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From bad to worse
Posted: Friday, January 13, 2012 6:45 AM
Joined: 12/19/2011
Posts: 43

Will it ever get better?? I had to call Vitas Hospice again last night. I took MIL to the bathroom before dinner and she slapped me in the face. We had changed her Xanax from 1 mg three times a day to one .5 mg and two 1 mg. The nurse said that isn't working that she needs to be on the 1 mg every 6 hrs, around the clock, even midnight. With that dose she can't walk, very weak in the knees, or sleeping. 

Yesterday, I got a letter from an atty. The stupid little girl that backed into me Valentines 2011 is suing me for $1086, the cost it took her to fix her car. I don't see how it cost her that much as she only had a broken tail light and a small scratch on her bumper when she dented the side of my truck from the wheel well to the bumper and the cost to fix that wasn't anywhere near $1000. And both my insurance and the place her insurance sent me too said that she was the one at fault by the way the damage is on my truck. But I didn't sue her for it now did I? I have to call him today and see what the heck is going on.

I just want to go hide under a rock.

Posted: Friday, January 13, 2012 8:48 AM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 18733

This is what you pay your insurance co. for.  If the young lady has insurance she was paid by them and your insurance co. paid you. 


I can not imagine what she is trying to do. At best is sound like double dipping.

Posted: Friday, January 13, 2012 9:46 AM
Joined: 12/17/2011
Posts: 108

Oh, I would hate to see your MIL so loopy and sleepy ... seems like jumping to a much higher dose ... why not slowly add until behavior is manageable?  Have they tried anything else?  What does the doc or neuro say? ... Betty
Stephanie Z
Posted: Friday, January 13, 2012 4:20 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4218

lost4now It's important for you to know that the way you communicate with your MIL can affect the response you get from her. Sometimes, without realizing it, caregivers broadcast their emotions and anxieties through their body language. Believe it or not, the person with dementia will pick up on the body language a lot more than the actual words spoken.

     It probably would help for you to read some articles on communicating with someone who has dementia but here are a few quick points:

Consider that the person with dementia is also elderly and may have visual or hearing defecits.

Face the person in such a way that the light is on your face. Get at eye level (standing over someone can be threatening) before you talk about toileting or anything else, take a few minutes to talk gently about something non threatening. Give the person time to  build a little trust in you.

Speak clearly in short, simple sentences.

If it's obvious that the person is in a bad mood, either approach at a different time, or give them some type of treat they will like. The idea is to put them in a better mood.

Never argue with or say no to a person with dementia. They do not have the capacity to see two sides of an argument. This will only frustrate or frighten them.

When the person starts to get upset, change the subject. Distract them and re- approach later on.

You well may be doing all of this, I don't know, but if not, give it a try, it might help.


Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 12:55 AM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 2431

What Stephanie says is worth trying, for sure.


i realized I was calmer today when dealing with my mom.  Things didn't start out that way.  I was on edge for different reasons.  Then I happened to go talk to someone in the building who works there, and felt calmer as the conversation went along.  I'm not even sure what happened, but maybe it was that I needed to say to someone the things i'd like to say to my mom.


Then my mom was calmer.  I also had a plan, which helped, and determined to eat earlier.  It's so hard, at times, it seems like everything else is control and not you.



Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 1:20 PM
Joined: 12/29/2011
Posts: 21

Lost4now, just wanted to say the suggestions above are so right on target.  Since 2006 I have researched and gathered as much information as possible, in an attempt to make life easier for Mother (ALZ), me, family and caregivers.  Some materials I have found helpfull are "Talking to Alzheimers: Simple ways to Connect" by Claudia Strauss, "Learning to Speak Alzheimers, by Joanne Koenig Coste.


You must make instructions simple, speak firmly and loud enough (not shout) for the person to know what was said.  We have one caregiver who was reaching burnout I suggested she cut back hours, she agreeded and I am hoping her attitude for the shorter period of time is better. 

Posted: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 7:51 AM
Joined: 12/19/2011
Posts: 43

I know all these things. I have been doing them to two years now. It is the same routine all day, day in and day out. She gets verbal with my kids and has raised her hand to them a time or two but has never hit them. Since we have increased the Xanax, she has been calmer. Still has an attitude with me when I try to take her bath robe off to use the bathroom, 'don't do that!!' she says. She wants to just sit on the toilet with her pull ups and everything on. She is just progressing into another stage. 

The Vitas nurse is coming today and we are going to talk about getting her a hospital bed. She has fallen 3 more times in the past four days. Getting up in the middle of the night and walking around her room and falling. So far, no injuries.