My Mother gets v. agitated if not entertained or occupied all the time. What to do?

Discussion in 'Recently diagnosed and early stages of dementia' started by Cucu Mzungu, May 3, 2015.

  1. Cucu Mzungu

    Cucu Mzungu Registered User

    Nov 11, 2011
    #1 Cucu Mzungu, May 3, 2015
    Last edited: May 3, 2015
    My Mother has vascular dementia. Her demeanor ranges from sensible and considerate to being very angry and /or distressed as she doesn't know what's going on...or feels that she is being made to do what she doesn't want to do (which is sometimes what she had said a little earlier that she wanted).

    My mother is 94 and is short of energy; her mobility is limited.

    My sister lives with her most of the time. My sister has M.E which she manages pretty well but needs rest.

    I am there about a day and a half a week; sometimes more. My mother is very attached to my sister and is often quite nasty to me - though it passes quickly.

    A problem which has got much worse recently is that she is becoming very agitated if she hasn't something specific to do; she is no longer interested in reading the paper (though does listen to the radio) By about 8.00 am she is beginning to demand that my sister do something with her - but it is REALLY hard to think up things to do all day. They (or we) do go out somewhere virtually every day.

    We haven't been able to find a suitable day-centre - too noisy (she is very sensitive to noise) / too airless (she has heart failure) etc....My sister is looking for people who might come in.

    Should we ask for some sort of sedative to be added to her cocktail of drugs - could that be good for her? Or would that be unethical?
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    I'd go with the sedative for the benefit of all concerned.
  3. Miche47uk

    Miche47uk Registered User

    Apr 3, 2015
    My Mum is on Mirtazapine (15mg at night) and has been for years, if needed we now have Lorazepam (0.5mg as required) which is a shorter acting benzodiazepine such as Valium (Diazepam) but I literally haven't had to use it for ages. Mum has only lived with me since January when I pulled her out of care, we put a stairlift in our own home as a short term fix so she could have a bedroom as her mobility isn't great and with Aortic Stenosis in the mix she gets breathless and certainly isn't safe on stairs, we have rented our home now and found another to rent so she has downstairs space totally and her own lounge.

    for Mum, with vascular dementia, when she is having what I call an eposide, appreciating she isn't in later stages still, I have learnt that acknowledging, reassuring and then leaving her with a program she enjoys or a glass of wine (with no alcohol in it) works....Equally she now goes to a day centre Monday to Friday who are absolutely fantastic...I have now got her into a routine so much so that actually in the last month we have only had one true vascular episode whereas initially, especially after moving which is enough to unsettle a person without dementia and she has moved 3 times in a short space of time, we were literally having to get her up off the floor having had a paddy that she cant go upstairs or thinking I switched her TV for ours (they are both the same brand but actually hers is newer), I have learnt so much about how important a routine is... we are lucky as our borough seems to offer lots of support and the day centre is absolutely wonderful. It is worth making calls to the council to see what is on offer however the day centre is actually in a different borough by about 0.5 miles so transport is me! dial a ride wont cross borders! At your Mother's age however it must be more tough, is there anything she enjoys that doesn't require input?
    My brother has always been 'god' and I definitely got the abuse from Mum recently and historically, the only time I have had to put my foot down though was when any abuse was aimed at my 8 year old daughter, then I become the stern parent and in no uncertain terms make it clear to Mum I wont and cannot put up with unkindness to her and then she stops. Be assured that dependent on the stage of damage, they can play up family and manipulate and it wasn't until I made it clear that my brother does not live with us and never will, she then calmed down and settled. I love Mum and it takes time to pick up on real episodes with vascular dementia or just playing us up just as my daughter would...

    I have also learnt to keep my emotions in check, I rarely if ever raise my voice, I know that if something cant be reasoned then it is best to leave Mum alone until it passes, but everyone is different... every day is a learning curve and it amazes me that things I think Mum will forget she remembers and things I think she will forget she remembers...ho hum... very tiring though. I do miss my lay ins but that is 8am appreciating I have a child too lol oh and supposedly run a business...forgot that bit!

    The issue with meds is that some could potentially put your Mother at risk of falls, a fall in the elderly can knock them for six even with no bones broken... hence I do not use Lorazepam and it is gathering cobwebs in the cupboard.

    All the best,
  4. Cucu Mzungu

    Cucu Mzungu Registered User

    Nov 11, 2011

    Thanks for your comment. I have sent it on to my sister who lives with my Mother.
  5. Cucu Mzungu

    Cucu Mzungu Registered User

    Nov 11, 2011

    Thanks Miche47UK for your very detailed and interesting comments. Much of what you say resonates with me. I have passed it all onto my sister who lives with my Mother.
  6. tre

    tre Registered User

    Sep 23, 2008
    My husband likes to listen to audio books. Might be worth a try. You can get most of the classics. As the dementia has progressed I have tried childrens' stories. Just William has been a great success but nothing loud or frightening.
  7. CynthsDaugh

    CynthsDaugh Registered User

    May 5, 2015
    Salford, Lancashire
    Hi Cucu Mzungu, my 80yr old Mum with mixed dementia (alzheimers and vascular) doesn't get agitated or anything like that but does get very lonely if left on her own (has always been very sociable). When she moved up here with me I found a care home that were willing to take her on a day care basis - possibly a bit quieter than an actual day centre? They do activities and games and sometimes an singer comes in to entertain the residents & Mum. It does cost and I don't think it could be funded by Social Services but worth a thought to give a couple of days respite a week if not more?


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