Mum is displaying symptons of agitation.

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by Elsie54, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. Elsie54

    Elsie54 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2012
    15
    Cambridgeshire
    First off I apologise for the length of this post.

    Mum is displaying symptons of agitation and I wonder if anyone else has found anything that helps/ solves this. She is in advanced stages of vascular dementia and has lived in a CH for nearly 3 years. She settled well and up to just before Christmas there was nothing (apart from the usual behaviours of vascular dementia) that worried me greatly. However in December mum started moaning/grunting constantly as if in severe pain. GP has prescribed a continuous low dose of antibiotics in case of infection but nothing is showing up in blood and urine samples. When you get her attention the grunting/ moaning stops and when asked if she has any pain she replies no and seems to have no idea that she has even been making any noise. At her worst she thrashes about and practically falls out of her chair. Something seems to be frightening her. The carers and nurses at the CH seem to be at a loss as to how to deal with this behaviour as am I. I'm meeting mums CPN at the home next Thursday. If anyone reading this has experience of this type of behaviour and can suggest something that worked for them I'd be really grateful for suggestions before my meeting next week as it is just so distressing to see mum like this as well as upsetting for the other residents.
     
  2. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,097
    Yorkshire
    Hi Elsie54
    I haven't come across this exactly - but my dad does seem to transfer the feeling he has that something isn't right with him ie his dementia onto physical responses eg his back hurts, his legs ache, and he does moan a lot that he's done something wrong, but never knows what, which might well turn to noises if he loses the ability to use words

    I've thought what I would try if your mum were my dad so:-
    are her teeth and gums OK
    are her false teeth rubbing
    are her clothes itching, rubbing, tight
    are her toenails cut OK
    is her chair comfortable - does she need to move more
    is she getting cramps
    does she have earache
    is she sleeping OK
    is she drinking enough
    any incontinence issues
    is she cold or hot
    is her scalp OK

    is she depressed
    is she bored - would music playing soothe her - or a twiddle muff or cuddly toy help

    maybe she does have aches or even pain (I'm not confident my dad can describe what he's feeling) - so ask if she can be tried on a regular dose of paracetamol during the day; if she settles, then there may well be some pain bothering her

    maybe what she is displaying is an exaggeration of the comforting noises and 'rocking' we all tend to do when we are anxious - we keep them low level on the whole, but with dementia the control mechanisms go

    sorry - no answers - but this is what I'd be considering
    I hope you discover some way to help her settle
     
  3. Elsie54

    Elsie54 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2012
    15
    Cambridgeshire
    Thank you Shedrech, I very much appreciate your reply.
    Mum does already have a continuous dose of paracetamol and yes she does settle after though usually she sleeps almost immediately after a dose as well. In fact if I think about it she sleeps most of the time now even during my visits. There's a nagging thought that we are missing something and being misled by the fact that mum says that she's not in pain.

    She's lost interest in eating and drinking too. Maybe we are looking at end of life care now. I wish there was some way of telling. It's a bit like when you have done everything for a baby, clean nappy, fed, winded and yet they are still crying. Sorry I'm rambling on!
     
  4. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,097
    Yorkshire
    Hi Elsie54
    You're not rambling at all, you're worried
    Do you have a local Hospice? If you think that you may looking at end of life care, they are the experts, so maybe going and chatting to someone there may help. The CPN and Home manager may have information on palliative care.
    Very best wishes
     
  5. CJinUSA

    CJinUSA Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    1,125
    eastern USA
    My mother has reached her end of life, and some days are like this now. My concern about the constant wheezing and moaning is that she will get a sore throat. I'm about to go out and buy an ice crusher, so that I can put some ice chips (probably of flavored water) into her mouth. We use ThickIt with her normally. My mother's agitation makes her trash a bit, too, but she has lost the use of her right side, so she can't do too much to harm herself. Last night, for the first time, I used my laptop to show her videos of the ocean crashing or gently coming into the shoreline. (I'm not sure, but one video sure looked like Dover to me!) She became mesmerized by this. She is having breathing issues, so we are using a nebulizer. She seems to understand she is dying but doesn't want to go. I believe this is the source of her agitation, but I might just be making that up in order to try to understand it better . . . . She lives with me, so I see her 24/7, with carers during daytimes.
     

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