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Old 12-13-2011, 09:53 AM   #1
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no place for my mom

while she is having these meltdowns.... yesterday she had another meltdown just after my dad left her and when I got there she was in rare form to say the least.... cryng that she wanted to go home, yelling that we were all lying to here, scared to take anything from anyone, yelling at people to leave her along, omg it was really awlful, of course by now trying to give her something to calm her down was useless nowbody could really get her to drink a glass of water let along take something and because I had arrived I am sure they put holding her down and giving her an injection on the back burner... took awhile for me to calm her down and back to planet earth, lots of just sitting by her side, lots of just calm taking and trying to distract.... ughghghghghg.... after this subsided I headed out to the nurses station to get an idea of what happend from when my dad left at around three till when I got there at four..... nobody could tell me, they said perhaps she was having seperation anixity... so further conversations I now know that until my mom is regulated and has much less aggressive type meltdowns they will not place her, my thought is that until she gets some stability around her, ie: same faces everyday, same routine everyday , same, same same, that these outburst will continued.. this is a real catch 22 for us... I am getting physically tired, and home life is non existant at this time...some body hand me some of those wonderful drugs that my mom should be on.....

 
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:29 AM   #2
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Re: no place for my mom

It was demented behavior which you expect from someone with dementia!! It was not caused by one thing (separation anxiety) but by a combination of all that was going on. You did what was best, present her with somebody that she knows while calmly soothing her back to a feeling of security in a quiet atmosphere.

They can't blame it on separation anxiety. Even if that was a trigger to the outburst, it is soon forgotten. Mom was responding to the fact that she doesn't know where she is and what is going on. The staff is trying to "talk" her to calmness and they are only making the situation worse because Mom doesn't understand what they are saying and why. The statements you relayed from her tell me that. This frequently happens when the staff is not trained in dementia type behaviors. Restraints only make it worse. She will not understand and fight them with her life. You didn't bring her back to Planet Earth... you just joined her on Planet Alzheimer's and gave her the security she needed.

Yes, medication can control this behavior. Are they working on her medication? It's not that difficult. Mom's behavior (and it rivaled your Mom's) was controlled in a few days with the right medication. Yes, she was slightly sedated at first but then weaned down to a place where she is chemically content and as functional as she can be. That PRN injection, only after Mom is over the top with anxiety and agitation, is of NO use. It's like putting a bandaid on a gaping wound. She needs to be on a steady dose of psych meds that keeps her calm on a consistent basis. Not that up and down roller coaster of PRN.

Yes, they want stabilization before placement when a good placement can help create stabilization. But when the confusion that causes the anxiety and agitation is located in the demented brain it does take the right medication to control. Then with the right placement perhaps she can be weaned off some of the medication or the dosages lowered. But it is going to take medication to get her through this transition and to stability. Again, what are they doing with her medication? They can't just expect Mom, with her dementia, to accept what she doesn't know and understand. If it was us in her situation (even with our good minds), we would be fighting for our existence as well!

Love, deb

 
Old 12-13-2011, 11:11 AM   #3
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Re: no place for my mom

I am not sure why they are having such a hard time regulating my moms moods, to day I talk to the head nurse and found out that they are changing her meds once again and I just found out that they are taking her off of lorazepam, which now I know is the same at ativan, geeze, well anyway they are taking her off of that and replacing it, oh crap can't remember, but it did start with asperzone???? not sure so when I phoned in they said she was crying a little bit wanting to go home so I asked what were the orders for the new meds, the head nurse said at night before bed and as needed during the day, I asked her what she was waiting for.lets take this new stuff for a ride . give her some and lets see how this new stuff works, geeze these nurses are soooooooooooooooooooooooo ugugugugugu... are they scared to make the deccession or what... As you can tell I am on a really short fuse, good thing I am not going in till this afternoon, I would be the one needing the meds...

