Dad has dementia


Registered User
Aug 16, 2007
Hi All, I am new to this and just wanted to bounce a few things around before my head explodes! We have been told that dad has moderate to severe dementia. He is currently in hospital after being found by my sister in a bad way and taken to hospital where they said he was dehydrated and malnourished and all in a very short space of time. He has been diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and irregular heart beat for which he is scheduled for a pacemaker. So all the physical things taken care of. Before this we had realised that he was not welll and was having hallucinations all the time. He had a test at the hospital and a home visit with a psycho geriatrician and at that time wasn't too bad. He seemed however to go down hill fast. When my sister found him the gas was on and he had pulled out the freezer plug and broke the kettle. As dad lives alone the 5 children have reluctantly agreed that he will need to go into care. Nobody is in a situation to have dad living with them as they all have to work long days and would not be there to care for him. I am living in France so apart from phoning or doing research I feel like I am not doing my bit! Since my mum died we were there for dad and he loved visiting us and socialising with my husband and I am so glad we did as I know that it will be devestating to see him (am visiting next week) as he is now. My sister who is the main visitor and contact is bearing the brunt of all this at the moment. We have been told be a social worker that dad can go home but after he had a home visit from the hospital we were told that he couldn't even get into the front door, couldn't get into the bath, and was tripping up the steps. At the hospital he was asked to make a cup of tea and couldn't. How on earth can they say he could cope at home. Anyway, apparently it's our choice and if we want him to go into care we have to find somewhere! I rang the home that she said was available and they told me that residents are allowed to come and go as they pleased so long as they inform staff that they will off site overnight. So dad decides to go can see the senario. Also my sister noted that they were giving dad a drug called Quetiapine (antipsychotic) which on many of the sites I have researched is marked as not approved for elderly parients with dementia. Has anyone any knowledge of this drug. I feel I want to ring up everyone and do battle on dad's behalf and am frustrated with the 'officials' who are caring for him. I know if I was living in the UK I would be the one dealing with this, oldest daughter and all that. I don't however want to make it more difficult for my sister by rubbing people up the wrong way. Anyway, any help would be appreciated.

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Trich said:
. Also my sister noted that they were giving dad a drug called Quetiapine (antipsychotic) which on many of the sites I have researched is marked as not approved for elderly parients with dementia. .

Welcome to TP Trich.

I only know what I have read on the Forum about Quetiapine , and although I have no medical training, believe it can be beneficial, especially in small doses.

If you have serious doubts, it would be best to discuss it with your father`s doctors when you come over.

I hope you find the support you need here on TP. Please feel free to ask whatever you need to and off load whenever you want to.

Take care

Love xx

Gill W

Registered User
Jan 31, 2007
Co. Durham

Although my Gran is on a different drug, Olanzapine, I did some research on it when she was prescribed it, and found the same as you..everywhere I looked, it said that it shouldn't be given to elderly patients with dementia.

I can safely say that the drug has had no ill effects on Gran, and would suggest that you at least try it? Olanzapine was prescribed for my Gran for it's side effect of appetite stimulation, and boy did it do the trick.

Perhaps you could try Quetiapine for a while? See how it goes? We did, with Olanzapine, and have had no adverse problems with it so far?

Just an thought.



Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
As to Quitiapine: it is, I believe, now the anti-psychotic of first choice because of the drugs it carries the least risk of side-effects. It may be the case that there is a known, small risk, which is outweighed by the potential benefits. I don't think that in the UK, Quitiapine has been placed in the same risk category as other drugs such as Olanzapine although other countries have done this.

My dad was started on Olanzapine, a very low dose, but was switched to Quitiapine by the consultant psychiatrist who acknowledged there was a known risk with Olanzapine (of strokes I think) and said that Quitiapine was less of a risk.

We have found that he has done quite well on it - no side effects that we can see, he does sleep more at night (which is not what it was prescribed for but is a good side effect) - and it has reduced his agressive tendancies a lot. Also helped a lot with his paranoid delusions, although they have recently come to the surface again.

Have you had a chat with the presciber, and asked why Quitiapine has been prescribed?


Registered User
Jul 12, 2007
Hi Trich

I cant comment on the drug at all so im no help there, however I am a youngest daughter whose older Sister lives away and I can tell you that it rubs me up the wrong way when my sister looks things up on the internet and then tells me what I should be saying to Dads consultant. I understand how she feels useless living so far away. I do not ever resent her living away she has a very busy life I am local to Mum & Dad and will happily do the visiting and looking after Mum, because of this I live the illness and the effects on both Mum & Dad I know the side effects that she talks about but I also have to trust the consultants that care for my Dad they are trying hard to get his medication right so that he is happy and calm but not falling asleep. When Dad first went into the assessment unit I did not trust the medical staff at all and this drove me nuts and my sister was constantly ringing up with this to ask them and that to ask them. What you need to do is support her and wait for her to ask you a question then be ready to give your advise, I do hope I have not spoken out of turn but I wish someone would say these things to my sister.


Registered User
Aug 16, 2007
Dads got dementia

Thank you all for your responses. I have checked the info on the drug and while I am not happy, mainly because no one was consulted before they put dad on it, it does seem to work for some people.
to Carior.....been there, done that, got the t shirt! I will try and back off but it's really hard when you have always dealt with everything. I know that I upset my sister recently doing exactly what you said. What I e mailed came over as a criticism but I did realise by her reply what I had done and apologised. She opened up for the first time since this all started. Her e-mail broke my heart to read. I will try to make sure it doesn't happen again. On the other hand I know what your sister if going through. I am sure you feel she has the easy bit but the frustration and guilt of "not being there" can be tough also. I am sure she is trying to help in the only way she can, the same as me! I spoke to the Social Worker today and they feel that dad would not meet the criteria to get into a 24 hour care home. She said that the hospital is thinking of discharging him before the pacemaker is fitted but where to who knows. I know he has had outbursts on the ward so perhaps they want rid of him. I think we need to get the hospital to arrange a multi agency meeting with the family ASAP. Do I keep my mouth shut!! Watch this space.