My husband's brother is taking his mother (that has AZ) for Vitamin IV's that the dr. said that she should get. This process takes 3 hours.
I am just wondering, isn't this quackery? Isn't the body at that age unable to absorb the vitamins? She's 89 and this just seems to be whooey to me. Alot of money to supposedly give her more energy for a short period of time.
That is something that each patient's family and doctor has to decide and depends on her health and the stage of her dementia.
If your MIL is in relatively good health and early to mid stage Alzheimer's, and this treatment will give her a better quality of life then there is no reason not to proceed with the treatment. If she is in poor health and advanced stages of Alzheimer's, with a poor prognosis, then there is no reason to continue the treatments.
There is another side of this argument as well which does not involve your MIL but your BIL and perhaps your husband. Sometimes we need hope in a hopeless situation. Sometimes we need to do something that we think is being helpful. Sometimes we are just trying to sooth the rawness that this disease can create. If no harm is done then it is ok. We each need to know, when it is done, that we have done everybody we think we should. Each has their own choices to make for their own reasons.
If your MIL is fighting the IV or there are side effects that are uncomfortable for her then perhaps they should rethink the procedure. But if she is cooperative and this is what they think they need to do.... then let it be
Well today after she got back from the IV that she was getting the caregiver had to call one of the brothers because she flipped out and threatened to call the police on her and screaming at her to get out of her house.
I did suggest that they disconnect the phones and just use their cell phones. Calling the police again would have her reported to adult care services again. The caregiver was scared. The siblings are now looking for more permanent care, I believe. although they said that they have plenty of time to do so. I don't know that her doctor is aware of her aggression and anger, but I don't have any authority to talk to her doctor.
If her anger is not controlled, places won't accept her. My SIL has been checking places out and asking what stage she is in. The family has no clue. I'd say she is stage 5 and sinking fast.
The caregiver that offered to stay with her (after only on the job one week) on her own without the visiting angels is going through a divorce and needs a place to live. Not too comfortable with that. It'd be different if they knew this person longer. They are finding that their options are running down though. At least they are having to take a closer look at the situation instead of denying.
I just thought that 3 hours for an IV with a restless person seemed long. Since none of the family sits in on her dr. appts., I don't know how he can know what to prescribe her. The doctor doesn't really talk to the son who sits outside since she hasn't signed medical consent over.
I see pitfalls all over the place Mitsy. Number one... why doesn't anybody have the authority to go into a doctor's appointment with her or to talk to the doctor. That is simply done by having her say it is ok. The brother should insist... even if not on the HIPPA to go in with her. I am sure the doctor has NO idea what is going on with her. I bet they had fun giving her that IV.
The aftereffect that you are seeing is typical. She was in a strange place for an extended period of time and this is one of the aftereffect I was speaking of. She is confused, doesn't have a clue what has happened to her, and is acting out. Yep, she is going to give them a run for their money until she settles back down which might day a day or more.
As for the caregiver, she has no alternative but to call in family or leave. I ran into that when mom started hitting the caregiver. They can NOT defend themselves without the danger of them being accused of elder abuse. MIL will not remember that she hit first, just that she was restrained. At that point it is the family that has to step in.
Unless there is a reason for her to have a phone then take it out.... as long as there is phone access in the house at all times. Mom called the police once... to report the van stolen... by her daughters. But when they had to enter the locked unit to talk to her they got a clue. Mom's phone was disconnected the next day. But there are facility phones there so there was no need for the phone.
What they really need to do is have her evaluated and placed. Mom did go to a geriatric psych unit that specializes in elderly dementia patient not long after entering the locked unit. It was the BEST thing I ever did. Don't send her to just any psych unit because they are not equipped to deal with dementia patients.... it has to be a specialized geriatric psych unit for dementia patients. Facilities will take patients with aggression or hysteria if you are willing to work with them. I know because my Dad was having delusions, wandering, and combative. My Mom was aggressive and combative as well. I found placement for them. Then I worked with the facility, their doctor, and finally the geriatric psych unit to find ways to deal with the behavior. Mom has been in the unit for almost 2 years now and they love the sweet lady she has become . Dad was there almost a year and they loved him dearly. It is not an impossible situation unless you bury your head in the sand!
She hadn't acted like that before, but I believe her AZ is escalating.
Where do you get an evaluation? I know she failed her AZ exam at the hospital. I did tell the kids they should have taken care of placement at that point , but....
She has two caregivers. One she likes and one she doesn't. I've found nothing wrong with her. I think it's just the transitioning from one person to another.
Oh well, I have to step back a little. You've given me alot of information. I feed it in bits to the siblings to see if any of it eventually soaks in. As the get deeper in this, I think some of it does.
