Has anyone else had an awkward family situation? Has anyone noticed similar deterioration with Risperidone? What can we expect in the future and how will the disease progress? My mother who is in her 80s was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 18 months ago. The family had suspicions that she was getting more repetitive and losing her memory for up to a year before. When I offered to have a word with her doctor her husband (my step-father), who is a few years younger than her, said that he would do it, but did nothing. Finally I phoned her GP, managed to persuade Mum to attend the appointment and accompanied her. My mother would not accept that anything was wrong and refused to take any medication to slow the progress of the disease. Since then there has been a gradual deterioration, but lately this has become more rapid. It is difficult for any spouse but unfortunately her husband is not a natural carer so often got frustrated, impatient and shouted at her. They had terrible rows. With her condition the normal boundaries of what is right and wrong behaviour have broken down and she became quite violent, throwing things at him. She was prescribed Risperdone but I know he very rarely gave it to her at first. Social Services attempted to get her a few days respite but she refused to stay at the Home and became verbally aggressive. She also refused to go to the Day Care Centre with “all those old people.” Unfortunately, I am her only child and live 160 miles away so this makes it difficult to give the help I would like. We invited her to come and stay with us to give her husband a break, but she was reluctant to go far from home. Then finally, last November she agreed to stay with us. We arrived home after dark and the alarm bells started ringing when she asked what time her husband was arriving. She was incredulous that she had to stay. We phoned her husband so he could talk to her, but this ended in an argument between them. We managed to get her to eat something and showed her family photos and she seemed to be settling. Suddenly everything changed. She said that she was not staying and became very agitated, shouting, banging the table and crashing a chair up and down on the floor. She said that she wanted to spend the night in her own bed and said that she was going to walk home. She had absolutely no idea how far away we lived – we used to live a 5 minute walk from her and she thought we still did. We were very concerned that she would hurt herself, or even if she did settle, which was extremely unlikely, try to walk out in the middle of the night. We had no idea that she would become so disorientated away from familiar surroundings. She became hysterical when we said we would take her home in the morning so we agreed to drive her home at 7.00 pm that night. The car journey was awful. She cursed me and threatened violence. She had never spoken to me like this before and I wonder if she even knew it was me. It was like a person possessed. When we arrived at her home she had completely changed and was back to her old sweet self. We stayed the night in a hotel, but when I visited before we drove home she said that she would never forgive me for what happened and said she never wanted to see me again. Her husband was also very rude. I tried to explain that the only way she would have stayed with us was if someone had sedated her and he said that is what should have happened and she needs “taking in.” I was told to go away and not come back (not the exact words). He has been rude to other family members besides me. Since then her husband has had to give her the Risperidone and has increased the dose, however, I have noticed a change in her. Even back in the autumn she loved walking and would easily walk a couple of miles, but has now become frailer and slower. I am sure her memory has deteriorated more rapidly since she has been on the Risperidone. She does have a Carer who comes once a week to take her out. Unfortunately my step-father doesn’t seem to take her out much and tends to lock the door, understandable as last time she went out on her own she did it at night and got lost. I feel that Risperidone was prescribed to help him cope as much as to help her and a lot of her outbursts may have been avoided if he didn’t shout at her. Now, at times she doesn’t recognise him and says she is not in her own home. She knew me when I was there last week, talked about the old times and said she missed me. The next day she said to her husband, “Who was that woman who came here? I don’t think she ought to come anymore.” The house needs a thorough clean; her bedroom is squalid with heaps of rubbish in the corners. Although she gets Attendance Allowance the money is not spent on a much needed cleaner. I have done some housework and the garden when I’ve visited; I feel very much that I am interfering when I do things. I have been told not to bother by her husband, though he has also said I do nothing to help. A no win situation. She used to be a very smart woman and spend a lot of time on her appearance. I have just visited and done her hair – the only time that it is washed, cut and curled, is when I visit. This time I washed the clothes she was wearing as they were very dirty - I think she wears the same things for weeks. The lack of dignity is very upsetting. I think that if I still lived close I could have visited several times a week, taken her for walks and help her with the everyday things. Obviously taking her away from home to stay with us is not an option now. Sometimes I feel guilty and wish we had never moved so far away. I dread the thought of seeing her deteriorate and do not know how this will progress and how long she will survive like this.