To those of you caring for a loved one with dementia:
How do you deal with anxiety, agitation, hyperactivity? My husband has also begun having nocturnal tonic-clonic seizures, which scare me and too often I stay awake most of the night, trying to place him in positions that will free his breathing, to avoid seizures. He has become very sensitive to medications, and, it seems that if there is a bad side effect, he will have one or more. A week ago, he was prescribed sertraline for the anxiety/agitation/hyperactivity. Everything seemed fine until the day before yesterday, when he started to seem very drowsy. He was more difficult to wake, needed more sleep, and even when I moved him at night, no matter how I placed him, his breathing was labored and he stopped breathing often. He has sleep apnea and uses a CPAP machine, but that doesn’t work well for a dementia patient who often gets up at night and forgets to put it back on when returning to bed, or forgets to take it off when getting up, and it all ends up on the floor in the middle of the night. Anyway, this morning he had two grand mal seizures in the early morning hours, two hours apart. That has never happened before. So, no more sertraline. He had recently been prescribed anti-seizure medication – levetiracetam, but I have not yet started him on it because it, too, can cause drowsiness and more confusion. He is still not back to his normal situation since the seizures this morning – more confusion and more hyperactive than ever. He will not sit still for more than a minute or two at a time – for several hours now.
Are any of you familiar with dementia patients with seizures? Medications?
I think that half of the problem is my own fear and anxiety. I try to stay positive, but it is becoming more and more difficult.