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Old 03-03-2012, 10:09 AM   #1
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Dad Never Stops Talking / Questioning

Iím guessing that the stages of the condition are not necessarily the same with all patients. However, is there any length of time one could expect before someone with AD quits talking non-stop? My dad never stops talking / QUESTIONING. He is a broken record simply firing off the same questions, probably no more than two to four variations on the same subject, non-stop. He never stops.

My mother, his caregiver, has developed a severe illness in the past two weeks and has been in the hospital. This is the first time they have been apart. His anxiety level has been sky high lately and he is down right pitiful. He is worried, scared for mom, anxious, and canít remember twenty seconds later what I just told him is wrong with mom. Donít get me wrong. I too am a broken record by lovingly and patiently answering every question as if it were the first time he asked it.

We are a very close family in a small town. I see them every week. I am convinced his condition has deteriorated a lot in the past two weeks. All of a sudden some ďold memoriesĒ that newer patients donít forget are slipping. I have always said that Dad could tell you how many men fought in any battle in WWII, how many men made it and how many didnít survive. But he couldnít tell you what he had for breakfast, if he had breakfast, brushed his teeth, etc. However today he threw me into yet another shock, as today was the first time he questioned who my son and his other granddaughter were. He sees them both weekly. That was old memory fading.

The doctor prescribed today an anti-depressant that might help. The same medication sure helped another friend of the family with the same condition. I hope this calms him down. Despite some opposite opinions that I have read on here I am a big believer in medication at this point. Really, what could it hurt?

Anyway, back to the original question, I have read that at some stage they become quiet, somewhat recluse. Sadly, I am not looking forward to that either. But right now he is a wreck. For his sake I think he would be better off calm and quiet as opposed to a wired up, anxious, question firing, scared wreck. Will there be some kind of transition phase between non-stop talking to quietness? Will an anti-depressant quiet him down some?

 
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:16 PM   #2
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Re: Dad Never Stops Talking / Questioning

It is complicated. Yes, sometimes if the person is very psychotic, antidepressant or even antipsychotic drugs help. Usyually they are needed in late moderate or severe stage.
My FIL is in severe stage and he takes both so he is not as combative. He now talks passively. He stopped talking a lot since last May. He is 91. He was diagnosed with AD in 2006. But he was obviously sick in 2003/2004. He stopped knowing his elder son in 2008.
There are also drugs for AD like aricept/namenda and exelon which help delay the symtoms for 6 months at best.
There is a website called Fisher Center for AD research. I cannot list the website here but check it out and there is one link that goes to the clinical stages and it will tell you roughly how long. There is no specific numbers.
Usually they get worse very slowly every 6 months or once a year. If he has other diseaes, they will add up with more problems.

I don't know about his stage. Since he can still talk a lot, this must be moderate stage.
Well some antipsychotic drugs may cause stroke so my FIL has it with low-dose (he just started it last fall.) Antidepressant is OK since your father has depression also. (It is natural for him to be depressed given AD.)

Since your Mom is sick, I suggest that you look into an assisted living or a NH for memory impaired or a memory unit. How old are they? They should try an AL together so your Mom will be less tired. A memory unit has the staff who understand dementia.

This is just my short answers.

Regards,
Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 03-03-2012 at 01:26 PM.

 
Old 03-03-2012, 02:18 PM   #3
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Re: Dad Never Stops Talking / Questioning

You asked about how to stop his talking. I am afraid that he is always right. This means you cannot stop him talking. You cannot argue with him either. I understand it is frustrating to answer him. The caregiver sometimes sat away from my FIL back home because he would start talking in his way wanting you to comply with him. (He wanted to work or repeating the same topics...) The caregiver just made sure he was Ok.
The other way is to distract him. Take him out for a walk. Go to a park. Do some activities. Do what he likes to do.

Tell him white lies about Mom. She is not here. She will be back. She is ok. Don't tell her about the details.

If he forgets someone, ignore it. Don't fix on making him know them. Leave it be. You can say oh he is your son or something but don't dwell on it or he would be very frustrate and upset. He would hide the photos of someone if you insist for him to look at it and know the person in the photos...

Caregiving is hard. Also there is sundowning. Needs more light at sunset. Do some activities. Have early supper. Distract him.

It will take a long time. So maybe you can try to just let him talk and ignore it sometimes.

