My mother-in-law has had PD for nine years and did relatively well until a year or so ago. She began having hallucinations (often violent) but was able to recognize that these were hallucinations. Her mobility began to decline until she began falling frequently. My father-in-law cared for her at home until two weeks ago. Because of her increasing confusion/hallucinations and her declining physical condition, he finally placed her in a memory care center in their town that had been highly recommended by a neighbor (whose own mother was there for a few years). My MIL talked calmly about
going to this facility. She did not seem afraid.
When we placed her two weeks ago, she could walk with someone at her side (she falls sideways continually). She was confused at times but lucid at others. She recognized all of us and could carry on a conversation, although it occasionally strayed into some imaginary story. She had approx. six episodes of incontinence in the previous year, but mostly could take care of her bodily functions without difficulty.
Since being placed in this "home", she has been started on Seroquel, Lexapro, and Ativan. She went from walking (and falling), to being placed in a Merry Walker (which she began to climb out of), to being placed in a wheelchair (which she flipped over), to now being tied into a regular recliner-type chair. At our visit yesterday, she did not recognize my husband (her son). She had continual hallucinations, mostly violent. She told stories that made no sense. She was incontinent and had to be changed.
I am an RN and felt fairly prepared for the change we might see over the next years. To see her yesterday, we were both shocked. She seems calm but totally unaware of what's going on around her. After talking with other caregivers of Alz and PD dementia patients, it sounds like Seroquel or Risperdal are commonly used. I'm wondering what the goal of these drugs is. Has anyone out there had a similar experience with the use of Seroquel? It was started her second day in the home, then Lexapro and Ativan a week later. I feel certain that her behavior change is a reaction to the medication. We are scheduled to have a family conference at the home on Friday. They have been very open to our questions but don't seem at all concerned about her behavior. We have tried to explain that this is a drastic behavior change for her, but they reassure us that she will adjust. Does anyone have any thoughts? We could really use some advice! Thank you. NJM