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Overwhelmed, confused & need guidance
Hi BooBoo2 --
the doctor is correct , having your wife evaluated for medication changes at a geri psych unit at a hospital- which can take weeks -is the best way to get her as stable as possible. If your closest hospital doesn't have a geri psych unit you may have go to the closest and then after a screening they may transfer her to another hospital for geri-psych evaluation.
When she's at the hospital you may want to also suggest they check for a UTI with culture if positive .They can cause behavior changes/
Sorry you're having to go through this.
The doctor is right about going thru the ER. Trying to get appointments can take months...it took 6 months to get my Dad's first appointment and he lived in a very large city with lots of doctors.
Wishing you better days.
Hi- suggest you look in the spouses and partners forum and read M1 and farther back Lady Texan's posts about their ER - to - geri psych treatment. Experiences vary. But ER is the fastest way most complete way to get a through eval and hopefully treatment to help manage behaviors for a return home or successful placement. Others have kindly shared their spouses ER stories in that Forum too.
Depending on the medical staff on hand and quality of the social worker assigned they may push for you to take your wife home before she has truly reached her best functional status. Until she gets there, it's not safe for either of you, and if that means she'll get placed for a while in memory care until things shake out - that's the best since you need a calm workplace to keep your world financially afloat.
Hi BooBoo. Yes, i have walked this road as have many others here. I would ask your wife's doctor what geriatric psychiatric units are in your area and have her taken to the emergency room at that hospital. You tell them what has been going on and that you cannot manage at home. Be specific about threats and hallucinations. They will admit her, do a medical evaluation, and try to get her on a medication regimen that will help. This can take 2-4 weeks to accomplish and stabilize. Then the social workers at the hospital can help you with next steps, about whether she can come back home or needs memory care.
It is not easy, and my hospital experience was actually very difficult for complicated reasons . but it sounds like you both need it at this point, she's unmanageable for you in the current circumstances. Fingers crossed for you.
Nutty there are indeed medications that can absolutely assist with quelling the hallucinations. I am assuming that the doctor seeing your mother is not a dementia specialist.
It may be helpful to get an appointment with a specialist in dementia who can be very manage in bringing relief to your mother who is suffering.
As for my own LO when the dementia behaviors were over the moon; inpatient psych care was necessary. The dementia specialist spoke with a Geriatric Psych Unit Psychiatrist and she was taken to an emergency room in a med center that had a GeriPsych Unit.. The ER doc knew up front what it was for and the care assessment was put into place.
An RN from the GeroPsych Unit came down to the ER; she looked like any other nurse in the ER. She assessed my mother asking questions and then approved her as appropriate for GeroPsych admission. NOTE: The patient must fit criteria for psych admission.
You would be best served by finding out which med centers near you have such a GeroPsych Unit and go to the ER there if things become worse and go over the top; be very clear and specific about the behaviors and needs and do not get caught up in a myriad of details. She is consistently hallucinating, you are unable to manage her care at the level it has become because the behaviors have taken over and she is not sleeping well, perhaps not eating well, has hidden knives and is often very much agitated, etc. etc.. You MUST give enough crucial information for her to fit criteria to be approved for Geriatric Psych care, so do give them that information if such an approach becomes necessary. Communications are everything.
However; from what you describe, it may well be that she can be helped while at home simply by adjustment of medications preferably being prescribed by a dementia specialist. As said, there are meds that help to extinguish hallucinations and delusions (rigid false beliefs.)
Sending best wishes; let us know how it goes,
Hi. I hope you are doing better as I write this post. I am a caregiver to both of my parents, both of who have Alzheimer's. Everyone is correct. Have the paramedics come. You can't do this alone. I am not sure where you live but in MN we have a connection to help you find a better place for your DW called 'A Place for Mom.' You can look it up on line by typing this in. My Dad has had two extremely aggressive bouts with his Alzheimer's and taking him to the hospital where he could be admitted to help regulate medication has been very successful. It is painful but trust me, you are doing the best thing for you and your DW to keep both of you safe.
They will admit your wife into the ER. They will evaluate her and start looking for mental health geriatric wards where they can look for infections and start her on medication. Again, it is hard on you and you are not alone. In most cases, you will be able to visit her.
Best wishes during this tough time.
A little warning re the nation wide placement business, "A Place For Mom," and like businesses. My personal experience was negative and other Members here have also shared similar experiences. With my experience, at first, it was just a bit confusing considering the placement information we got; but as I did my research, (from experiencing the results of their referrals), it became clear.
The business states they are "free," but in actuality they are earning a substantial fee IF a person places a Loved One in a facility on the provided referral businesses facility list; the advisor who is the contact person working with a family for placement also receives a good fee for their success in placement in a contracted facility. The more expensive the monthly fee at a care facility, the higher the fee paid to the referral business. This type of service will provide referral information regarding care facilities only to those facilities that are contracted with them. One does not get information referral for facilities that are not contracted with them to pay a fee for placement.
I found most highly regarded facilities in our area were not on the list including two stellar facilities that I was aware of. NOTE: Many care facilities do well with their business and have no need to use such a contracting business entity and pay a hefty fee to help them get patients for their beds. In some instances, facilities on the list we were given were "iffy" and some were downright negative. It was horribly disappointing and worse re the referrals we were given; what a surprise that was after the placement business had touted their services and promised so much; this outcome led to my doing some research and discovering the why's of the dynamics we had experienced. I did much better doing the placement search myself which is not all that hard especially if one can use a computer.
If one needs a Medicaid contracted facility, using Medicaid coverage, that is not conducive to this type business as the fees are not going to be highly lucrative as private pay placement will be. If the family can pay privately for a period of time first, then the monetary reward will be higher for the placement business; however; this can cause various difficulties for some families.
Advertising is slick and rather seductive regarding such services and advertising is important to them to attract the families and all that entails.
Just a heads up and a caveat emptor,