Regards,
Nina

 
Old 03-03-2012, 04:36 PM   #4
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Re: Dad Never Stops Talking / Questioning

Danny, the answer to your question is... unknown. There is no telling how long the phase will last. Some only question a little for a short time and other go on and on and on. Each is different. They question as you know because they don't know what is going on and they can't remember what you told them. Basically it last until they forget enough to know they should question. It can be stressful to continually answer the questions but when you think of his stress at not known you have to be patient.

I had a similar situation with Dad when Mom was in the hospital for 10 days. I wrote him notes, signed them, and taped them where he would see them. Not one or two but dozens. "Mom is in the hospital but she is ok and will be home soon!" "Mom is having some test run and all is well!" I would find him carrying around the notes to reassure himself.

The fact that Mom is in the hospital is a new and different situation for him. Because of the unfamiliarity you may well see what appears to be a decline. Much of it may be a result of the fact that his world has changed. They thrive on routine and when their routine is broken it does knock them off balance. Sometimes the stress of such changes will cause a decline.

Yes, there does come a time when he does not remember those he loves as they are today. Mom doesn't recognize the person I am today but she talked about putting me in "time out!" So I was obviously a baby in her mind not the lady she saw beside her. Grandchildren will usually fade first because only a few years ago they were babies or non existent... not the children they are now. Dad called one of his daughter's by his sister's name for a while because she looks like his sister. It is sometimes hard to deal with this but I have always said.... "They may not know me but I still know them!" That makes it ok.

As for the medications for anxiety, I am a fan of proper medication when needed for the benefit of the patient. It is not for our convenience but for the benefit of the patient. This disease can cause anxiety, stress, agitation, anger, paranoia, and the list goes on. These can be emotionally draining to the patient and should definitely be treated just like any physical distress. Mom spent too long on the verge of hysteria until medication created a chemical contentment that has been a blessing for her. She is not sedated and functions to her potential, but her angst is gone. That is the way it should be. I do hope the medication helps Dad.... and I am sure Mom being back home will help as well Keep typing and welcome!

Love, deb

 
Old 03-03-2012, 07:56 PM   #5
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Re: Dad Never Stops Talking / Questioning

I really appreciate the feedback. I never argue or try to reason with him on anything. I just answer the questions. Also, I keep everything as simple and as routine as possible. He may ask me fifty times a day what time we are going to the hospital. I say the same time of day every day even if it will be a different time.

This is getting pretty bad lately. He called at 5:00 this morning to tell me that Mom’s car was in the driveway, but he didn’t know where she was. Just tonight he called me thirty minutes after we got home from the hospital to ask me if mom is in a hospital or nursing home. I think I have seen more deterioration in the past two weeks than in the past six months or longer. However, if it is up to me I am keeping him out of a care facility all the way up until he can’t care for himself or is a danger to himself, which hopefully is still a while away.

Mom had some Zanax that I have given him today that seemed to help a little. I forgot what the anti-depressant is, but gave him the first one today. The doctor said it may take anywhere from a few days to a week or so for it to start working.

Thanks again for all the advice!!!

 
Old 03-03-2012, 10:22 PM   #6
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Re: Dad Never Stops Talking / Questioning

When things are out of sync... such as Mom not being there... it does throw him off but it also spurs a determination in him to make his world right. It's Mom's absence that is disrupting his day. No, you can't argue with him because in his mind he is right. He believes with ever fiber of his being what his demented brain is telling him.

I'm not surprised he called at 5 am... that is when he woke up and realized she was not there. I am sure there was a level of panic on his part and he only knew to call. Is he staying home alone? This can be scary for him because it is abnormal for him to be there alone. You may be trying to keep the "new" schedule but he is still working on the old schedule of Mom being there. Each time he turns around her absence is new and upsetting to him.

I was just like you determined to keep my Dad at home. Mom was his caregiver and we all helped her. We thought we had it under control. Until Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. We still tried with determination to keep them both at home. It was pretty much a disaster waiting to happen... and then it did. I thought I had it all under control.

The first thing you have to think about is not your Dad but your Mom. She is the one that has the 24/7/365 job of taking care of Dad. It is an exhausting job. There is not enough help at 3 am when he is up and wandering around or at 7 pm when he's sundowning and paranoid. Perhaps he's not deteriorating that much. Perhaps Mom is just keeping it all to herself just how difficult he is? That age group is a determined bunch! Now that Mom is sick and Dad is out of his normal routine perhaps you are truly seeing just how it is. The fact that he is home alone, if that be the case, is a little troubling. What happens if the fire alarm goes off? Does he know what to do? You might be surprised. What if he gets up in the middle of the night and goes to find Mom? Just giving you some food for thought. Don't get me wrong... I am a proponent of those with dementia staying at home as long as possible but please be realistic about the situation and his condition. I for one saw what I wanted to see and not what really was.

