1. valeriep

    valeriep Registered User

    Nov 9, 2008
    1
    scotland
    My mother has had a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease for about 7 years and has been on Aricept for most of that time. In the last 2 years she has deteriorated and 5 weeks ago she went into a residential care home, unfortunately she didn't settle at all, she was very agitated and they found they couldn't cope. I have withdrawn her from there (I found her so unhappy that I found it upsetting) and am just about to take her to back to my home (I live in Scotalnd, she near Liverpool) to see if she will settle there. She has had a referral back to the Psychiatrist in charge of the memory clinic she attends and I understand he may suggest a drug to help with the agitation (don't know what yet). Does anyone have any advice, either regarding the effectiveness of likely drugs and/or on the practicalities of living with a mother with dementia?
     
  2. Sam Iam

    Sam Iam Registered User

    Sep 29, 2008
    3,151
    WEST OF THE MOON
    Welcome ValarieP

    Hello Valerie, probably the first job wpould be contacting Social Services and setting up what ever care is available to help you to care for your Mum,they can advise on day centre's, homecare etc
    We stay in Mum's house, she is in the early stage and is fine most of the time, but you Mum is more advanced and could be quite trying and upsetting for you.
    Are there not any NH's near you which you could move your Mum to then you would be able to be more involved with her care whilst having your own home to be in, in the more trying times?
     
  3. mumof3

    mumof3 Registered User

    Feb 6, 2006
    82
    Hello Valerie

    I'm sorry to hear that your mum has not settled in the care home. Our circumstances are that my MIL moved into the EMI unit of a NH 8 weeks ago. Unfortunately she too is very anxious and unsettled and we are concerned about whether she will settle and whether this is the right environment for her. It seems as if the only solution the NH can suggest is medication. Mum is on diazepam twice a day, Lorazepam as required and now an anti psychotic.

    All these meds have started since she entered the NH and as yet we are not seeing any improvement in her agitation. We've been told that the latest medication may take a while to have effect. There has been a definite decline since mum entered the NH and it is very difficult to see her in such a distressed state. She latches on to all visitors to the unit and is always desperate to get out and cries when we take her back.

    Visits are always really stressful and we have to take 2 of our 3children with us which I am not 100% happy with. At the moment we are just taking things week by week and hoping that she will gradually settle. Husband and I are starting to wonder if the slightly clinical environment in the unit is good for mum though as she really craves human contact and reassurance which seems in pretty short supply from the staff.

    I wish you well if you do decide to take your mum home. We found the weekend mum spent with us before moving to the NH incredibly hard with night waking and wandering and just general confusion with an unfamiliar layout.

    It's so hard. The last thing we want to do is move mum in case we further confuse her but at the same time there is definite feeling that we could do better for her than this particular home. Your circs are different, though because the care home have said that they cannot cope. No one can really advise what is the best thing to do, only you really know if your mum is usually less agitated in your company and whether it is practical to have her with you even in the short term.

    Best wishes
     
  4. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    3,725
    North Derbyshire
    Valerie and Sam

    Don't underestimate how long it takes a person to settle in a home. At first we were told to allow 6 weeks, then the fella from the Independent Financial Advisers, who had seen his mother into a care home, suggested 3 months minimum, then another person that I met by chance suggesed 6 months. I can honestly say it has taken 12 months for mum to become happy in the care home. It has taken 12 months for her to stop saying she wants to get a little place of her own (impossible of course). It has taken 12 months before she has started to say the food is good, the residents are all nice, the staff are caring. 12 months, folks.

    Hang on in there. Keep at it. 12 months.

    Love

    Margaret
     
  5. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    6,847
    Hi valeriep,

    There are a wide range of care homes out there. Some are purely residential homes which are not registered to take people with dementia. Some have dedicated units for people with dementia (sometimes called EMI units - Elderly Mentally Infirm/Ill). Nursing homes will have a specific number of qualified nurses on duty at all time.

