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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:10 PM   #1
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91 year old mother with behavior problems

My 91 year old mother was given a memory test by her physician. She past with a 100%. The problem is that she is having episodes of anxiety and paranoid behavior and the life long care facility where she lives is asking that she be referred to a psychiatrist because she is creating problems with the residents. The social worker says that it may take a couple of weeks of hospitalization for them to find the right medications. I'm not sure she will be able to handle all of this. The problems are: She keeps thinking that everyone is gossiping about her and she confronts them. She has even been knocking on the neighbors doors at all hours of the day and night. She also crys a lot and isn't happy. Her last blood pressure reading was 196/111. Has anyone been through this and what is the outcome.

 
Old 06-01-2008, 12:20 AM   #2
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Re: 91 year old mother with behavior problems

Does your Mom remember the things she had done? Can you verify that what she is telling you is correct? Have you noticed other behaviors that are out of the ordinary such as repeating herself, not being able to complete what she started, items missing or misplaced? Can she subtract simple numbers or tell you what she had for supper last night? Does she know the day, date, her address? Is she having trouble using the phone or the tv remote?

The first problems we noticed with my Mom were Depression related along with anxiety, agression, and paranoia. She was diagnosed with depression and put on antidepressant medication. She cried, threw tantrums, aggrivated Dad, and was general miserable and miserable to live with. If there was a problem with her memory test at her general physician it was not noted. Her mood swings and depression was like a yo yo and there were frequent medication changes. We did begin to notice other signs that something was not right. Just random odd occurances that didn't seem to have good explinations. Finally I had her tested by a Memory Asessment Research Service and it came back with a diagnosis of moderate to sever dementia consistent with ALZ. She was still making passing grades on the flash memory test at the doctor's office..... according to her doctor.

So my suggest would be to find a gerentologist, neurologist or psychiatrist that specalizes in dementia and have her cognative abilities tested. If it is psychological then the psychiatrist can regulate her medication without her being hospitalized. That is what they are in the process of doing with mom at this point because of the chaos she created recently.

Good luck and I will keep you and your mom in my thoughts and prayers.

Love, deb

 
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Old 06-01-2008, 12:34 AM   #3
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Re: 91 year old mother with behavior problems

I am sorry your mom is struggling with her thinking but I think it would be wise for her now to get the medication review. If nothing else she may just need her blood pressure medication adjusted....her blood pressure is too high and that alone can cause all kinds of problems in the elderly. Let's hope her problems are a simple fix. My mom is 94 and so far so good but I am sure I will cross the bridge at some point. Good luck.

 
Old 06-01-2008, 03:24 AM   #4
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Re: 91 year old mother with behavior problems

Hi, I also had a mother who began acting strange at age 91.

But in her case the first sign of it was not being able to balance her check book, forgetting to pay important bills, forgetting that her daughter from Germany was arriving on a certain day and not pushing the buzzer to open the outside door when I arrived.

We thought she was just getting old, which of course she was. I decided to move in with her and stayed 5 years.

Her social behavior was still fine. She told funny stories, sang, entertained people and was loved by all.

Fast forward 3 or 4 years - she thought people at her Senior Center were cheating her out of trip money she thought she had paid. She thought her partners at the information booth at LGA Airport where she was a volunteer for over 20 years were giving the public false information. Meanwhile she was telling people where the observation tower was, decades after it had been torn down.

By then her memory was so bad that she could not find her way home.

Eventually she lost the ability to keep herself clean and properly dressed. Then she fell and broke her femur and wound up in a nursing home, where she got great care, and found new friends, and lived out the final 2 years of her life. She died at 99.

I hope you get clarity on what is wrong with your Mom. If they start early enough, certain anti dementia drugs do work for a while. If it is all blood pressure related, she MUST have it lowered, even if it means a hospital stay. That BP is dangerous, could lead to a fatal stroke any time.

Good luck!

Martha

 
Old 06-01-2008, 05:13 AM   #5
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Re: 91 year old mother with behavior problems

HI there.

The blood pressure is much too high, and could be caused by a lot of things. Where are you, because if you or anybody else is REALLY worried about her, she can be taken to the ER and assessed there. However, first, and foremost, ask the following:

1) Has she been checked for a urinary tract infection (trust me, it brings out the most bizarre behaviours!!!!)

2) Does she have any pain? Referred pain? Could she have had a fall and be hurting somewhere?

3) Has her routine changed? A change of routine, dementia or not, in the elderly throws them for a loop and impacts on everybody who has anything to do with them.

4) New medications? long term medications? Mis-matched medications? Get a review YESTERDAY!!

5) Ask her GP to do a MINI MENTAL (and do a search on Healthboards, because the test is in a thread somewhere and you could possibly do one quietly without her knowing to get a gist of her mental status).

Goodluck.

 
Old 06-01-2008, 07:29 AM   #6
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Re: 91 year old mother with behavior problems

Thank you so much for this information. I'm really trying to understand this illness. My mother is scheduled to see a psychiatrist beginning next week. They plan to admit her into the hospital so they can evaluate her and decide the best course of action. It is going to be extremely difficult to leave her in the hospital because she has enough congnitive abilitiy to understand that she has a problem but not enough ability to deal with it. This is not going to be easy and it helps to know others are going through the same thing. Thanks again

 
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