 
Old 12-13-2011, 11:36 AM   #4
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Re: no place for my mom

Hey Jags -

Sorry for what you're going through......none of this is fun. Just wanted to say I'm thinking of you and throwing you a towel to hold onto!!! We can just pretend it's something stronger than a towel

 
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Old 12-13-2011, 05:05 PM   #5
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Re: no place for my mom

i too want to say how horrible this time can be. start taking care of yourself, everything will fall into place. i know what you mean about wanting the drugs yourself! you cant change this disease-if you take care of yourself,deep breathing meditation,etc it will help you. i know it is overwelheming, but we cant do anything about it. thats why you need to take care of you.

 
Old 12-13-2011, 05:50 PM   #6
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Re: no place for my mom

Went thru the same thing with both my parents this year
believe me..it is pure hell for your mom and you
when I would visit dad in memory care...after I would leave
he would cry and go on hunger strike
did not blame him a bit~~~
all his dignity have been stripped from in and in a strange place
mom would say the same thing...only never cry..
she held it in.
Hopefully they can get your mom on the right meds/
so both of you dont have to go thru this torture.
Hugs to you and know we are all here for you
Chris

 
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Old 12-13-2011, 10:51 PM   #7
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Re: no place for my mom

Please tell me they have not changed to Alprazolam!! If so they have switched her from Ativan to Zanax and they are basically interchangeable since they work the same way. The small dosage at bedtime with PRN during the day, letting her get agitated before they treat the problem... They might as well have left her on the Ativan. With periodic anxiety I am sure there is a place for these meds but with the constant agitation and frequent melt down I know there are better options.

The problem with PRN is that the patient can not ask for it. The nurses either hesitate to use it or give way too much. In their defense it is hard to judge the level of anxiety because your Mom can't tell them. They have to work from symptoms which takes close observation and knowledge of the patient.

You may never completely stop the crying or request to go home. That is a function of the disease and what it has done to Mom's brain. She has lost her sense of security and wants to go to a place where there is no fog of confusion in her mind. That is impossible. Mom smiles most of the time but even through the smiles she will said "got to go home", "Let's go".. or similar statements. There are moments of anxiety but they are not the norm any more. I just hope they can find something that will help her.

Go in late... take a day off even. You need to take care of yourself in order to take care of Mom

Love, deb

 
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:26 AM   #8
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Re: no place for my mom

so yesterday I told them to take the new meds for a test drive, When i got there I ASKED how everythin went with new meds and they told me that they hadn't arrived from the pharmacy. wowowowo now what the hell. (temper rasiing) so they quickley explained that they had given her a small dose of something I can not remember, but anyway it worked fine and then 1/2 hour before my dad left they gave her a small dose again, when I got there she was sleeping and I was sitting by her side when she woke with a smile on her face. dam I just about cryed... so this new stuff is call Olanzepine(zyprexa), i am on my way to look it up, anybody know anthing about this stuff...they gave her about a 1/4 dose of it 1/2 hour before I left last night, so now I am working up the courage to phone and see how she did, I just don't know if i can stand much more of the "she didn't have such a good night" answer...

oh great I just looked it up and it says Olanzapine is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of behavior disorders in older adults with dementia.
oh for gods sakes, I am getting really mad, this stuff is a medication that is used to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia $%^^%$%#

Last edited by jagsmu; 12-14-2011 at 09:48 AM.

 
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:43 AM   #9
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Re: no place for my mom

Hey Jags - Just wanted to say I hope you have a better day today, and that they are able to get the new meds on board AND that they help

Sending more towels your way!!

 
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:08 PM   #10
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Re: no place for my mom

Jags, forget that warning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With the a-typical anti psychotics used in the elderly there is a very slightly increased change of cardiovascular events. It's like 2%. The greatest risk factor of cardiovascular events is AGE!!! This is the same for all the a-typical anti psychotics and that is exactly what your Mom needs. I am not surprised that the medication worked because it is similar to the medications that worked for my Mom!! It is actually used to treat schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions).... hummm that sounds like dementia behavior huh?