My other piece of advice is to research what is available in your area and where you might want to place Dad. Do the leg work, get the brochures, make visits, and check out the available placements. If there is one that is better than the rest, and there is a waiting list, then put his name on the list. You don't have to place him if they call... you can just tell them to leave the name on the list for later. But when the times come you are not scrambling in unknown territory.

Yes, it will take the antidepressants a while for you to see the effectiveness. Xanax and Ativan (which are both in the same class of drugs) are quick acting anti anxiety medications but they don't last very long. I am not a fan but if that is what you had. They can both cause sedation as they peak and then as they wear off they leave an anxiety behind. There is a 11.2 hour half life. That means half the meds, and much of the effectiveness, is gone in 11.2 hours. They usually show benefits within an hour and peak at about an hour and a half. It is also addictive because of the rebound effects. It is used for anxiety and panic disorders. It also has a list of side effect including paradoxical effects such as aggression, hostility, anger, and agitation. So please be aware of the side effects and the after effects.

If he continues to have anxiety and panic talk to his doctor about some other medication. There are a-typical anti psychotics that work much better and given on a regular basis without the up and down effects of the Xanax or Ativan. These A-typical Anti Psychotics do come with warning but to fix the emotional turmoil the Alzheimer's can cause I feel the benefits outweigh the risk. But that's a whole other story

Can I tell I have been in yours shoes

Any idea how long before Mom can come home?... and will she be able to care for Dad when she does?

Love, deb

 
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:01 AM   #7
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Re: Dad Never Stops Talking / Questioning

At least hire a part-time caregiver who understands dementia. She or he can help Mom.
Mom at this point got sick due to such caregiving. If you care about Mom, think about it.
Dad cannot be alone at this point. He could go out and get lost and die in exposure.
Do not underestimate the problem.

My FIL had stayed at his own home alone for at least 6 years since 2004. We hired many caregivers and in the end it became 24/7 so we had to move him to a NH in the summer of 2010. He was too sick to be in the open environment such as his own home. He no longer knew his home and he was dependent on the caregivers to cook, give him a shower and dress him and walk him.


Good luck,
Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 03-04-2012 at 08:06 AM.

 
Old 03-04-2012, 08:15 AM   #8
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Re: Dad Never Stops Talking / Questioning

If you are in the same town is it possible for you to move in with dad for a bit, or have dad come stay with you, the ideal thing would be to stay with dad, it sounds like he is so scared and truly needs someone with him to reassure him that his world is still okay. You have received some great advice and I can not add much but wanted to send you some strength. Mom will probably need some in home help when she gets home from the hospital, it is a good time to arrange that now before she gets home. So now can I suggest if you have not done it already to have their legal paper work in order. POA, WILL and so forth, these are not always the nicest things to talk about but your mom may be in no condition to help dad so you need to be able to make those choices for dad. Since mom is in the hospital it may be the ideal time to talk to dad about these things, if you wait to long then dad will not be competent to sign anything and you may be in a mess. If your mom is anything like my dad was then there is a lot going on that you have no idea about. For some reason they do not want anyone to know that they can not handle the situation. I am guessing that it is that age group, some of them fought in wars, some of them lived though the dirty thirties, ban the bra,protest marches and they just have this zest for life and the attitude that they can handle anything. I know my mom and dad were my heros and I will imagaine that yours are your heros. it's just that now they need help and do not know how to ask..

hugs judy...

Last edited by jagsmu; 03-04-2012 at 08:34 AM.

 
Old 03-04-2012, 10:16 AM   #9
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Re: Dad Never Stops Talking / Questioning

Dad can still take care of himself pretty well. I am by there a few times a day just to take groceries, administer a pill, etc. Plus we go the hospital to see Mom.

There really isn’t any sun downing or out of whack sleeping issues---yet. He just woke up to go to the bathroom at 5:00 the morning he called. He typically goes to bed around 9:00 to 10:00 and gets up around 7:00.

When she comes home there will either need to be a sitter, or one of them will be in a facility for a bit. We have an excellent nursing home with an Alzheimer’s wing. My parents have known the owners of the facility for many years.

