Her decline is escalating and unfortunately, she’s getting more combative. I’ve noticed this on my visits as we interact with others in the community — at least she is usually kind to me. However, she now believes someone stole a card set she used to run bridge games and this is causing grief for everyone. She has always tended to perseverate on specific topics and this month, it’s the bridge card set. My mom turned over the set to a woman to run the games but doesn’t remember and/or doesn’t like it on any given day.
I was called by the head of the community and they asked to have a meeting with me. They took me through a litany of events and issues and are worried that they are going to be unable to care for my Mom. She is refusing to take the prescribed medication, which includes a change to give her Lorazepam daily. Before, it was used as needed to reset her anxiety, but her behavior now has moved the recommendation to a daily dose.
I ask for suggestions, my Mom can’t be the first resident they have faced they have trouble helping. The head of Assisted Living has decades of experience as well as do the collective experience of the other staffers at the meeting. They share the varied things they have done to try and help my Mom that have failed — many that worked for others. They have even tried a variety of new things given my Mom’s interests and mobility. The psychologist and the head of the dementia care unit have spent time with my Mom over the past few weeks and felt that unless she started taking the mood medication (Lorazepam), the community would be unable to help my Mom. The biggest difference with my Mom is her mobility.
If we can’t reset my Mom’s anxiety, and her behavior, they will put her on a 30-day discharge plan.
So here we are and the first step is getting my Mom to take her medication. I ask if they can just give her the 1 pill. It’s very small, she could easily take it and then they could reintroduce the vitamins and other medication that they believe are “essential.” My Mom has never liked taking pills and resents that the staff watch over her while she is presented with 7 pills in the morning. Most of them are vitamins. I requested that they minimize the number of pills my Mom was taking several months ago, but the doctor felt strongly we should not make a change. She recently just refused to take any pills.
As my Mom continues to decline, it’s still surprising how many things she can do. However, her disease is moving her into a very negative place and we are struggling with how to best help her manage within her community. Just when you think you have a handle on the situation, it shifts and challenges you in new ways. Confronted.
Please share your experience – positive or negative with different medications or a similar behavior.