I would like to hear more about dementia patients & how families deal with this. Example: my mother lives in an Adult Family Home. She is wheelchair bound due to numerous fractures & severe osteoporosis & arthritis. Her short term memory is almost non-existent. Mom has her good days & her bad days. When I visit & she is having a bad day, she is depressed, and won’t talk much. She doesn’t believe anything you tell her, complaining about everything from the food to the other residents & on & on. My mom is on an antidepressant. She has gained about 15 lbs in the 9 months she has been there & caregivers tell me she eats well.
This is the dilemma – how do I handle visits when she is like this? I visit about 1x a week. My sister, who lives farther away, visits about once a month. Mom says my sister has never been to see her. I don’t argue with my Mom, but visiting is so frustrating.
Can anyone tell me how they cope??? Need some help dealing with Mom. Nancy
I was watching my local evening news tonight, while eating dinner, when they aired an alarming story in regard to “Baby Boomers”. While alcohol is the most popular addiction for our age group, prescription drug dependence has spiked dramatically: The older we get, the easier it becomes to get a doctor to prescribe medication for aches and pains. With retirement, there are fewer consequences to suffer, as there is not a workplace to hold one accountable for being under the influence. According to the newscast, “Experts predict the number of 50-plus addicts could double in the next eight years.”
My mom is in her 80’s and needs a pill to sleep and an anti-depressant to function. She was prescribed a pain pill when she fractured her rib, which has long since healed, but insists she still needs the pill for residual pain. Mom is definitely an addict and when I have brought up my concerns about this to her physician, he brushes it off.
When I spoke to a close relative about the situation, his response was “If she’s happy, why worry?” Do I need to? And what about the anti-depressant I take because my doctor prescribed it to help me deal with the constant stress of being a caregiver? WHO else out there can relate? Written by Claire in Seattle
I am a married empty nester. My parents are in their mid-80’s, living in a nearby retirement home. A few weeks ago, I received an agitated, early morning, call from my father that my mother was in agony, shaking and very confused. I rushed over to their apartment to find my mom shaking so hard that she couldn’t hold a drinking glass and complaining that she needed to urinate every ten minutes. We rushed her to the emergency room, where, after several tests, they found her sodium level to be dangerously low – almost at convulsion level. It took 9 days of hospitalization to bring it up to low normal levels, with rises and dips almost every day along the way. The cause could have been one of several things: her new anti-depressant is venlafaxine, which in rare cases can cause sodium loss; she and my father are careful to eat salt-free or low-salt foods as they have read many articles on the bad effects of salt on the elderly. My mom consumes very little salt; she is not much of a liquid drinker and dehydration could have played a role (coffee is not a hydrater!). I share this because I was told that dangerously low sodium (hyponatremia) can be fatal if not caught. Watch for headaches, confusion, weakness and/or tiredness. Your input?