Mom was very proactive on legal matters, future planning and such in years past. There are Medical Directives / Living Wills and regular wills. I am already the POA and can already handle their bank accounts, etc. now. I used to work in a financial planning firm and am already authorized to handle those matters now.

Thanks again everyone!!! This is truly a great forum and resource!!!!

Last edited by DannyTX; 03-04-2012 at 10:18 AM.

 
Old 03-04-2012, 04:02 PM   #10
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Re: Dad Never Stops Talking / Questioning

Sounds like you have it under control... or as under control as possible Danny I do hope your Mom is able to come home soon and that she recovers well. I know having her close by will help Dad. Kudos to your Mom for having all the legal work done. So many don't do this. Doing what you did you understand the importance. I am very grateful that my Mom did the same. It was all there for us to pick up and go with when the time came. What a blessing that has been! Don't let Dad get under your skin with the excessive questions Just keep a check on his anxiety level and let the doctor help if necessary with medication to help him. Hang in there... it's a long bumpy road

Love, deb

 
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:45 PM   #11
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Re: Dad Never Stops Talking / Questioning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
Sounds like you have it under control... or as under control as possible Danny I do hope your Mom is able to come home soon and that she recovers well. I know having her close by will help Dad. Kudos to your Mom for having all the legal work done. So many don't do this. Doing what you did you understand the importance. I am very grateful that my Mom did the same. It was all there for us to pick up and go with when the time came. What a blessing that has been! Don't let Dad get under your skin with the excessive questions Just keep a check on his anxiety level and let the doctor help if necessary with medication to help him. Hang in there... it's a long bumpy road

Love, deb
Yep---it is a bumpy road---and what an evening today---Mom tells me what kind of service she wants if she doesn't make it. The doctors are quite positive she will be OK. Then when I stopped by Dad's he was vacuuming to have the house clean for when Mom comes home tomorrow--which obviously isn't happening. Tomorrow I am going to the nursing home to visit with the administrator just in case Mom needs rehab there in a few days.

Thanks again for the support and advice!!!

 
Old 03-04-2012, 06:55 PM   #12
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Re: Dad Never Stops Talking / Questioning

What a typical day There is one thing you can say about this disease. No day is boring!

Be thankful that your Mom will talk about such. So many will not. I have had such conversations with my parents and am thankful that I did. Hopefully you can absorb them as informative rather than a prediction. It is good to be prepared... just in case. Hopefully that just in case is years away.

You are lucky to have a nursing home available that you have faith in. It might not be a bad idea for Mom to have a few days to recover. Hospitals tend to let people go home before they are ready for home.

As for Dad vacuuming it keeps him busy and he can do it again tomorrow. We are the ones that remember. He will be find doing it again. How cute that he's tidying up for Mom. What a sweet heart

Which reminds me of a story. Dad vacuumed for Mom one day. Plugged the vacuum in the back up battery for the computer, shorting it out, and starting a small fire! Makes me laugh now... he was NOT happy!

Love, deb

 
Old 03-04-2012, 07:39 PM   #13
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Re: Dad Never Stops Talking / Questioning

Back in 2002-2004, my FIL was Ok with his late wife. My late MIL was alive and got sick a lot. He took care of her and went to the hospital a lot. During this time, she said he had dementia. He lost his check in the deposit box in the bank and had to ask the banker to open it up. He forgot to feed the cat water so the cat went to the toilet by herself! There were things that went wrong but basically he was OK being alone at home. He could drive until the spring in 2006.
In 2003, he was sick enough to think my husband was his colleague who could go to his meeting for him (my husband couldn't since he is not in the same field and my late MIL called my FIL crazy.)
He was not diagnosed at all until late 2006. We didn't know he had dementia. My husband didn't get POA yet but his late wife set up the living will and POA for her and him in the late 90s. She added my husband's name to the bank account and etc. At first we thought she would come home (after cancer op.) so they looked for a good NH for a short time. My FIL was Ok being alone. Then she passed away and never went to the NH. Yes, my FIL had something funny going on but he was ok alone. He drove alone and ate and took care of his house alone. He does not do housework. Eventually we had to hire caregivers to help him. It started from part-time and ended up 24/7.
You will see. One thing at a time. It is good that Dad can vacuum and work it out alone in the house.

Take care,
Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 03-04-2012 at 07:44 PM.

 
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