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Old 05-26-2012, 06:53 AM   #1
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New here! Father-in-law keeps moving

Hi, I'm new here. My husband and I moved in with the in-laws just over two years ago to take care of them. ( brother-in-law as well is here) .

We have had our ups and downs. In March my FIL developed aspirated pneumonia and was in the hospital for 11 days. He came home and took quite a while to get his energy back. Now he is like the eveready bunny. Non stop. So the Dr. Put him on tracadone he stayed up 24 hours. So we stopped that. He is progressivley getting more active. So then the Dr. Put him on seraquel. Now he is still over active and aggressive. He pulled the shower door off the track. The bil seems to think this is funny or does not believe it because the fil is calm with him. My husband and I are tired. I have not stopped the seraquel but I did start using melatonin for the past several nights and it has helped keep him in bed. During the day I cannot do anything but follow jimmy the fil around. He gets into everything! Like a two year old but worse. The mother-in-law has moderate Dementia and he is driving her crazy as well. We have a Dr's appointment Thursday. Any drug suggestions? I know it is hit and miss but we all need a break and suggestions are welcome!

I am so glad I found this forum! I have been reading many posts and do not feel so alone now.

Last edited by Charrev; 05-26-2012 at 06:54 AM.

 
Old 05-26-2012, 12:57 PM   #2
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Re: New here! Father-in-law keeps moving

I feel for you Charrev!! Your FIL sounds like my Mom. There was a time when she was on the go what seemed like 24/7 with only a few quick naps in a chair. I wondered why we even paid for her room because she was NEVER in it. Her anxiety level was 10 out of 10 along with aggression and combativeness. After much medication trial and error I did finally admit her to a geriatric behavioral med unit that specialized in dementia behavior. They were able to hangle the aggression and combativeness... but the wandering behavior didn't go away. She paces constantly to this day. She is easier to divert but still on the move. I have had success with the Melatonin for sleeping. At this point she paces most of the day with a quick nap after lunch in a chair. At bedtime, she is given the Melatonin and she is out for about 8 to 10 hours. It took a couple of weeks to get the full effect but it was worth it.

Beyond the Melatonin Mom is on Remeron, Depakote, Zoloft, and Geodon. One medication didn't do it for her. It took a combination. We did have to treat the aggression and combativeness and then the sleeplessness since they are two different problems. Trazadone has a great reputation for helping with sleep and agitation. I will say that you can not tell what a medication will do in 24 hours. Most medications of this type will take a week or two before you can tell exactly what they are going to do.

So try one med at a time, give it enough time to see if it is going to be effective, and go on to the next. Yep, it's hit and miss. If one medication helps with one problem it can be combined with another medication to help with another problem. If it gets to the point that you are all exhausted and frustrated... and FIL is anxious and not getting any rest.... you might want to ask if there is a good geriatric psych unit. I would not send my Mom to a general psych unit!! BUt one that is specialized might be what you need

Love, deb

 
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:09 PM   #3
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Re: New here! Father-in-law keeps moving

Do you stay with her by yourself? How do you deal with it. I can't even go to the bathroom or take the dog out. My mil just watches her dementia has messed her judgement up she does not seem to realize the danger when the fil gets up. He is very wobbly and destructive. He tears things up if you turn your back on him for too long. One day he fell backwards flat out. Thank goodness he was okay. Amazing. As for the trazadone we could not wait. We had to have sleep and he was up non stop.

So it may take more then one medication. We are going to have a long talk with the doctor Thursday. I will look up the drugs you mentioned to be familiar with them if they come up. Thank you so much!

It sounds like you have you hands full as well. Did you ever bring your Mom home? It is so sad these type of diseases seem to be happening at a younger age then ever before.

Love Charrev

 
Old 05-26-2012, 08:55 PM   #4
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Re: New here! Father-in-law keeps moving

Charrev, Mom was not diagnosed until she was in moderate to sever Alzheimer's. She had been Dad's care giver for 8 years at that point. He had Vascular Dementia. We did try to keep them at home for a years with in home care. Because none of us lived close enough it was impossible. After Mom ran off the care giver we had no choice but to put them in AL. The 18 months they were in AL I did take her back home a few times but it only confused her more. Trips to my sister's house were no better. I moved them both here to a locked unit three years ago. Dad died a year later. Mom has not been outside the facility except for doctor visits and facility bus trips. As I said in my last post... she likes the security of the familiar routine

I did stay with them from time to time when they were at home. It was not easy. Especially with both of them having dementia. They aggravated each other endlessly! Not to mention that Mom always wanted Dad to do things he couldn't do and neither had the good judgement to take care of the other one. I remember semi sleeping on the window seat in the laundry room, right outside their bedroom, to make sure they didn't get into an altercation during the night.

