deal with these episodes when they’re as severe as this? Mum tried several times to leave the room, go outside, create a diversion, remain upbeat, etc., but as the episode lasted about 12hrs she became so lost and upset - particularly when his confusion ended up turning into anger - that she lost her self control and broke down in front of him.

Could it be the drugs causing such extreme confusion? Mum is intending to speak to the doctor in charge of his treatment plan today, and we hope that she has something else up her sleeves; but in the meantime we really need some tips. Thank you. 😔
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,160
South coast
It sounds like he is sundowning.
I hope the doctor can prescribe something else.
Make sure your mum always has a phone on her and knows that she can call the police if she becomes afraid of violence. The police are trained in this sort of thing, will have seen this before and will be aware of the situation. many people have found that although it seems awful at the time, it results in their PWD receiving the treatment that they need.
 

Eowyn

Registered User
Jul 27, 2019
21
Hello again. The situation with my dad is getting even more challenging. Following some distressing behaviour lately his dose of clonazepam was increased to .5mg daily. I really believe this is altering his mind (beyond dementia). I’m trying to get his intervention team from the MC to test his urine because I’ve read of a link between clonazepam and urine retention, but it seems to be taking an age to arrange.

The thing that makes me suspect a UTI is that his capgras is now a regular visitor, which is terribly hard and difficult for my mum to manage; but is also upsetting for me because he frequently rings me to ask where mum is. And this has all come on since he increased the regularity of the sedatives.

In addition the MC have now agreed that he is also suffering from depression/low mood so they have put him on 50mg sertrolene. It’s still early days but the early signs are good as he seems less irritable and generally more cheerful; however, the capgras has taken a new turn because he no longer accepts mum’s excuses when he asks where ‘the girl’ went or why ‘that man’ was using their computer. As an example; mum left the room on one occasion and when she returned he asked where that awful girl went. Mum said she told her to leave because it was nearly tea time, and he began to search the house. Mum asked what he was doing and he replied that something didn’t add up - he didn’t know what, but why are they never in the same room at the same time! Mum was gobsmacked and shrugged it off as a coincidence, but it left her shaken and wondering what to say in future. It’s a constant challenge because he detects any distress or hesitation straight away and gets annoyed with her if she shows any confusion.

Has anyone else had this same experience?
 

Eowyn

Registered User
Jul 27, 2019
21
Hello. I haven’t had any replies to my previous message so I’ll put it another way as I really am quite lost. 😳

- Can memantine and clonazepam cause a clash and a sudden worsening of hallucinations?

We have noticed the capgras/hallucinations have increased exponentially since introducing the clonazepam into the mix. He had them occasionally before but that could even have been as a result of low mood/depression.

The antidepressants are starting to settle in now and are helping to improve dad’s general mood (8 days in). He is not as agitated, but he still is confused at times. Urine dip test came back negative although a second sample has been requested for a lab test (after the BH).

I feel terrible wanting to drug him up, yet it still seems the kindest way to alleviate the stress as he attempts to make sense of his world.
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,008
Hallucinations can be a side effect of clonazepam - have you raised your concerns with the memory clinic about the increase in hallucinations since your dad has been on this? I'm not familiar with this medication so sorry I can't be of much help but this NHS link might be useful: https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/clonazepam/

Your dad could be displaying possible delirium symptoms and may have an infection, either a UTI or something else, so I'd suggest that he gets thoroughly checked over for any underlying health problems that could be causing the sudden changes in behaviour other than the medication: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/daily-living/delirium
 

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