Wow! What a difference!


Registered User
Apr 29, 2007
Good Evening everyone

Dad went into respite care last Tuesday evening (with major trepidation on my part as he went downhill so much the last time we tried respite care.)

Dad last went for a respite break in October. Sad to report that he went in mobile (with frame), continent & feeding himself, but came back to us three weeks later having virtually lost all those skills! Despite visiting him every day he just went down & down, which was heartbreaking.

The last 3 months have been pretty tough going for all of us, but TLC & one-to-one attention has resulted in some improvements. Biggest hurdle has been that Dad has only been sleeping about 1 night in 7 which has left us all totally exhausted. (I didn't realise just how tired I was until I came back home!)

New SW suggested that Dad would be better in a hospital environment for respite to assess him & review medication. Hooray for new SW (she certainly gets my vote!)

Dad went in late on Tuesday last week. Wednesday morning the Consultant suggested withdrawing Memantine & Citalopram to see if that would improve his sleeping patterns & reduce his agitation & they will review again in a weeks time. Early days yet I know - but the difference in Dad is almost unbelievable!!!!

He has now slept 4 nights in a row (unheard of in recent months) and seems so relaxed and happy. Hard to believe that he is the same man! If it does turn out that these tablets were doing him more harm than good - then it's really ironic! I fought long & hard to get him on an Alzheimer's drug (which as it turns out may well have made him worse) and as for the antidepressant, well - he just seems so much more happy & cheerful without them! I guess it just goes to prove that drugs affect different people in different ways.

Dad is feeding himself & walking short distances with assistance (Physio also saw him on Wednesday & has swapped his zimmer frame for a shorter one - which seems to have helped his mobility.)

Will keep you posted (as we all know - after opsting this positive report it could all change tomorrow!) but after such a difficult few months, it's just so nice to have some good news - and I wanted to share it! Mum & I can hopefully get the full benefit of respite this time, knowing that he is being so well cared for.

It's so good to be back on TP (I must try & get a laptop before I move back to Mum & Dad's!)

Just about catching up on various threads now - thinking of you all.


Gill x


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Hi Gill, thanks so much for the update.

It is lovely to read such a positive post. As to tomorrow, well you can only tell it like it is.

Sometimes a complete review of medication can have really good effects.

Fingers crossed that things stay calm for you, and comfortable for dad.

Take care,

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
I`m so glad to hear such good news from you Gill. How were you to know about the affects of the medication. How was anyone to know.
I can only hope you and your mother make the most of your respite, now your stress has been so reduced.
Love xx


Registered User
Nov 20, 2006
Hi Gill,

A good post to read, just out of interest has this improvement stayed? We are having terrible trouble with my Dad at the moment, seems to get badly restless and confused in the early evening, Olanzapine calms him a bit but even the effect of that seems deminished a bit. I ask as My Dad has been on Memantine for the last year which initially showed a good improvement but I wonder if that has changed now.




Registered User
Apr 29, 2007
leaving on a positive note....

Just packing up to move back to Mum & Dad's house tomorrow as Dad comes home from his respite stay in the morning.

Touch wood - taking him off the Memantine & the Citalopram seems to have worked wonders! We are just amazed at the difference it seems to have made to him. He honestly seems a different man from the man who went in just 2 weeks ago (after what had been a horribly difficult 3 months.)

We had a Care Planning Meeting this morning and the Dr advised us that whilst the above drugs work well for many - for some they can increase agitation dramatically. As they believe happened with Dad the agitation levels became just so bad that he wasn't sleeping at all and this in turn had a detrimental effect on his mobility. The drugs also appeared to increase his confusion & have a dterimental effect on his communication & other skills.

How sad on reflection that I was dosing him up daily with these drugs to help him, when it transpires that they were in fact making him worse. I feel awful - but then - who was to know?

I know we can't expect miracles, but right at this moment in time I have a big part of my Dad back and I am just so grateful that his medications were reviewed.

We just hope that he will keep it up once he gets home! We know it's not going to be "plain sailing" but if he sleeps most nights, we will all get the benefit!!!!

So will be out of contact for a while (no internet at Mum & Dad's as I still haven't got round to getting a laptop!) - but all being well we have another respite break planned mid March & will update further then.

Until then will be thinking of you & wish all the very best coping with this unpredicatable illness.

Keep your fingers crossed for us & thanks for the continued support.

take care


Gill x

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire

Hope the return home is successful. Re drugs, I suppose it is hit and miss in lots of cases, and drug reactions can change over time. It is important to have them reviewed regularly. Sorry, frequently, not the same thing. Mum has been on aricept for 7 months and the improvement is quite noticeable, but it might not continue.

Good luck