I will say that moving them into AL was the best thing we did for any of us. Mom and Dad had the constant supervision that they needed and the rest of us had the peace of mind that they were well cared for. It's not for everybody but it was the right decision for us

Love, deb

 
Old 05-27-2012, 05:23 AM   #5
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Re: New here! Father-in-law keeps moving

Yikes! So you understand about having to redirect. My mil has enough sense to be angry when dad can't do something she thinks he should be able to do. Not sure if I should call that sense. She has turned into a downright mean ole lady most of the time. Since Jimmy has come home from the hospital she has been quieter. We also checked her blood sugar and it was high! She started back on meds for diabetes. Maybe this has made her feel better.

I remember the first time we realized something was wrong with Jimmy was back in 2000. I always thought az was about 8 years. Honestly there were signs before then. He used to tell stories over and over. It has been 12 years since he was diagnosed.

I can see having to choose a place for them to go. I understand the facilities have waiting lists and we are not on them. My brother-in-laws way of handling things is to ignore and fight. Needless to say I have found that my bil and I clash. Life has been interesting lately.

We never had them run off. Dad-in-law used to go for rides and get lost. It is scary when those things happen.

I wonder if they would be happier someplace else. All my Mom-in-law wants to do is go out to eat. I think interaction with other people might help her.

I guess I need to run now.

Blessings

 
Old 05-27-2012, 06:23 AM   #6
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Re: New here! Father-in-law keeps moving

Charrev, I thought I was reading one of my old post!!! I so understand what you are dealing with. Redirection is a good thing but when you are trying to redirect two dementia patients that are locked in combat... it's a little like trying to be a one person UN!

Anything that makes a dementia patient feel bad can cause acting out behavior. UTIs are the most commonly known but BS levels, infections, or just being too hot or cold can make the behavior worse. They just don't understand what is going on, how to fix it, and how to respond to it.

Dad was diagnosed in 1998.... misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's. In fact he had Vascular Dementia. He also showed signs for several years before his diagnosis. He died in 2010. 12 years! Mom was diagnosed in 2006 with moderate to sever. She had actually been showing signs for years but blamed it all on depression and Dad! If she didn't remember doing it then Dad had to have done it because we knew he didn't remember. She is still going strong!

I am not sure where you are but not all facilities here have a waiting list. We were able to get Mom and Dad in AL within a week. I do know it is more difficult to place two at the same time... especially if you want them together. I was lucky when looking for the locked unit placement. What you need to do now is to check out the facilities in your area. Visit them and if it is to your liking then put Mom and Dad's name on the waiting list... if there is one. If their name comes up and you don't need the placement that day the facility will usually bump you down and take the next person on the list. That way you will be near or at the top of the list when the time comes. It is better to have a place than to scramble for a place when the need is great as we did!

There is always a sibling that doesn't get it. They can make life "interesting". Actually I find them more difficult than dealing with the dementia!

At first Dad never walked off because of his bad knees... but yes he did drive off a couple of times and get lost. In hind sight... I am not sure if he did it on his own or because Mom sent him somewhere. Later he did walk off... down two flights of stairs, out the back door, and was found by the police walking down the middle of a major highway. Just be very aware it's a possibility.

The major fight between Mom and Dad was because Mom wanted Dad to take her out... for dinner, a movie, anything! Dad is standing there clueless. No explanation that he was incapable of coming up with a date night, inviting her, and making it happen made a difference. "He never take me anywhere...waaaa!" That was followed by his lack of help around the house. I wish I knew the number of times she refused to cook because he was not doing what she wanted. I also think it was her inability to cook that was a problem as well. Mom did become a down right mean old lady. Funny but it was Dad that first put the idea that Mom had dementia in my mind. She was flipping one of her southern hissy fits with him standing in the door way watching. He turned to me and said.... "Sometimes she acts like a demented old lady!" WOW!!!