Yes, I was told of the potential side effects when Mom was put on the medication 2.5 years ago. The Geriatric Psychiatrist was very honest. But he also said there were no other drugs that were as effective and none that had been "approved" for use in the elderly. In his words... "They went crazy over a small study with an almost insignificant finding". I had a choice. I could be scared off by the "warning" or I could give the meds to Mom and watch her smile!! I am very aware of that small potential bad side effect, but in the midst of what I was going through with Mom I will take that change in exchange for a smile!

So yep, your research is absolutely right but when you look at the larger picture and understand that the behavior is actually schizophrenic in nature and the risk are not huge.... how about that smile

Love, deb

Last edited by Gabriel; 12-14-2011 at 09:10 PM.

 
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:37 AM   #11
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Re: no place for my mom

yep yep yep, gotta love that smile.... what warning... I would over look any side affects to see my mom smile. I have read them, talked to the doctor about them and I am happy with my choice for my mom.... lets hope that this will be the some of the answer to help her settle down.. I am hopping a move to the second floor of the hospital will happen as it is not quite as busy on that floor, on one side they have childrens and maternety and the other end is geriatric and palatife care. with a few other case lots thowen in for good measure...They are happy enough to move her from room to room but not so much floor to floor.... ugh... well I finally have someone listening to me, she is a type of social worker nurse, my gate way to the ears fo people who make the decissions...I only met her yesterday although I have seen her on the floor, she said that my mom's case should have been in her hands a while ago but because of the surgery it did not find it's way to her until this past week,,,,, I guess when I started making really loud nosies about how they have to help my mom..cause i can't do it by myselve....and they are professionals, and why are they not getting this under control, and so on and so on, to any one who would listen...and loud enough for all to hear...sometimes the sqeeky wheel does get the oil...

 
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Old 12-15-2011, 04:39 PM   #12
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Re: no place for my mom

Exactly Jags... your main job right now is to advocate for what your Mom needs. Loud and insistence!! If you are not heard the first time say it again.. and again. Make sure you are looking at all sides and not asking the impossible but keep advocating! What you want for your Mom is not unreasonable and I am glad they are making progress. After what you have been through, that smile is worth it all Yep, been there and know exactly what that smile can do for your emotional well being!! .... imagine what it is doing for Mom

Keep up the good work... yep you are doing good!!

Love, deb

 
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:31 AM   #13
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Re: no place for my mom

What a rotten day yesterday, things are just not coming together and now the social worker told me was leaving on days off starting Friday until the 28th, oh yea have a merry Christmas, I just broke down and cried. My mom was starting to vibrate so I asked the nurse for her joy juice and because she was busy it took over twenty minutes to bring, well you all now what twenty minutes can mean, so just on the cusp of a melt down the nurse arrives with meds, took me another ten minutes to get my mom to take them. We finally got my moms denture done and she was wearing them when I got there , so guess what ,she was telling me her dinner tasted like sh$t. So much for dinner.. I left early told the nurses that I thought they were going to have there hands full tonight. I phoned my dad when I got home and asked him if he would go up and do dinner with mom. My dad usually does lunch. I don't like my dad to drive at night if I can help it not that he can,t I just like to know that at least he is home safe. So anyway he is doing the dinner tonight and I am going to do some baking, clean my house and generally call this a jammy day.....I really need this, I am crying at the drop of a hat this days.

 
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Old 12-17-2011, 10:30 AM   #14
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Re: no place for my mom

Good for you... take that Jammie Day and let the rest go. We can hold on to all the angst for you until you have time to renew a bit. You can't wear yourself down because when you are down you can't help Mom. Yes, I know what 20 minutes can do. It can turn the demented world upside down and backwards!! That is one downside of a facility... having to wait! You also noticed another down side... you pick up on the little nuances that bring on the melt down and they miss them. Not intentionally but because of that four letter world... BUSY!