You can get an evaluation for a geriatric neurologist, geriatric psychiatrist, or any memory assessment center. Just be sure that whoever you take her to specializes in geriatric and/or dementia. I took Mom to a Memory Assessment Research Service that was in connection with research being done by one of our local universities. Some here have used geriatric neurologist. Her doctor should be able to recommend somebody in your area.... or you could call the local Alzheimer's Association for a recommendation.
Remember that acceptance of such a devastating diagnosis is a process. I had experienced my grandmother with this disease, worked in a long term care facility for years with dementia, Dad was diagnosed years before... and I just didn't get a handle on Mom's difficulties for way too long. It was my inability to accept that I had TWO parents with this disease. But when I got it... I got it and did what needed to be done. Some jump on it early and some take longer to get it.
So you are doing what you can. You are researching, asking questions, and gaining knowledge. Then you are giving the siblings information in bits so they can absorb it and eventually come to an understanding.
She "failed" the Alz test? Do you know what score she had? It's normally the MMSE which is a 30 question test. It is scored 1 to 30. I would love to know what her score was. At 24, mom was incapable of dealing with day to day life without a lot of assistance... not because she couldn't dress herself but because of the day to day decisions that she couldn't make. By the time she hit 18, she was in the locked unit. At this point her score is 0.
So check out the medical options in your area and give the Alzheimer's Association a call. They have lots of information that they can send you. They have support groups that you can join to gain information and experiences of other. They have emergency hot lines when you need immediate assistance (I have used them once and they are amazing). They can answer a wealth of question specific to your area.
I did ask what her score was and they looked at me like I was from Mars. Obviously they didn't ask any questions. I would love to know also.
Today she took the caregiver's laptop and threw it on the floor. Now two of the other siblings won't talk to each other (one bing my husband). They are checking out places this weekend. I did stress, the way she is there is no way they are going to be able to sit down and discuss this with her.
Luckily she is no longer driving since the police told her she couldn't when she ran into two cars. (eye roll).
My husband knows this is the end of her living at home, but he's not helping one bit with the family in finding options. Ever since his first wife passed away with cancer, he has not been able to deal with issues, which believe me has been frustrating when I've had health issues. I'm still having to have mom help me back and forth from surgeries. Not what I had hoped for when I married my life partner.
I can see how difficult it is for people to see it right in front of them and to have to give up hope. Sometimes we have no choice. It doesn't have to be a bad thing at all.
No, it doesn't have to be a bad thing Mitsy Once Mom and Dad were in the right place... I was actually able to enjoy them again. There was no more fear of the house burning down, negligent law suits because they ran over somebody, or them wandering off and hurting themselves or others. I was not in a battle with myself trying to accept reality. Once Mom and Dad were in the right place... it was better. As much as we hate to do it... it is for the best for them and for us.
I still have a sister that is annoyed with me and may just stay that way. I have one that really doesn't want to deal and one that tries when she has time. We are not all on the same page and probably never will be. This is the nature of dealing with this disease. It is one of the most traumatic diagnosis. There is no hope. There is no chemo. There is nothing substantial you can do but watch your loved one slip away from you one little piece at a time. That is just way too much for some to handle. Some want to "fix" it. Some want to deny it. Some just don't know what to do. And a precious few accept it for what it is, do what has to be done, and then knows how to let go and let the disease progress while they enjoy the moments they can. When there are siblings at a different place in acceptance or have different abilities to accept... tension, stress, harsh words, and even the most simple incident can create hard feelings that last a life time. We do tend to take situations personally and internalize them when they are not really about us at all.
Remind them often that it is not about them or what they want but about their Mom and what she needs. They have to step up for Mom... then deal with their own emotions later I wish I knew how many times I have said... be mad at me if you need to but this is what needs to be done Those that have trouble accepting the disease also have trouble standing up to one that stands as strong as the disease.
Hang in there... hopefully, with your help, they will get it. You are doing good things for you MIL
The Following User Says Thank You to Gabriel For This Useful Post: mitsy (12-08-2010)
This reminds me of when I was in the hospital and my doctor ordered a vitamin cocktail by IV for me as I had an ulcer and couldn't eat. After three days of these vitamins I never felt better. In fact, I went home and dug up a 12 x 12 garden. I only wish I had a doctor to give these to me now, I could use the energy boost. Did someone ask why he felt the need to give these to her? She might be deficient, he would have the answer. If not, get another opinion.
I take care of mom, age 90, advanced stages and the majority of the time when she wasn't herself she was afraid which meant lots of assurance she was being taken care of and she was loved. UTI's were the most common reason or pain why she acted up. I'm lucky to have a new doctor that ordered a portable commode so we could keep an eye on her urine. This way, we can catch it before a UTI get's worse. I've skipped the commode now and opted for a bedpan as mom can barely walk.
If your mom is in any kind of pain or has an illness, that could cause behavior change. Right now with mom, I do my best to keep her aches and pains under control, make her feel safe and take her for lots of rides and trips to the store, this always calms her down as it gives her something different to look at, they need stimulation for there mind.