Yes, I get it Actually it was only after I arrived here that I realized how many of us are dealing with more than one loved one with dementia. It's not double trouble.... but exponentially troublesome. Keep typing... because it does help to vent and know you are not alone

Love, deb

 
Old 05-28-2012, 07:34 AM   #7
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Re: New here! Father-in-law keeps moving

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charrev View Post

I wonder if they would be happier someplace else. All my Mom-in-law wants to do is go out to eat. I think interaction with other people might help her.

I guess I need to run now.

Blessings
Hi Charrev,

Sorry that you have problems with BIL. Also you are having a hard time with your FIL. My FIL with severe stage never has sleeping problem. He only got upset and sleepless if he was hospitalized for 3 nights. That is, he only wakes up if he is disturbed.

Apparently your FIL has some emotional issue and may need a good medication as sedative. Maybe he needs antidepressant as well. My FIL takes both anti-depressant and low dose of anti-psychotic drug now. If my FIL is not sedated, he would be too upset about his current status - he cannot walk, talk and eat by himself.

You mentioned that maybe your parents-in-law would be happier in an AL or NH. Well, the issue is not about their happiness unfortunately. My FIL is happy in his current NH since we moved him in the summer of 2010. However, it is not the true happiness - he has the delusion that he works there. Also the elders always like to be with the families.
It is a matter of caregiving. If we cannot do it at home properly, it is best to do it in an AL or nursing home. My FIL is in a residential home for memory impaired. Also moving is stressful so you may want to be prudent if you move them to a home. Usually for dementia, a memory unit is better. If they go to an AL, they will have to move to the memory unit later. The memory unit is locked and has special care for dementia. More specialized and proper for the people with dementia.

If you don't hire any part-time caregiver to help out, you will burn out and feel stressed. I hope your husband does help out? It is his parents! Usually one adult child in the house is enough and another son like BIL would be more stressful.

I cannot tell you how to deal with your BIL, but your husband may need to be the POA. One son has to be the main caregiver and has the power to decide for them where to go. If BIL has no POA, he has to follow it through with your husband. If BIL is not making any sense and not helping since he has no idea his Dad is difficult, then he would not understand.

Hugs,
Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 05-28-2012 at 07:43 AM.

 
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:29 PM   #8
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Re: New here! Father-in-law keeps moving

We are working on the meds. We go back thirsday for a follow up to see what to do next. The agression has calmed down somewhat the past few days. I have also used benedryl to slow him down a bit. We were using that before but then he was just zombies out so we are trying not to use so much.

My husband helps out a lot. He cooks cleans, and helps mostly with his Mom.m she and I are like oil and water at times. I honestly do not know what we would do if we did not have each others backs. Currently he is not working. No aviation in out area. When and if he starts working is an issue we are both concerned about.

The bil is just a typical 50 something bachelor who is terrified of women and not very thoughtful. He and hubby are both POA's. But my hubby is the baby brother.....

If we ever have addtional income we would hire people to help out more. We are struggling to just get by. The bil does not make much and can't leave his job because of insurance. He has had chrons disease since the early 80's.

So we are all just trying to do the best we can.

We did get my father-in-law some childrens toys today and they seem to be working. They keep his hands busy. Thank goodnesa for the sticky thread with suggestions on how to keep them busy.

Jimmy does not really speak anything but gibberish now. It is really sad.

I will keep in mind and make sure the family is aware about familiar surroundings etc.

So much help here and I really appreciate it. Sorry I ramble so much!

Love charrev

Last edited by Charrev; 05-28-2012 at 09:44 PM.

 
Old 05-29-2012, 08:21 AM   #9
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Re: New here! Father-in-law keeps moving

Ramble on Charrev It is good to vent! Emotional stress held inside it not good.

Benedryl used to be widely used as a PRN sleep aid for those with dementia but since then it has been determined that it is not good for those with dementia. The elderly seem to be more susceptible to the side effects including cognitive decline. Benadryl can cause memory loss in the elderly. A study conducted by University of Pittsburgh researchers followed elderly individuals given either benzodiazepine, such as Valium, Xanax and Ativan, or Benadryl for sleep. Benadryl was associated with an increase in cognitive decline. Other side effects include increasing or decreasing blood pressure, thick oral secreations which can compromise breathing, rapid heart rate, loss of balance, constipation, and difficulty urinating.

Melatonin is the new Benedryl for sleep. It not only naturally induces sleep using the same compound that we have in our brains naturally but recent studies have shown that it also has a beneficial effect on Sundowning.

