Our expert says:
Some meds, including those for bipolar disorder, need to be used cautiously if at all in elderly patients, let alone those with dementia, as they can add to their degree of confusion. I don't see how the fancy and rare diagnosis he suggests is of any real help.
I have been through an experience very like what you describe. You will ned a good local psychiatrist with whom to discuss the situation, and who can assess your mom, and/or a GP or general physician with an interest in geriatrics. Though it is to some extent controversial, I found extraordinarily good results with the use of Risperdal / Risperidone ( I think there may now be a generic version available ) which comes in small tablets and also in an oral solution, whih the person can take in coffee or other drinks, but never in tea ( which nesses up the chemical ). The controversial element is that there is some evidence of a possibly increased risk of stroke or heart attack in elderly people taking this medicine long-term. But as in such severely demented people life without such meds is hell, for themselves and others, the risk is, I believe, often worth it. In my mother's case, I wish we had started the drug earlier, and pleased we didn't wait too long.
When we started, she could be confused, aggressive and very miserable, and after a modest or even low dose in her coffee, literally 10 minutes later she would return to a state very close to herself. the grand lady she was, re-emerged from the clouds of confusion. Taken 2 or 3 times a day, she maintained an excellent state for a long time. And very early on, she was willing to take the med even if she might not fully have understod my reasoning for recommending it --- soon after her first dose, she was able to understand the explanation well enough to agree and later would even at times ask for it if she was starting to feel ragged again. I have no doubt at all that the medicine brought her more peace and contentment if not always happiness, in her last years than anything else.
Discuss this possibility with your doctor, and see if it might be worth trying.
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