Ways To Get Someone With Dementia To Take Medication
1. Create a calm and quiet environmentWhen its time for medication, start with a calm environment.
Make sure there arent any loud sounds like TV or commotion like lots of people around. You could also try playing soft, soothing music.
Before you start, take some deep breaths and do your best to stay calm throughout the process.
If youre agitated, frustrated, or angry, its likely theyll be able to sense it and that can cause them to become agitated and less likely to cooperate.
2. Be alert to side effects or illness that make them feel sick or uncomfortableSomeone might refuse to take their medicine if it makes them feel sick, uncomfortable, or if they have an illness.
Many medications cause unpleasant side effects like nausea, stomach aches, agitation, or dizziness and your older adult might not be able to tell you that theres a problem.
If you suspect this could be the issue, speak to the doctor about how to improve the situation.
3. Eliminate medications or supplements that arent absolutely necessaryMany seniors take multiple medications. Sometimes doctors forget to review medications to see if theyre still needed.
The last thing you need is to try to get your older adult to take more pills than absolutely necessary.
Fewer pills = less hassle over taking medicine.
Best Anti Anxiety Medication For Elderly With Dementia
People with dementia can be upset or get anxious quite easily. It is also normal for people with such a condition to be rather restless and have issues sleeping. This is why you find them pacing up and down.
Anxiety is an issue that makes such elderly patients not be able to handle the daily routines and they can become very harmful to their loved ones or their caregivers. The best anti-anxiety medication for elderly with dementia should be administered to help them cope.
One of the greatest triggers of anxiety in such patients is change. It may be because the routine changes, or she /he is in new surroundings, or that he/she is surrounded by new faces.
It may also be because of fatigue or fear. Anxiety can also be because of infections or other underlying medical issues. If such a thing happens to a loved one and you are not able to point out the reason for the issue, you should seek help from a doctor to establish the real cause.
Use Pill Boxes And Medication Reminders For Dementia Patients
Theres a huge assortment of medication containers and medication reminders for dementia patients. First the medication reminders will help manage medication. The cheapest, a simple plastic pill boxes to super safe lockable medication reminders for dementia patients with alarms. The costs will vary widely. The old fashion 7 day medication organizer costs less than 5 dollars. The most expensive medication reminder will cost over 2000 thousand dollars. To sum up, its very important to do proper research. Finally, make certain you find the pill reminder that works for your particular needs..
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Known Risks Of Prescribing Drugs Not Approved For Dementia Treatment To Dementia Patients
None of the drug classes studied has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for use in dementia, and Maust says that evidence for their off-label use is slim.
But all of the drugs are associated with special risks to people in their 60s and older, including falls or dependence that could lead to withdrawal. Most are included on the list known as the Beers criteria, which identifies medications with extra risks for all older adults, not just those with dementia.
While there is limited evidence that antidepressants help people with dementia, Maust notes that someone who had depression before they developed dementia might benefit from staying on a drug that worked for them in the past.
And while there is little evidence of benefit, all these medications have side effects. For example, some people starting a new antidepressant can experience nausea or feel a little jittery. Unfortunately, a person with dementia might have difficulty articulating such side effects to the loved one who takes care of them. Instead, they may appear more agitated leading to another prescription medication to calm them.
While the current study doesnt look at polypharmacy the use of multiple psychoactive drugs by the same patient Maust is exploring this issue further in the Medicare data.
Make Sure You Know When To Give The Medicine
Some medicines should be given with meals, while others should be given on an empty stomach. Some should be given in the morning, while others should given before bed. Some are taken once daily and some are taken several times each day. Be sure you know when each medicine should be given, and what it is used for.
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How To Deal With Dementia Behaviors
When your elderly loved one has not started taking anxiety medications, there are some tips that you can consider:
- Keep a journal: this will help you make an identification of the triggers of anxious and difficult behaviors. You should take the time to observe the patient. The journal can be very helpful, especially when medications have to be administered eventually. You can then note down the benefits and any side effects.
- De-escalate and redirect the behaviors: this is something that can be taught to you by the necessary bodies. There are many approaches that can be applied.
- Assess for constipation and pain: allow a doctor to handle this and then administer the best drugs for the issues especially in the elderly.
- Depression: it is important to find out whether your loved one is depressed.
- Consider drugs if the elderly person becomes very paranoid, aggressive or anxious. Also, consider drugs if the symptoms are causing them distress and making life difficult for caregivers.
- Talk about the risks associated with drugs with a doctor and discuss the same with close family members.
- Dont start with a high dose.
- Monitor the patients and increase doses slowly so as to find the minimum dose required to keep the patient manageable.
What Helps Calm Agitated Dementia Patients
TUESDAY, Oct. 15, 2019 — Dealing with the agitation, anxiety and aggression that often come with dementia is one of the most challenging aspects of caring for someone with this brain disorder. But new research suggests that massage and other non-drug treatments may be more effective than medications.
