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So scared for LO sent to Geriatric Psych
Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 6:26 PM
Joined: 11/6/2019
Posts: 4

Today I tried admitting my LO with Dementia into a MC and she went into a fit and would not stop exit seeking so the MC sent her to the ER requesting admittance in a Geriatric Psych Unit and I am so scared for what she is going through!  My siblings are fighting and things are very difficult between us so I cannot lean on them to share our terrifying emotions.  My LO kept saying "I didn't do anything wrong to deserve this"
Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 7:55 PM
Joined: 10/24/2018
Posts: 970

Teenbest, I am sorry you have this anxiety to bear. I do know how it feels to have a family member in a psych ward and it's nerve-wracking. You did not do a terrible thing to her, but it's easy to see why we might say that in the same situation. Like a lab mouse  strange hand swoops them up and puts them in a maze with no food. Only much much worse feeling.

Now about this MC. I have no idea about best practises, but there are folks at my Mom's place who do nothing but exit-seek. Carers use whatever they've learned works for him/her. Not sure what you should do about it. 

Others more experienced than I will be along shortly with support and ideas. 

MN Chickadee
Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 8:41 PM
Joined: 9/7/2014
Posts: 1003

Hello teenbest. Can you tell us more about your LO's behavior at the memory care place. Exit seeking is extremely common, especially during adjustment, so I'm just wondering if there is more to the story, or if the MC is being unreasonable. My mom paced and seeked exit for days after her move. You use the word "fit." Was she combative? Do you have any other details that led to them wanting to send her to the ER? I know how hard it is to have a LO in memory care let alone a psych unit. It's a great burden. I hope we can help alleviate some of your stress.
Posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 9:47 PM
Joined: 4/1/2014
Posts: 5051

I'm sorry your mother had been admitted to geriatric psych hospital but these people are trained and will likely help your mother tremendously by trying medication and seeing is any will help her. Our loved ones often have difficulty adjusting to new situations that must be made to keep them safe and the meds will calm them and help their moods, impulse control and anxiety. Remember, this is a hospital-not a long term mental ward she is at. Visit her, make her feel loved and tell her she is in only temporarily in a hospital to adjust medications that will help her feel better. Make sure she doesn't feel abandoned and that you love her. Good luck!
Posted: Thursday, November 7, 2019 6:33 AM
Joined: 11/6/2019
Posts: 4

She was combative in that she was trying frantically to open the door and unfortunate she threatened suicide. She later told ER she was just saying that to try to get out of the MC

She was having a good day until then and that is what I struggle with. 

Posted: Thursday, November 7, 2019 7:32 AM
Joined: 6/24/2012
Posts: 517

So sorry that you are going through this.  But a geri psych unit is a good place for her right now.  They will be able to adjust her meds and give her lots of attention round the clock and hopefully she will be able to go back to the MC unit.  My suggestion is to send her back via ambulance and not have you pick her up to take her.  I did this with my mom and would do it again in a heartbeat.  I did not visit during mom's time in geri psych because she would have been triggered to try to leave and it would have compromised her progress there.  All of this is excruciating and I lost many nights' sleep over it all.  But now she is getting the care that she needed and I have realized that I can't fix this.  

And yes, she tries to leave or convince me to take her out all the time.  The staff in MC are used to this and are trained to handle it.  I don't visit often so she does not get triggered to want to leave as often.  Fortunately mom can afford for me to have her private companion visit every day to check in with her and take her to activities, make sure she eats, etc.   Two hours a day and worth every penny.  Hope this helps.   

Jo C.
Posted: Thursday, November 7, 2019 8:45 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 10735

Hello and a warm welcome to you.   This occurrence was so unexpected, that I can understand the shock of it all.   Most of such admissions are usually only for 72 hours unless something untoward is found that needs to be managed.

The input from other Members is right; your mother is in a safe place, and will get a 24 hour round the clock assessment and adjustment of medications should that be needed.   Visiting hours in GeriPsych are limited so as not to interfere with the care process, that is often upsetting to family.

You can call and ask to be transferred to the Psychiatric Social Worker who will be in charge of discharge planning and who can interact regarding your mother's care.  HOWEVER: do know that confidentiality laws are very, very strict. If someone has Power of Attorney this can help in getting information.  Other times, information is more freely given depending on the circumstances.  In any case, that Social Worker will be key in planning.   You will also want to check and see if the facility she was to be admitted to will take her back.  I would check that immediately.

I am sorry for the family dynamics but know that you are not alone in this sort of matter; many here are dealing with similar situations.  It happens. 

If you need to talk to someone for support, information or even helping with problem solving, a great place to be heard and obtain support is the 24 hour Alzheimer's Assn. Helpline at (800) 272-3900.

If you call, ask to be put in touch with a Care Consultant.  There are no fees for this service and Consultants are highly educated Social Workers who specialize in dementia and family dynamics.

Do let us know how you are and how things are going, I send best wishes your way.


Posted: Thursday, November 7, 2019 3:09 PM
Joined: 1/28/2013
Posts: 2645

Oh-oh.  Suicide is the one word they take exremely seriously.  You will be hospitslized regardless.  Which is going to lead to people who really mean to do such a thing keeping quiet about thrir plans.  However, psychiatry is about making people feel better and less distressed.  Perhaps a medication can be found to mske her feel more comfortable.
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