Share this:
clayton48
@clayton48

Posts: 11
Joined: May 25, 2016

Husband with early Alzheimers -question

Posted by @clayton48, May 25, 2016

My husband is 68 and was diagnosised with alzheimers two years ago, he has done very well and is currently on both donepezil and Namenda. He has complained recently of more anxiety and frustration. He is very alert in the morning but struggles as the day goes. If I ask his doctor to increase his medications would that help with his anxiety and frustration? He says he feels “on the edge” a lot. He is a very low key, quiet man. Any suggestions?

REPLY

Welcome to Connect @clayton48. What a great question!
I found this article about agitation and anxiety from Alzheimer’s Association. It simply outlines possible causes, tips to prevent agitation and how to respond
https://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-agitation-anxiety.asp

I’m also tagging fellow Connect members to join this discussion thread and share their experiences with Alzheimer’s and anxeity. @salena54 @19lin @caregiver49 @mmurray22dad @denver90 @nhunter1217 do you have any thoughts or tips for Clayton?

Clayton – do you or your husband notice any triggers (time of day, lighting, medications, food, sleep, etc.) that might lead to the “on edge” feeling?

@colleenyoung

Welcome to Connect @clayton48. What a great question!
I found this article about agitation and anxiety from Alzheimer’s Association. It simply outlines possible causes, tips to prevent agitation and how to respond
https://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-agitation-anxiety.asp

I’m also tagging fellow Connect members to join this discussion thread and share their experiences with Alzheimer’s and anxeity. @salena54 @19lin @caregiver49 @mmurray22dad @denver90 @nhunter1217 do you have any thoughts or tips for Clayton?

Clayton – do you or your husband notice any triggers (time of day, lighting, medications, food, sleep, etc.) that might lead to the “on edge” feeling?

Jump to this post

THank you Colleen, the article is very helpful. I feel very lost most of the time, but I’m sure that is normal. I found this site this morning so I’m hopeful that it will help me understand it better and in turn help him cope better. THank you, Carolyn Apt

Hi – I cared for my dad with Alzheimers. I will say that I noticed when he started taking Namenda it made him very anxious and frustrated, so they lowered his dosage. He was the same as your husband very low key and quiet, so the change was very noticeable. You are awesome to notate these things and be his advocate with the doctors. The medications will be a key factor in his care.

@shellsk24

Hi – I cared for my dad with Alzheimers. I will say that I noticed when he started taking Namenda it made him very anxious and frustrated, so they lowered his dosage. He was the same as your husband very low key and quiet, so the change was very noticeable. You are awesome to notate these things and be his advocate with the doctors. The medications will be a key factor in his care.

Jump to this post

Thank you for the information, I appreciate the input. I put my faith in the Lord, and feel blessed that he still doing well. It scares me when I see noticeable changes. It is good to have other input.

@clayton48 we brought your questions to a pharmacist here at Mayo Clinic. She writes:

“Treating Alzheimer’s Disease can be difficult as some of the side effects of medications may be difficult to distinguish from signs and symptoms of the disease. Both donepezil and Namenda may cause anxiety, nervousness, aggression, confusion and fatigue. Depending on what his current dose is, and if the provider thinks these symptoms are from the disease rather than the medication, there may or may not be room to increase it. There may also be other medications to treat the new symptoms he is noticing. It is a good idea to keep an open line of communication with his provider regarding these changes and never hurts to talk about adjusting medication doses. Often times we see dose adjustments and medication changes in patients with Alzheimer’s disease as their symptoms change. You are asking great questions, and I’m glad to hear he is still doing well. It can also be exhausting to be the caregiver, so remember to take care of yourself, too! Best wishes.”

@shellsk24 this is definitely in line with the experience you had with your father too, isn’t it?

@colleenyoung

Welcome to Connect @clayton48. What a great question!
I found this article about agitation and anxiety from Alzheimer’s Association. It simply outlines possible causes, tips to prevent agitation and how to respond
https://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-agitation-anxiety.asp

I’m also tagging fellow Connect members to join this discussion thread and share their experiences with Alzheimer’s and anxeity. @salena54 @19lin @caregiver49 @mmurray22dad @denver90 @nhunter1217 do you have any thoughts or tips for Clayton?

Clayton – do you or your husband notice any triggers (time of day, lighting, medications, food, sleep, etc.) that might lead to the “on edge” feeling?

Jump to this post

My wife takes the medications you mention plus the Rivastigmine patch. Her outward symptoms vary from day to day even hour to hour so when restlessness or nervousness seems apparent I chalk it up to the emotional roller coaster ride that must be her life. I try to keep her day to day activities those she feels most comfortable with and in an environment she is very familiar with.

Welcome to our burgeoning Alzheimer’s group @saltyfrog. What are some of the activities that comfort or relax your wife the most?

@clayton48, what about your husband? What do you like to do together to help lessen the anxious moments?

@colleenyoung

Welcome to our burgeoning Alzheimer’s group @saltyfrog. What are some of the activities that comfort or relax your wife the most?

@clayton48, what about your husband? What do you like to do together to help lessen the anxious moments?

Jump to this post

My wife was an artist (oils, water colors and sculpting) and enjoyed crocheting and making quilts from her own patterns. She has given up all those activities out of frustration. It’s difficult for her to follow story lines thus t.v. doesn’t hold her attention long. Always a fan of crosswords, she will still attempt one every day. She is most comfortable being on Facebook, playing internet solitaire and playing a game called Shisen which we have downloaded on the computer. Visiting with her grand and great grandchildren makes her happy for a while.