Glad your hubby has your back. Kudos to him for stepping. As for the BIL, some just can't be good care givers Hopefully he will let you and hubby take care of the situation!

Busy is good... and routine is even better.... and never argue.

Love, deb

 
Old 05-29-2012, 09:46 AM   #10
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Re: New here! Father-in-law keeps moving

Deb is right, benadryl is not good for your FIL. The residential care director who is a nurse in the NH where my FIL is told us in the first day that benadryl is bad for people with dementia.
However, we did use it once back home when it was kind of urgent. My FIL had itchy throat so it was really also allergy I think. He kept saying he wanted to see a doctor but there was nothing wrong otherwise! He kept complaining. So the home care nurse told the caregiver to give him one benadryl. Ok, this stopped his itchy throat. But I did notice something was wrong. At that time we were buying him a new pair of eyeglasses so it was the issue as well. He was concerned about his eyeglasses. When he woke up from Benadryl, I could tell he was disoriented. He meant to talk about his eyeglasses issue but instead he talked about something nonsense - something about money or meal (I forgot) and he put it in the wrong context, but it was about eyeglasses as I realized later. He literally woke up with funny talk. This is one example that he was confused by Benadryl.

When it was urgent, Benadryl helps if it is real allergy. Otherwise don't use it for the elderly for sleeping purpose.

Have you tried to get Medicaid for both parents? It may be helpful.

Hugs,
Nina

Last edited by ninamarc; 05-29-2012 at 09:47 AM.

 
Old 05-29-2012, 12:56 PM   #11
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Re: New here! Father-in-law keeps moving

How much melatonin, guys? My mother's currently getting 3 mg. along with 50 Seroquel at bedtime, but that does NOT put her out for the full eight hours... It worries me that when she comes home, NEITHER of us will get a good night's sleep; there will be no "night shift" there, or at least I'm going to try to get by without one to save money. My mother is also tortured by hyperactivity and "nervousness"; I feel so bad for her! Sorry to hear the trazadone didn't work for your FIL; that's one I'm keeping in reserve...

 
Old 05-29-2012, 02:50 PM   #12
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Re: New here! Father-in-law keeps moving

Using 10 mg of meletonin which is not enough it helps for a while. Just spoke with his dr on the phone and he is calling in a perscription for something to help jimmy. We have an appointment Thursday. Also the doctor is leaving and thursday is his last day. Hopefully we will figure out a nice medium soon.

 
Old 05-29-2012, 05:31 PM   #13
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Re: New here! Father-in-law keeps moving

Mom takes 6 mg. It took over a month of taking the meds to get the full effect. At first she wouldn't even go to bed but we continued to give it to her at the same time ever night. Then she would sleep for a while and get up but we continued to give it to her at the same time every night. Eventually she would go to bed right after her dosage and sleep through the night. It is not an instant miracle that will put them to sleep on night one... but over time it is very effective in restoring their sleep pattern.

Love, deb

 
Old 05-30-2012, 05:32 PM   #14
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Re: New here! Father-in-law keeps moving

Well the metriz not sure of the spelling let my fil sleep all night. It took some time to slowly wake him up but he was not to bad. A bit shakey on his feet at first. He was calmer most of the day and started sundowning around 5pm. Not to bad. Not sure how it will go only time will tell. We will see how the rest of the evening will go. I gave him the meds a bit earlier tonight as I don't want him sleeping to late.

Currently he is chowing down on his own. He has been aware and interested in what is around him. He and mom had a small fight but he did not go into a rage which is good!

 
Old 06-01-2012, 11:58 AM   #15
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Re: New here! Father-in-law keeps moving

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charrev View Post
Well the metriz not sure of the spelling let my fil sleep all night. It took some time to slowly wake him up but he was not to bad. A bit shakey on his feet at first. He was calmer most of the day and started sundowning around 5pm. Not to bad. Not sure how it will go only time will tell. We will see how the rest of the evening will go. I gave him the meds a bit earlier tonight as I don't want him sleeping to late.

Currently he is chowing down on his own. He has been aware and interested in what is around him. He and mom had a small fight but he did not go into a rage which is good!
I was just reading in a book about frontotemporal dementia that severe insomnia is common, one patient in their study averaging just two hours per night. I'm afraid my mother may be one of those! She's currently getting Seroquel, Trazadone, Ativan, AND Melatonin at bedtime and is STILL awake.

 
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