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Mom has dementia and is very anxious.
Lindasm1959 posted:
My mom has been living with Alzheimers for quite some time but the last few years she has become very anxious. As in can't sit still - breathing very hard - like crawling out of her skin. She states she does not hurt but the doctor says sometimes he thinks she will hyperventilate. It is so hard to see. It does not seem to bother her but yet. I don't even know if I am making sense. It is just so hard to see. When her meds are increased she can't hardly stay awake or even function. There must be something out there in the medical world that can help.
cjh1203 responded:
Hi, Linda.

I'm sorry it's taken so long for your to get a response. It's been very quiet here recently.

Do you notice that anything in particular triggers her anxiety, like having company, bathing, going shopping, etc.?

Here's an article from the Alzheimer's Association that might help. If you don't belong to an Alzheimer's support group, maybe you could consider joining one; I imagine anxiety is something other caregivers have experience with, and they can also be a great source of support and information in general.

There's an all-natural product called Rescue Remedy that a lot of people I know take for anxiety attacks; maybe it's something that could help your mother. It's extremely safe and apparently is helpful to people, including my mother and one of my best friends. (I actually give it to my dogs to help calm them during thunderstorms.) It might be worth a try.

I hope this is helpful, and that you'll continue to post and let us know how you and your mother are doing.

Best wishes.

Lindasm1959 replied to cjh1203's response:
thank you - I will mention this to the doctor.
Judith L London, PhD responded:
Hi Lindasm,

Hope your Mom is better now. Whenever there is a change of behavior, a medical check for something like a bladder infection should be ruled out. In my experience, the physical status should always be checked first.

If she is medically OK, then following the lead of identifying the who, what when and where of the increase of anxiety helps to determine the pattern and the triggers. Then, steps to anticipate the situation and avoid the triggers helps alleviate the symptoms. If it occurs in the late afternoon, she may be 'sundowning'.

Anxiety can be treated with certain anti-depressants which may have fewer side effects such as sleepiness so check this out with her physician. Also, she may be having a new sensitivity to the current medications she takes.

Keep up the good work,
Lindasm1959 replied to Judith L London, PhD's response:
Thank you so much for the comments. We will try all of the above. I know that we watch pretty closely the bladder infection - UTI. She is most definitely more anxious in the afternoons. I got a i love you too yesterday - made my day. I will cherish those times forever. Thank you again so much.
2010guardian replied to Lindasm1959's response:
Hi Lindasm,

My husband is in the moderate stage of AD, and he has been doing fantastic on Aricept and Namenda until 3 nights ago when he woke up several times between midnight and 5 am. Of course, the next day he was dragging. His blood sugar was high. Again, 2 nights ago he had the same problem only he was up at 4 am. About 7:30 am, I found that he was very anxious and couldn't sit still. The doctor said when sleep is deprived, the brain goes crazy. I asked for something for his nerves and Dr. said, "No" he needs sleep and prescribed Hydroxyzine HCL, 10 mg. to be taken with his one melatonin 3 mg. He slept all night, got up once. This morning his blood pressure and sugar was normal. He became drowsy about 10:00 am, but not drugged. It is an anahistamine. Benedryl drugged him so he couldn't get up.

It may be your mother is not sleeping well, anyway, it's worth talking to the doctor about.

Lindasm1959 replied to 2010guardian's response:
Thanks Kathy, I know the nurses and aides always say that she sleeps well and as soon as she lays down the anxiety goes away and she breathes normal. I will put you and yours on my prayer list - Alzheimers is so hard to watch happen. Blessings to you.. I sure will mention this to the doctor though.

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