@colleenyoung

Welcome to Connect @clayton48. What a great question!
I found this article about agitation and anxiety from Alzheimer’s Association. It simply outlines possible causes, tips to prevent agitation and how to respond
https://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-agitation-anxiety.asp

I’m also tagging fellow Connect members to join this discussion thread and share their experiences with Alzheimer’s and anxeity. @salena54 @19lin @caregiver49 @mmurray22dad @denver90 @nhunter1217 do you have any thoughts or tips for Clayton?

Clayton – do you or your husband notice any triggers (time of day, lighting, medications, food, sleep, etc.) that might lead to the “on edge” feeling?

Jump to this post

You are a wonderful caregiver. I trust you and every caregiver out there
has a group of similar persons to share with. I sometimes go and sit with
a dementia person in our church so his wife can spend a day with her senior
caregivers group. Persons helping persons is what makes our community
strong and resilient. Blessings to all caregivers!

Hi @clayton48@colleenyoung already linked to the Alzheimer’s Association and I wanted to mention that many local chapter offer support service for folks in the early stages that might be helpful to look into to support your husband. Also, Alzheimer’s is a difficult diagnosis to deal with and tending to your own wellbeing as a caregiver is so important. The Alzheimer Association has lots of support resources for caregivers (http://www.alz.org/apps/we_can_help/support_groups.asp) and you might also check out the information Mayo Clinic has on Alzheimer’s caregiving: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/caregivers/in-depth/alzheimers-caregiver/art-20045847

This resource from NIH also has many links to support: http://nihseniorhealth.gov/alzheimerscare/caregiversupport/01.html

Take care.

-Melody

Liked by shellsk24

clayton48: My Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s as was one of his sisters and one brother. I took care of my Dad as best as I could which was mostly to keep him out of a nursing home, which was his one request of me when he was getting sick. I do not remember any medicine he took as this was in 1992. His health was always good, but he developed a heart problem and died in only a few years. I think he preferred this. His sister was in a nursing home for close to 10 years before she died. I also hate any thought of going to a nursing home as that is just not part of my personality. Others I know of are willing to do it when it becomes necessary. I hope God will spare me this final ordeal. Sorry I have no good advise except be sure to get rest yourself and use what ever family and community support you can so that you are not always busy with him as you have to take care of yourself so that you can be their for him as well as others. Good luck, 19lin

@colleenyoung

@clayton48 we brought your questions to a pharmacist here at Mayo Clinic. She writes:

“Treating Alzheimer’s Disease can be difficult as some of the side effects of medications may be difficult to distinguish from signs and symptoms of the disease. Both donepezil and Namenda may cause anxiety, nervousness, aggression, confusion and fatigue. Depending on what his current dose is, and if the provider thinks these symptoms are from the disease rather than the medication, there may or may not be room to increase it. There may also be other medications to treat the new symptoms he is noticing. It is a good idea to keep an open line of communication with his provider regarding these changes and never hurts to talk about adjusting medication doses. Often times we see dose adjustments and medication changes in patients with Alzheimer’s disease as their symptoms change. You are asking great questions, and I’m glad to hear he is still doing well. It can also be exhausting to be the caregiver, so remember to take care of yourself, too! Best wishes.”

@shellsk24 this is definitely in line with the experience you had with your father too, isn’t it?

Jump to this post

Yes absolutely @colleenyoung I agree it is VERY crucial to communicate any medication reactions, big or small and any changes in behaviors to the doctors. Things can change so fast sometimes with Alz and it just helps so much to stay on top of it – as detailed, tedious and emotional as some things become, you definitely have to remember to care for yourself too @clayton48 ! 🙂

Hi @saltyfrog and @clayton48, we haven’t heard from you in a while, so I wanted to take a minute to check in.

@saltyfrog How are you and your wife doing? Are you having more visits with the grandchildren now that school is out?

@clayton48 How are you and your husband doing? Did his doctor make any adjustments to his medication? How is the “on edge” feeling?
I really hope to hear from both of you.

@shellsk24

Hi – I cared for my dad with Alzheimers. I will say that I noticed when he started taking Namenda it made him very anxious and frustrated, so they lowered his dosage. He was the same as your husband very low key and quiet, so the change was very noticeable. You are awesome to notate these things and be his advocate with the doctors. The medications will be a key factor in his care.

Jump to this post

I’m curious about the medicine Namenda ; my Neurologist told us ( my wife is in early stages of Alzheimers) that the medicines being promoted for this disease provide little help . Did you find the Meds helped ? Is it hard to tell ?

@shellsk24

Hi – I cared for my dad with Alzheimers. I will say that I noticed when he started taking Namenda it made him very anxious and frustrated, so they lowered his dosage. He was the same as your husband very low key and quiet, so the change was very noticeable. You are awesome to notate these things and be his advocate with the doctors. The medications will be a key factor in his care.

Jump to this post

Welcome to Connect @jhammer
@clayton48 @shellsk24, what can you tell JHammer about your experience with Namenda?

JHammer, we look forward to getting to know a bit more about you and your wife. What are some of the activities that comfort or relax your wife the most?

Please login or register to post a reply.