Dementia - Drugs to Ease Anxiety

Posted by grecarmar @grecarmar, Apr 22, 2019

My parents entered assisted living a couple of weeks ago. My mom has a lot of paranoid delusions and hallucinations and will be switched to memory care when they have an opening. In the meantime, it’s pretty tough on my dad because my mom accuses him of all sorts of things that are not true (chasing women, getting drunk, spending all her money – all of these are the exact opposite of reality). This has been going on for the last six months.

They given my mom some type of medication that helps her sleep through the night (she was wandering the halls at night and causing problems). I guess I’m wondering if there are any medications to help ease her anxieties and delusions/hallucinations? I know that with the current opioid crisis, there’s been a push to reduce over-medication, but I hate to see my mom suffer needlessly if there’s something out there that will help.

Hi @grecarmar, you'll notice that I moved your message to the Caregivers group (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/caregivers/). I did this so that you can meet other people caring for someone with dementia, like @corinneh @alanm @IndianaScott @harriethodgson and @rmftucker. As you and your father adjust to the changing care needs for your mom, I thought you might appreciate connecting with members in these related discussions:

– Memory care https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/memory-care-1/
– When the Caregiver Needs Care https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/when-the-caregiver-needs-care/
– Caring for someone with dementia / Alzheimer's https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/caregiving-for-dementia-sufferers/
– Caring for Two https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/caring-for-two/

But back to your question. You bring up a great question about easing you mom's anxiety and if there are any medication that help with delusions and hallucinations. I hope members will share their knowledge and experience.
Will your father move into the memory care unit with your mom? How is he holding up?

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Hello @grecarmar I am Scott or IndianaScott as @colleenyoung pointed out. I am sorry to read of your mother's health journey. My MIL had dementia for many years. My wife also fought brain cancer for over 14 years during which she exhibited many symptoms of dementia during her journey.

I dealt with my wife having halluctinations as well as being the recipient of untrue imaginations by both these people. I wish I had a suggestion of a medication that made these aspects of disease go away, but at least in our cases there was none. I can say these phases lasted varying times and their durations changed and eventually did go away and morph into other symptoms.

In my wife's case her anxiety was sky high for all the years she fought her war and it was only at the very end that the doctors came up with a medicinal cocktail of some 8 or so drugs that cut into her anxiety. We never experienced any trouble with my wife being prescribed the medications she needed due to the opioid crisis since her doctors all understood her condition and that her needs were based on her chronic and incurable disease.

I wish you all the best and do hope the facility your folks are at has an opening in their memory unit. I know in the case of an aunt with alzheimers it was a very good solution for her and my uncle.

Did the facitity give you any idea of how long it might be for your mom to get into memory care?

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Yes, there are medications that help to control the hallucinations and delusions. My husband also had them. Contact a psychiatrist for help.

Liked by grecarmar

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Hi @grecarmar, you'll notice that I moved your message to the Caregivers group (https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/caregivers/). I did this so that you can meet other people caring for someone with dementia, like @corinneh @alanm @IndianaScott @harriethodgson and @rmftucker. As you and your father adjust to the changing care needs for your mom, I thought you might appreciate connecting with members in these related discussions:

– Memory care https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/memory-care-1/
– When the Caregiver Needs Care https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/when-the-caregiver-needs-care/
– Caring for someone with dementia / Alzheimer's https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/caregiving-for-dementia-sufferers/
– Caring for Two https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/caring-for-two/

But back to your question. You bring up a great question about easing you mom's anxiety and if there are any medication that help with delusions and hallucinations. I hope members will share their knowledge and experience.
Will your father move into the memory care unit with your mom? How is he holding up?

Jump to this post

I'm going to leave it up to my dad to decide if he wants to move into memory care with my mom. Actually, it might be necessary, because he wandered off a couple of weeks ago (before entering assisted living) and was picked up by the police. They labeled him "a vulnerable adult" and said my mom and dad need 24 hour supervision. It was quite a surprise, because up until three weeks ago my dad had shown no signs of memory loss and we thought he was capable of caring for our mom. Now he's forgetting my name, where I live and work. With my mom it was a long journey to her current state.

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@IndianaScott

Hello @grecarmar I am Scott or IndianaScott as @colleenyoung pointed out. I am sorry to read of your mother's health journey. My MIL had dementia for many years. My wife also fought brain cancer for over 14 years during which she exhibited many symptoms of dementia during her journey.

I dealt with my wife having halluctinations as well as being the recipient of untrue imaginations by both these people. I wish I had a suggestion of a medication that made these aspects of disease go away, but at least in our cases there was none. I can say these phases lasted varying times and their durations changed and eventually did go away and morph into other symptoms.

In my wife's case her anxiety was sky high for all the years she fought her war and it was only at the very end that the doctors came up with a medicinal cocktail of some 8 or so drugs that cut into her anxiety. We never experienced any trouble with my wife being prescribed the medications she needed due to the opioid crisis since her doctors all understood her condition and that her needs were based on her chronic and incurable disease.

I wish you all the best and do hope the facility your folks are at has an opening in their memory unit. I know in the case of an aunt with alzheimers it was a very good solution for her and my uncle.

Did the facitity give you any idea of how long it might be for your mom to get into memory care?

Jump to this post

No, they have no way of knowing when they'll have an opening. Could be in a couple of weeks or a few months. They thought they could handle it on the assisted living side until something opened up. I suspect they got a bit more than the bargained for, but they've been very understanding and this is the place my dad wants to be. The staff has been great, so I hope this place works out.

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@grecarmar

No, they have no way of knowing when they'll have an opening. Could be in a couple of weeks or a few months. They thought they could handle it on the assisted living side until something opened up. I suspect they got a bit more than the bargained for, but they've been very understanding and this is the place my dad wants to be. The staff has been great, so I hope this place works out.

Jump to this post

I was notified today that they now have an opening in memory care. I'll be talking with my dad tomorrow to see if he wants to stay in assisted living, or join my mom in memory care. I think it's best if they separate, but in the end I'll let my dad decide.

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Great news!

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