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new caregiver help
An_190779 posted:
I am new at caring for my 82 year old father-in-law who has advanced stage Alzheimer's. He is very agile and physically gets around well. I have noticed that there seems to be an activity thresh hold that we have to keep him under or he becomes unable to quiet down. Today we went out around noon, ate lunch with my sister-in-law, got the car inspected and did a few errands and every since we arrived home he can't seem to settle down.
He is just roaming and roaming around the house trying to get out the door and other busyness. Is this normal? I have noticed this a couple of times and each time has been when we have had a busy day (out and about).
Thanks for your input. The nurse gave us a bendryl type ointment to rub on his wrist but this does not seem to be phasing him.
cjh1203 responded:
I think that sort of agitation is pretty normal in Alzheimer's patients. Is there any way someone can stay home with him when you have a lot of errands to run? For instance, maybe just take him to lunch and then home, and have someone stay with him while you do the rest of your errands? We used to have to do that with my uncle.

Going to different places seems to be overwhelming for Alzheimer's patients, as well as scary. Your father-in-law may be able to handle one or two places at a time, but any more is probably just too much for him.

An article I read said that Benadryl ointment is not absorbed into the bloodstream, so it wouldn't help calm him down like oral Benadryl would.
mwdobrow replied to cjh1203's response:
Thanks for your reply. We will probably have to do just that. He gets very agitated and antsy if he does not go out but overly agitated (to the point he can't calm himslef down) when we do too much. Do you use oral Benedryl? Why would the nurse give us this if it does not work. The cream comes in a syringe so maybe it has other ingredients I do not know about (but will find out).
cjh1203 replied to mwdobrow's response:
When my uncle, who had Alzheimer's, was alive, his wife took him out to lunch every day, always to the same place. That seemed to be enough of an outing to satisfy him, and he looked forward to going because it was a familiar place and he knew everyone. Maybe doing something like that every day, and perhaps going for a walk, would be enough activity for him.

If the Benadryl is is a syringe, maybe it's not the regular topical Benadryl cream. I've never heard of Benadryl in a syringe, so it very well could be something different.

My uncle didn't take Benadryl, but it's an interesting idea -- I don't think anyone ever thought of it. He took a couple of medications that were meant to keep him calm. Sometimes they worked, and sometimes they didn't.
cjh1203 responded:
I'd forgotten about this, but there was a study that showed music could be effective in calming an agitated Alzheimer's patient. If you don't already play music for him, you might give it a try and see if it helps.

Also, some patients really like jigsaw puzzles. It seems to help them focus and keep them calm.
Byroney_WebMD_Staff replied to cjh1203's response:
Carol's right about the Art and Music Therapy for Alzheimer's. Here's a link to it.

Hope it helps,

Life isn't a matter of milestones but of moments. - Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

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