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    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

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In a quandary - don't know what to do

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by MissDiane, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. MissDiane

    MissDiane Registered User

    Oct 18, 2013
    73
    Mum is in a dementia care home and has generally settled well but she suffers night terrors and screams out a lot at night keeping the other residents awake. She is also showing mild signs of aggression such as digging in her nails when being moved, or slapping a carer during personal care.

    We have tried Zopiclone, but this has not worked at the lower dose It also appears to affect her daily living skills and walking ability although it is hard to know for sure this is down the Zopliclone.

    Mum was assessed 2 months ago for nursing care (EMI) but did not qualify. THings have deteriorated since then and she will be assessed again later this week.

    Should i be going back to the GP about how the sleeping tabs didn't work and is there anything else to try? The Rapid Intervention Team have advised the care home to wind down the Zopiclone to every other night for a week till she's off it. They said she may now suffer insomnia as she was on it for 4 weeks.

    I'm told her shouting out is affecting other residents and they can't have that. She has also thrown a cup of juice and tried to lash out but as she is not sprightly i don't feel she would be able to get out of her chair so not really a high risk.

    Mum is suspected to have Lewy Body dementia so can present really well a lot of the time and says she is happy where she is. She enjoys listening to music in the music lounge and has a friend there from years ago.

    Will EMI be a good thing or not? Should we be trying other medication before moving her to an EMI home? Do the staff need better training to be able to deal with her outbursts?

    I do like the home she is in and she seems settled there mostly but then i am not there when these incidents happen. The other residents can often irritate and annoy mum but i understand this works both ways.

    What should i do? I have POA and sometimes feel i should have all the answers. My sister wants her to to return to her husband who is very poorly and i know this is not an option but i can't help wishing it was an option as i feel so guilty.
     
  2. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    1,958
    Seeing the GP to discover whether any change in medication might help seems to be a risk-free option. In your shoes, I'd try it.

    More investigation and thinking might help you, the care home staff and GP to understand better what prompts your mum's distress and how to minimise it. The daily care records and staff could tell you how often your mum experiences these night terrors (is it one or two nights a week or less often, for example?). You might also be able to track down what causes them and how they could be avoided - eg does anything in her room appear frightening when seen in a dim light?

    The aggression you mention seems so mild I'd have thought the staff would deal with it in their stride. Are there are enough staff on duty to cope?

    Good luck.
     
  3. MissDiane

    MissDiane Registered User

    Oct 18, 2013
    73
    Thank you for your helpful reply alsoconfused.

    I rang the GP and she advised me to wait until the meeting on Thursday to see if mum qualifies for nursing care. She seemed to think another home might be better able to meet her needs.

    At the meeting we will go over the incidents and try to look for the triggers but the home are trying to say there is no pattern and it is unpredictable.

    Very worried about mum as she has now come off the Zopiclone as is suffering rebound insomnia which has affected her so much she can barely function. She has not been taking meds for days and has stopped eating and drinking. THey rang the GP who apparently just said to try and encourage her to eat/drink.When i got there at lunch her dinner was untouched infront of her and no one was tyring to feed her. It was an hour and half after lunch started. however, i managed to feed her a sandwich which i bought bit by bit and squirt juice into her mouth. This is such a deterioration i don't understand it. She also had toileting accident in the lounge as the carer's didn't come quick enough to take her to the bathroom. I raised my concerns with the carers but they said its probably just a bug but it does not explain the deterioration otherwise.

    I will go and see her again in the morning. Such a worry.
     
  4. CeliaThePoet

    CeliaThePoet Registered User

    Dec 7, 2013
    614
    Buffalo, NY, USA
    Has your mum been checked for a urinary tract infection?
     

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