Hello I'm new here....

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by davesmum, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. davesmum

    davesmum Registered User

    Feb 20, 2015
    Hi all, I've just joined this forum tonight and I'm hoping to gather and share some information. I've had no experience with Dementia until now and I'm a bit lost. My experience with (and introduction to) dementia is as follows: My aunt returned to the UK 2 years ago from Australia following the death of her husband (they stayed 40 years there). She stayed with my husband and myself for 4 months during which time we found her behaviour a "bit odd" at times. It was after she moved into her own home that we realised she had a problem. I took her to the docs where they did a memory test, this was followed by a brain scan which showed early vascular dementia. She was managing fine in her own home (with her wee dog) with the help of carers who came in to prompt her meds. She was also diagnosed with depression. She was able to go out on her own to the local shops and took her dog to the park everyday. All seemed fine. Then she discovered wine. She had never been interested in alcohol before but suddenly was drinking 4 or 5 glasses a day. This increased to 8 - 10 glasses. She is only 6 stone. Her behaviour obviously changed and she became very forgetful, very muddled and sometimes aggressive (verbally). I was still trying to keep her at home and did everything for her i.e. shopping, cooking cleaning etc. However, one day I arrived and she was slumped on the sofa sobbing. I thought she'd had a stroke and called her nurse. It turned out my aunt was quite drunk and the nurse thought it would be a good idea to have her taken to hospital for assessment and help for her drinking problem. The carers/doc/nurses were all aware she was drinking. They took her away for admission that day. I was told she would probably be in for 2 weeks then discharged with a more intense care package. They took her to a psychiatric hospital and sectioned her the next day. I couldn't bring her home. The section lasted 28 days during which time she was in a locked ward and heavily sedated. Towards the end of the 28 days they applied for a CTO (Compulsory Treatment Order) intending on keeping her in the hospital for a period up to 6 months. We fought this as we felt the environment was not helping her... no stimulation, no activities, the only lady on the ward, no conversation, over sedated, a grey room in a grey ward literally. We had voiced our concerns frequently during her time there. Even the ward staff said on numerous occasions that she didn't belong there, her CPN agreed. It went to tribunal which went in our favour. I had been using this time to secure a nice nursing home for her as it was now obvious she couldn't return home. The tribunal agreed that she should be released to this nursing home.... but still under section.. so she could be returned to the hospital at any time. She moved into the nursing home yesterday and seemed fine when we left her there. Sadly, during the night she became agitated and violent. I visited her today and she was more settled and in good form, chatting quite normally and not the usual confused and disjointed conversation. Still a bit muddled etc but making sense and talking about the other patients. Until it came time for me to leave. She wanted to go home and became agitated and violent again. For a six stone 80 year old she can pack a punch. It took 2 nurses and a delivery man to hold her back while I left. I'm now very confused. She can't stay in her own home (the drinking, wandering off etc), she (in my mind) is not bad enough for the psychiatric hosp but now I'm wondering if she is ready for a care home as she seems more bright and alert than the other residents. I don't know what to do and I'm scared they will take her back to the hosp which is not an ideal place for her. They also diagnosed her with paranoia and psychosis. Sorry for the long post.... this is the short version.... there is lots more. Thank you for listening. x
  2. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Hi davesmum and welcome to TP
    It's a bit of a difficult one to answer I can only say that I think here you have to let the professionals guide you, there may be a home that can handle her some can some can't when it get's to this level.
    They won't want to keep her in hospital unless in there view it is necessary.
    I think you need to speak to social services and see if they can suggest anything, in the mean time just hope she calms down and can stay where she is.
  3. davesmum

    davesmum Registered User

    Feb 20, 2015
    Thank you Kevinl. The care home have advised I don't visit for a few days to let her settle which I agree with. Seeing me leaving today upset her. As you say, I will just have to wait and see. She seemed so well just 8 weeks ago. She deteriorated very rapidly during her stay in hosp and this is in her notes. I'd half hoped the care home environment would have helped her a wee bit. Early days though. Thank you.
  4. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    It is indeed early days and she will take a while to settle after all the recent changes, I expect.
    When people leave is often a trigger point as they dont want to be left behind, so this is a time for little white lies. Dont tell her that you are going, just say that you need to do something (check out the laundry, speak to the manager, go to the bathroom....), or time your visit so that she has a meal to distract her. It helps if you can leave your coat when you arrive somewhere out of sight where you can pick it up again on your way out without her seeing it.
  5. CollegeGirl

    CollegeGirl Registered User

    Jan 19, 2011
    North East England
    Hello davesmum, and a warm welcome to the forum. I'm so sorry you find yourself in this situation with your poor auntie.

    I wonder whether she is on any medication other than being sedated while in the hospital? If she has been diagnosed with psychosis, is her doctor considering anti-psychotics? You may want to discuss the pros and cons of this with the health professionals who are looking after her.

    My mam used to be verbally and physically aggressive, but this has all but stopped since she was put onto a very low dose of Risperidone. It has, however, seemed to have caused other problems, such as a slight tremor in her hand and arm, and a slight hunched posture. I think you have to weigh up the possible benefits against the downsides of this medication, but it's definitely something to consider.

    Do keep posting as I'm sure you'll get lots of support here.
  6. susy

    susy Registered User

    Jul 29, 2013
    North East
    I would second the love lies. Allowing her to settle without a visit is a good idea and I'm sure that the staff would contact you if that changed at all in the mean time. But yes, when you leave in the future just "pop" somewhere and disappear. Hopefully you can work this with the carers and as soon as you have "popped" they can distract her some way with either a "care call", toilet stop, or activity so her mind and focus is taken off you and she is relaxed.
  7. davesmum

    davesmum Registered User

    Feb 20, 2015
    Thank you everyone. I'll try your suggestions when I am next there. So glad I found this forum. I've been reading lots of the posts here. Looks like I've a lot to learn! I'll try and read as much as pos here to avoid asking questions already asked. Thanks again. x

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