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Frequency of visits to psychiatrist

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Old 02-08-2009, 04:22 PM   #1
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Frequency of visits to psychiatrist

My 91 year old mother went to a psychiatrist last August where we received the Alzheimer's diagnosis. He put her on Aricept. We have been to him once since then and will be seeing him again in May. My question is how often does your person that has Alzheimers visit the doctor. Another question I have is what side effects have you seen with Aricept? My mother is complaining about itching and dizzziness. She is also taking a blood pressure medicine so I'm not sure which it might be.

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Old 02-08-2009, 07:37 PM   #2
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Re: Frequency of visits to psychiatrist


My 85 year old mom was officailly diagnosed about 5 years ago though we now know it was there long before that but at the moment we visit her neurologist every 6 months. She was prescribed Razadyne (sp?)..I think it works similarly to Aricept in that is only delays the inevitable but she has had no adverse reactions to any drugs so I can't comment on that.

Love, Meg

Old 02-08-2009, 08:34 PM   #3
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Re: Frequency of visits to psychiatrist

My mother didn't see her doctor too often unless she was having trouble with her meds balance-which she did(courtesy of the other doctor that I fired!). Unless they are sick-such as UTI or sinus infection or colds, my mom didn't see her doc. He came through to check on her to make sure that the meds were balanced and she was stable..His PA checked with the nurses by phone and they would call with questions, but that was it. If I wanted to ask ??, I would call him. We live in Va and he is in Minn. The nursing staff called the PA with questions.. It's not that there wasn't a good level of communication with his staff-don't get me wrong. I was more than happy and statisfied with him and the staff. I just saw no need for visits with him. She was healthy- as one can be with the disease. Mom was at the point that she was stable. After all we all know what the prognosis is with this horrid disease.

When she had a UTI, the PA was there like a bolt of lightening and meds were ordered in the blink of an eye. But Jannar, your Mom is still with you, isn't she? My mom was locked up or down however you want to go...So she was under the care of nurses 24/7. The need for a doctor was different for my mom. She had medical care round the clock. Some beter than others I might add....(ahem)

Read the web site for aricept and see what all of the side effect listed are. Your mom may be having some of them. Or it could be that the aricept and the blood pressure meds combined are causing her reactions....just a thought... A benadryl might take away the itch.

Last edited by ibake&pray; 02-08-2009 at 08:36 PM.

Old 02-08-2009, 09:48 PM   #4
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Re: Frequency of visits to psychiatrist

Mom was diagnosed by a research service. She had her intial visit and then was reevaluated 9 months later. At that point she tested outside the parameters of their study because of the severity of her dementia. She has seen a psychiatrist one in the last year to balance her meds. Otherwise she is seen on an as need basis by her geriatric physician. The facility and Mom's LTC insurance does require a yearly physical. But as for frequent visits to a neurologist or psychiatrist, neither of my parents do that.

Both of my parents are on both Aricept and Namenda. Dad has been on both for years but has no identified side effects. Due to the fact that his dementia is vascular, I am not sure they are doing him any good, especially after this long. Mom started both in November 2006. I can not tell that it has helped her at all. If anything her decline has been more rapid since she started taking them. She also suffers from chronic depression, agitation, and aggression. She had no depession until she realized there was "something wrong". But the chronic depression, suicidal tendencies, agitation, and agression can be dated back to the start of the medication. I have made a request for the medications to be review and nothing has come of this. It is on my visit agenda once more...

Just be observant of the changes in behavior and do a search of all side effect. If you can match one and one then question her doctor. As far as how often to visit. If there is benefit in the visits, or a medical reason for the visits then by all means take her. But if they just look at her and say she's ok, I don't see the need. We all know there is nothing they can do at this time for this disease.

Love, deb

Old 02-09-2009, 09:48 AM   #5
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Re: Frequency of visits to psychiatrist

Deb- my 93 yr old MIL was given Haldol. I think the same as you do, it seems like the decline has happened faster with the medication. My problem is she wasn't even seen by the doctor prior to the meds being ok'd. I think he approved based solely on what the hospice nurse told him. Is the normal? They keep increasing her dosage, but she's biting and spitting and can squeeze yoru hand so hard you think she'll break your fingers.

Old 02-09-2009, 11:28 AM   #6
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Re: Frequency of visits to psychiatrist

My Mom never saw a psychiatrist. A neurologist looked at her once. Her family doctor and later the NH staff doctor took good care of her. BUT, she was never aggressive, never hurt anyone or herself, and was friendly and doclile. She cooperated with the NH staff better than she had with me. I am not sure if AD is considered a mental illness, or just a physical deterioration of the brain, not treatable with the usual psychiatric drugs or talk sessions.

Good luck!



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