    One of the important steps in finding the right care home is for a senior member of staff from the perspective home to carry out an assessment of the person with dementia to be sure that the home can meet their needs.

    Was your mother's care home a specialist dementia home? As your mother has been diagnosed with AD seven years ago, I would have expected her to need fairly high levels of support in a home (in any environment really).

    Did the home carry out an assessment prior to your mother moving in? Could you give us some more background on the issues that led her to going into a home at this time?

    Take care,

    Sandy
     
  6. Sooe

    Sooe Registered User

    Nov 10, 2008
    111
    New Member too! Good Luck

    Hi
    I have just joined the forum, just completely at a loss, never used forums, never had any dealings with dementia, apart from Father in Law......we have been caring for Mum for the last year, she is very disabled (5 hip replacements and no more can ever be done for her) after a short term of dementia with Dad, who she had no sympathy with and no understanding, he died 18mths ago leaving her with my Sister in law, who always lived with them, 6mths down the line, she also died very suddenly, leaving Mum wondering how to cope what to do etc. we happily took on permanent care role, not realising what was on the horizon, HELP, the sudden change in a couple of months is absolutely frightening, both to her and to us, we are floundering desperately, yesterday she phoned a random number and they called 999 and so the ambulance came and took her in, we have no idea how or what to carry on doing, home care? she seems not to know her own home too well sometimes, adapt to have her with us? how well could we cope for how long could we cope, care home! had always promised it wouldn't happen. Oh well back to hospital now after a hellish weekend. Good Luck everyone, no-one can know if not having contact with this illness how absolutely devastating it can be to you - and hey I am not the suffering patient here, just the helper!!! How to help her, how to help husband and daughter, after all the loss they have recently suffered too - Oh yes and how do I help myself, winging moaner that I am!!!! Sorry had to vent for a second to people who understand!!!! Sorry not so much of a reply as vearing off onto my own thing, told you I was new at this.

    Sooe :confused:
     
  7. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Sooe, welcome to TP.

    Don't apologise for venting, we've all done it when we've reached the end of out tether. You're certainly not whinging!

    It does sound as if it is not going to be possible for your MIL to live alone any longer.

    I doubt if you would be able to cope with her at home either, if mobility is also a problem. My husband is in an EMI unit simply because I cannot manage him physically.

    Things have deteriorated quickly, and will continue to deteriorate. I was told when my husband was in hospital that it would be kinder to transfer him dorectly to the unit, rather than bring him home for a short while and then have to transfer him again.

    Have you got a social worker? He/she should be helping you with the decision, and advising on care needs. Give him/her a ring and say you desperately need some help.

    And don't forget, your husband and daughter need you too!:)

    Let us know how it goes, please.

    Love,
     
  8. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Valerie, welcome to you too. Sorry I missed your post, you've already been given good advice.

    My reply to Sooe also applies to you. I'd be thinking of finding a suitable EMI unit close to you, so that you will be able to visit regularly, and keep an eye on things.

    Love,
     
  9. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    3,433
    Suffolk,England
    Margaret, good to learn that your Mum has at last settled and appreciates the care & services she is getting.

    Good also, perhaps, for other worried carers coming to this stage to read that it CAN work out in the end, even if it takes a long time.
     
  10. Sam Iam

    Sam Iam Registered User

    Sep 29, 2008
    3,151
    WEST OF THE MOON
    Margaret,
    Thanks for your reply, it is useful for me (hopefully very very far in the future)to know these thing's. xx

    Valerie,
    as you can see there are lots of experianced carer's here who give sound advice.
    The drug's vary for aggitation so it would depend on which drug your Mum is to be commenced on and again everyone react's diffrently to them so therefore the best person would be the Consultant.
    Only you yourself will know what is right, but and I say this from my own experiance, dont be too brave to ask for help when you need it, dont ignore what your body tells you and look after your physical and mental health.
    Best wishes. xx
     

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