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Deteriorating fast

Felixcat1

Registered User
Feb 23, 2021
156
0
I had a call from who I thought was my dad today. It was one of his neighbours contacting me because my dad had gone to to him distressed saying he couldn’t remember how to contact me. I hadn’t had any missed calls on my mobile or on my landline.
Dad was in a panic about his medication. He told me he had missed three days of his tablets! It turned out he had been taking his most important tablets -which was such a relief!
He had been prescribed two new medications by his GP. I contacted his Gp following advice from the lovely members on TP because dad has been hallucinating- seeing and hearing people in his house at night. The GP prescribed a course of antibiotics and something to help him sleep. I don’t know if the GP told my dad how and when he needed to take this medication but needless to say my dad didn’t know. I tried explaining but in the end I asked his neighbour if he could write down the instructions for him in BIG writing - dad has cataracts and he is losing the ability to read too.
Dad was suspicious about what the medication was for in the first place so the doctor suggested telling him that the medication is to prevent a water infection. Which is particularly right.
Dad has really deteriorated since Christmas, he has deteriorated a lot before Christmas too but things just seem to be getting worse. He is telling me every day now about the people in his house and even though I act concerned, I’m trying to just engage with it as little as possible and then change that subject. I just don’t know what to do for the best.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
4,179
0
Hi @Felixcat1 , it sounds like it will only be a matter of time before there is a crisis that ends up with your dad either in hospital or picked up by the police.
I too got nowhere with having carers for mum. I know if I had organised them, even under the guise of cleaners, she’d have sent them packing. In the end a care home was the only option.
I think it is time for you and your sister(?) to seriously consider a move into care. You could suggest a week or two in a nice ‘hotel’ for him while you sort out problems in the house. Do you think that would work?
I’m sure others will be along soon with their suggestions.
 

RuralTownie

Registered User
Oct 11, 2021
12
0
We tried my dad with one of those 7-day pill boxes, but it only works if your PWD can figure out the day - which mine couldn't. We got a Pivotel automatic dispenser and haven't had any problems since. There's one on the Alzheier's shop which looks much the same: https://shop.alzheimers.org.uk/helpful-products/reminders/Medelet-Mark-2-Dispenser
You get about 28 compartments and load them up with the appropriate doses then programme it to go off daily, twice daily, or whatever you need. My dad responds really well to it. It bleeps and flashes at him and has to be silenced by tipping the pills into his hand.

Regarding the people in his house, my approach is not to try and disabuse him of the fantasy. I ask if they were nice and everyone had a nice time. Luckily they always are and my dad is mostly concerned about their well-being rather than scared. I tell him he should offer them a glass of water next time (because he needs to drink more himself).
 

Felixcat1

Registered User
Feb 23, 2021
156
0
We tried my dad with one of those 7-day pill boxes, but it only works if your PWD can figure out the day - which mine couldn't. We got a Pivotel automatic dispenser and haven't had any problems since. There's one on the Alzheier's shop which looks much the same: https://shop.alzheimers.org.uk/helpful-products/reminders/Medelet-Mark-2-Dispenser
You get about 28 compartments and load them up with the appropriate doses then programme it to go off daily, twice daily, or whatever you need. My dad responds really well to it. It bleeps and flashes at him and has to be silenced by tipping the pills into his hand.

Regarding the people in his house, my approach is not to try and disabuse him of the fantasy. I ask if they were nice and everyone had a nice time. Luckily they always are and my dad is mostly concerned about their well-being rather than scared. I tell him he should offer them a glass of water next time (because he needs to drink more himself).
Aw that’s a lovely approach to the strangers in your dad’s house. Today was the first time that the people have not caused any issues apart from they are using the things that he had bought so costing him money etc.
 

purpledaffodil

New member
Dec 16, 2021
5
0
I’m so sorry your Dad is deteriorating so fast FelixCat

I know every person with dementia is different, but if your Dad has got to the point where he is worried about his meds then it might be worth trying again the idea of someone coming in. With my Mum over the last couple of years, getting her to accept help at each stage has been really hard, but then we have often suddenly reached a point where she is so obviously struggling - and finally aware of that herself - that she accepts it or even welcomes it.

With the delusions it sounds like you are doing the right thing. My mum has delusions too, which lead to some horrible rows at first - where we tried to reassure her they weren’t real - before I found all the advice about compassionate communication. Once I started focusing on the anxiety and emotion, and offering reassurance (that nonetheless fitted with the fixed but false belief) things got a lot better. Though also we have more latterly found some accommodation in agreement that her mind does get in a muddle and plays tricks on her - so we can sometimes agree not to disagree as it *could* be that her brain is scrambling things up.
 

Felixcat1

Registered User
Feb 23, 2021
156
0
I’m so sorry your Dad is deteriorating so fast FelixCat

I know every person with dementia is different, but if your Dad has got to the point where he is worried about his meds then it might be worth trying again the idea of someone coming in. With my Mum over the last couple of years, getting her to accept help at each stage has been really hard, but then we have often suddenly reached a point where she is so obviously struggling - and finally aware of that herself - that she accepts it or even welcomes it.

With the delusions it sounds like you are doing the right thing. My mum has delusions too, which lead to some horrible rows at first - where we tried to reassure her they weren’t real - before I found all the advice about compassionate communication. Once I started focusing on the anxiety and emotion, and offering reassurance (that nonetheless fitted with the fixed but false belief) things got a lot better. Though also we have more latterly found some accommodation in agreement that her mind does get in a muddle and plays tricks on her - so we can sometimes agree not to disagree as it *could* be that her brain is scrambling things up.
Thank you for your suggestion about my dads meds. I’m going over to see him tomorrow before I go back to work. I’ll be able to look at his medication and I’ll talk to him.
It’s also reassuring to hear about your experience with your mums delusions. As dad has now started telling his neighbours I have also spoken to them about how best to manage it instead of just denying anyone was getting in which was making him upset and agitated. You have to enter their reality to a certain extent.
 

Felixcat1

Registered User
Feb 23, 2021
156
0
I went over to my dads today. He is taking all his heart medications, which is a relief, but he has not taken any of the medication to help him sleep which the doctor prescribed hoping that if he slept better he might not experience the hallucinations of people getting into his house at night. Dad doesn’t know the medication is to help him sleep because he would think he was being drugged.
He just can not manage having to take a tablet at a different time of the day, even though it is just one tablet before bed.
He was talking to the people in the tv whilst I was there today and even introduced me to the lady presenting the news! He has never engaged in any sort of conversation with the people in the tv whilst I have been there, he has only ever told me that they are speaking to him. There he was in his own little world chatting away.
He was still going on about the people getting in at night. He wanted to hide his new bottle of Vimto and orange squash because he didn’t want the people to drink them when they come in later.
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
3,008
0
@Felixcat1 I can only sympathise with you. My dad managed his tablets very well for years. He was on 5 or 6 tablets a day and he took them all in the morning with no problems at all. I used to count them every now and then and he was spot on with no mistakes until he was prescribed 1 donezepil tablet to be taken at night. This completely threw him and he could not get it right from then on. With the permission of the memory clinic we changed the donepezil to be taken in the morning with the others and that helped for a while but if the pill is for helping with sleeping this would not work. Eventually I had to take over dads tablets and visit twice a day to give them to him.

Dad knew everyone on TV or he had worked with them at some time or the other but I was never actually introduced to anyone.