I keep noise down as much as possible except for the radio or TV, which I keep the volume on just so she can hear it and me too. A peaceful environment helps. I hope you find the answers you need. This is a journey and it doesn't have to be all bad. You have to see things from her perspective as much as you can. Mom has never needed any behavior meds besides ativan on occasion. Some say no to Ativan, but I find it a blessing and helps calm mom when she's having a spell of nerves. This usually happens when she's having a more aware day, that causes her to be afraid more. It certainly is a roller coaster ride, but after 10 years, I'm doing ok.
I just felt that if her children would provide cooked meals instead of fast food all the time, that extra vitamins wouldn't be necessary. The fast food also irritates her diverticultis. Why try to keep someone healthy when you're killing them with junk?
I also found out that she does have medication to calm her, but the son that gives her her medicine doesn't want to give it to her. MIL is at the angry and hateful stage at this point. I'm waiting to see what happens this weekend. Two of the siblings are checking facilities and want to get her placed by this weekend. The one sibling that objects says that it will kill her. Not likely. Vegetating like she is will do it to. We'll see. I'm praying for the best. This disease tears families apart, though I have to say the disfunction was already there, just not as obvious.
I do believe this disease amplifies any dysfunction that is already there. It can create it's own dysfunction but more times than not... the dysfunction is already there and this just give it a grand platform. By knowing my sisters... I can understand why they are the way they are now. It is basically a function of who they are.
Fast food is not our friend. It is lacking in nutrition and irritating to the digestive system... but it's quick, easy, and cheap. Placement would get her off the fast food and back on good foods
Ask your brother if he would withhold pain medications if your MIL was in pain. Why of course he would not. So why is he withholding the medications that will possibly eliminate her emotional pain? That is the question that psychiatrist as me that turned me on a dime about psychiatric medications. Why would I want to leave my Mom in emotional distress? There is a happy medium between anxiety and drugged. We have found that with Mom. She is functional but happy... and that is what you want. Leaving her with her anxiety is the same as leaving her with pain. It's not about making her easier to deal with... it is about giving her a better quality of life.
Moving them to a facility will not kill them. It could be the best thing for them. Mom swore she would rather die than be in a facility. She refused to place Dad until she could no longer care for him and didn't agree on his placement even then. She fought it with every thread of her being. But today... she is relatively happy living in her locked unit. She had a great day yesterday with one of her grand daughters and two great grand daughters. She is socializing with the staff and other patients, participating in activities, and I know she is safe and well cared for. It's a win win after you get through your own misgivings. We tend to make ourselves responsible, guilty, for what happened to Mom when in fact we are doing what is good and right for them We didn't make it necessary... we are just responding responsibly to what we have been given.
I do hope they find placement and the transition goes well
That is a great reasoning for the meds.
I used another comparison for my husband regarding his brother taking the dog to his mom's house. There is no problem having the dog provide her comfort. However, the dog pees every where, digs the carpet out, stinks and is dirty (and for all we know has worms). I told him that I know he doesn't appreciate people not taking care of their dogs, why would he consider his brother's dog any different? a responsible and caring pet owner would train the dog and bath it and make sure it gets taken to the vet.
Also, the dirtiness of the house was one of the things that prompted the police to report her to adult care services. So analogies are to be given as you say and see if they soak in
It's really hard to see our own failures when we are too busy looking for the failures of others to make ourselves look better. Sound a little like brother?
Dementia patients become single focused and obsessive. Mom's was cleanliness, redecorating, cleaning, renovating.... The second time she had the outside of the house painted it was time to put a major stop to the process. Others will not be able to focus on their surroundings at all. They are absorbed in something else as the filth piles up around them. If Brother is also absorbed in his own world... YUCK.
The police getting involved might just be the best thing that happened to the siblings Even in the dark hours we can find a blessing
Her obsession is with the one son that stays with her during the day. He is her only care and the other children are evil and against him. That's what he's been telling her. He too is a mental case, not surprising since his dad was OCD and a loner. Anytime someone else comes over, she is mad because her son leaves not wanting to socialize with anyone but his mom. He's almost 50 and his mom has crippled him for life. She has not let him get a life and he hasn't wanted to get one. Not a normal situation and really sick if you were to watch it. It's almost like they are married. Ughh.
Well the family (not the one sone) had decided to try to put her in a facility by this weekend. They are now backing off. SIL is going to her dr. to see if she can get something to calm her down. Next once they are ready, have the facility pick her up while she is sedated and move her. Of course, this plan will change again or not happen. She is now worrying if her mother dies in the facillity everyone will blame her. The problem being that no one is willing to step up and get together to jointly make this happen then no one individual can take the blame.
It will happen sooner or later irregardless because there will be more incidences. The family refused to unplug her phone and she will call the police again, etc. It really is an interesting study in human behavior. So we'll see. So far it seems to be postponed until after the holidays. Wow, so much can happen in such short time.