Denture, are they new? Has she been using them? Are they causing distress? If they are new and different or causing distress then let it go! GIve her foods that don't have to be chewed. It is amazing what they can eat without them. As for her thinking the food was horrible.... Many of the taste sensations go away and you end up with texture and not taste. The last two taste that leave us are sweet and salty. Sprinkle a little sugar on the sweet potatoes or a little salt on the green beans. It will make a difference. Heath conscious meal preparers leave out those two ingredients and that is exactly what it takes to get the elderly with depressed taste sensations to eat. I bet she would fight you for a piece of chocolate cake! So I go in armed with salt and sugar packets. Put sugar on the brussel sprouts!!! Texture is an adventure as well. Mom doesn't like the hard crunch of corn chips any more. She doesn't do well with chewy either. But she loves the firm soft texture of chili beans. If Mom doesn't want the mushy veggies that have no taste then let her eat cake!

I learned a long time ago not to fight what is. You go with it or around it but you can't change it. If Mom won't eat that ruben sandwich then substitute it with a big bowl of ice cream with a brownie broken up in it. At this point, more than nutrients, it is the calories they need. If they don't eat what we want then turn it into something they will eat. Yep, we shiver when we think of sugar on brussel sprouts but Mom loved it! Next time I am rolling them in powdered sugar and calling them bonbons

I also keep a stash of things I know she loves. Pineapple!!, peach yogurt (protein), chocolate ensure milkshake (until we had the diarrhea problem), salty snacks, chocolate, little debbie cakes, and I picked up a whey protein powder which I can mix with anything!!! Turns a glass of milk into a meal. Oh and it's chocolate flavored and I throw in that sugar! So stop fighting to get her to eat the broccoli and create a sweet salty snack!

The other problem can be confusion as far as what to use and where the food is. They truly don't need but one utensil if any. If I take away the knife and fork, giving Mom only a spoon she does much better. Remember the depth perception and ability to distinguish color and shapes is damaged. They may not see that white sandwich on that white plate. I frequently pick up half a sandwich and put it in a residents hand. It is a surprise to them because they didn't recognize it on the plate but they do in their hand. They start eating. There is also there is resistance in some to being fed. Finger foods they can pick up or being handed food might help over actually being fed. It takes time so be patient. Those comments about food being terrible is many times truly saying... I don't know what to do with this and it doesn't feel right in my mouth. Instead of trying to force them to do what we do... try to find what works best for her. And then there are those days that they just don't want to eat and that's ok too. Don't let it get the best of you. Mom eats her breakfast well, picks at her lunch, and supper is usually unwanted. As long as she eats her breakfast and the snacks she likes during the day... that's ok

The tears are just a barometer of your frustration level. When you are almost over the top it will come out of your eyes I have been there and you wonder if it will ever be any different. Just know that something will change!! In the mean time take care of yourself with needed time out, exercise, sleep, and a little meditation. Just sit quietly, relax (you will find your shoulders dropping about 4 inches), and breath while blocking out anything but sweet thoughts in your mind. You will feel your body relaxing bit by bit. I do this several times a day and it truly does help. If that doesn't work get you a bunching bag and go at it!... or run for a while! I also find a reason to laugh every day... hard long laughter that brings tears to my eyes. It releases those endorphins in your brain that helps you through the difficult times. So look for that humor.

And keep praying for placement and an improvement in Mom's situation. Changes will come Hold on to that!!!

Love, deb

 
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:00 PM   #15
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Re: no place for my mom

she lost her lower denture on the ambulance ride to the hostpital or in the operating room, who knows, the ambulance driver said they have a whole box full if i wanted to have a look, no thanks,,,,,,,thanks so much for all your advise, my daughter just called from picking up my moms laundry and said my mom was sleeping, guess my predection of a rough night was right, they told my daughter that she was climbing the walls, what ever that means..... so on it goes.... I really am glad i am staying home, at the end of each phone call I am crying, I am no good to anyone like this... I guess my mom's situation is becoming very overwhelming and I need to step back and look with fresh eyes on sunday... today I am doing what I like to do best, cook, cook cook, and i have a very happy hubbie.... life is good! at this moment.!!!!

 
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