Even just taking people with dementia outdoors can help, said study author Dr. Jennifer Watt, a geriatrician and clinical scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital-Unity Health in Toronto.
“The bottom line from our study is that non-medication based therapy and multidimensional care seem to be better than medications for treating the symptoms of aggression and agitation in persons with dementia,” she said.
Dementia, a progressive loss of thinking and memory skills, affects 50 million people worldwide. Up to three-quarters have behavioral and psychological symptoms. People with such symptoms often need institutionalized care sooner.
Health care professionals rely on several medications to lessen symptoms of agitation and aggression, but these medications carry significant risks. One, ironically, is worsening memory and thinking, the researchers said.
Given the challenges of using medications, researchers wanted to know more about alternatives, Watt said.
They included 163 studies in their analysis, with a total of more than 23,000 people. Studies included drug and non-drug interventions.
Annals of Internal Medicine
Pill Box Medication Reminder With Alarms
There are many medication reminders with alarms available. For example, the Med-Q Medication reminder for dementia suffer. A smart reminder will guide the user to the correct doses. If the person you care for forgets to take their pills, a smart reminder will repeat its alarms and reminders. They twill have an alarm to alert the person that its time to take the pills.
Medications: Some Drugs Make Dementia Worse
IMPORTANT! This information is meant to be used only for general information, in accordance with current medical information and the practice experience of this geriatrician and should never be used alone, outside of the medical advice of ones personal physician.
Most drugs specifically developed to improve dementia seek to increase the levels of choline, a chemical that brain cells need to communicate with each other. Yet several common medicines are anti-cholinergic, that is, they decrease levels of choline. Thus, these drugs can make dementia worse, resulting in more confusion and agitation. They can also cause dry mouth, constipation, and difficulties urinating.
Various steroidsmedicines commonly used to reduce inflammation of various sortsmay also pose a problem for a person with dementia:
- Prednisone® and other steroids used to treat emphysema and other lung diseases may cause confusion, agitation and insomnia. If needed to treat an emphysema attack, they should be tapered off quickly. A recent study reports little benefit continuing this drug more than two weeks.
Additional Information on Medications:
Some Drugs Make Dementia Worse | Treating Dementias Behavioral Symptoms | Guidelines for Treatment | Anti-Psychotics | Antidepressants | Mood-Stabilizing Medication
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Why Antipsychotic Drugs Can Be Risky For Dementia Patients
QUESTION: My mother has dementia and lives in a long-term care home. She was put on an antipsychotic drug because she was hard to control. Im worried about her. She seems zonked out all the time. Is there another option?
ANSWER: Its fairly common maybe too common for dementia patients to be given antipsychotic medications.
The drugs were originally developed for people with schizophrenia and other disorders that produce psychotic symptoms such as visual and auditory hallucinations.
Dementia patients can also have hallucinations. So, years ago, doctors began prescribing them to dementia patients who suffer from psychotic episodes or exhibit other troubling behaviour such as aggression and agitation.
However, a growing body of research now suggests that prolonged use of antipsychotic drugs can pose risks to patients, including slightly increasing the chance of developing electrical abnormalities in the heart or causing rigid movements resembling Parkinsons disease.
Whats more, patients taking these drugs face an elevated chance of death from all causes, compared to those who are not on them, says Dr. Barbara Liu, a geriatrician at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
The reason for the elevated risk of death isnt entirely clear. But its possible that the effects on the heart or the sedation caused by the medication leads to a host of health problems, ranging from bedsores to catastrophic falls.
What Can Be Done
Due to the fact that such behaviors can be rather stressful to those providing care and those who are ill, many people wonder if there are medications that can make things better and the answer can be given as may be.
When you are considering medications to use on an elderly person with dementia, you will have to also consider the side effects that may occur because there are many risks involved. It is therefore important to try anxiety treatment without medication.
It is however common for such patients to be given antipsychotics in such a case. This is chemical restraint. In most cases, tranquilizing medications such as the antipsychotics can help in calming the behaviors, but there are many risks and side effects that may occur.
Sometimes the medications can be prescribed prematurely, which is risky since they may be given in excess. It is important to first establish why the behavior is happening in the first place and consider non-drug options before anything else. It is therefore not recommended to give the drugs at first until the real issue behind the behavior has been established.
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Whats The Best Cbd Oil Dosage For Dementia
There are no definite dosage guidelines when it comes to using CBD oil for dementia. However, various studies have been performed on the efficacy of different CBD doses for Alzheimers patients.
A study conducted in 2014 found that higher concentrations of CBD may be required until the effects take hold. The study was conducted on transgenic mice.
Given the lack of regulation in the CBD marketplace, the best thing you can do is observe the effects of different dosages and report to a foundation or science institute that specializes in seeking new forms of dementia treatment. With more self-reports from patients, healthcare professionals will be able to come up with some general guidelines for people with dementia in the future.
Keep The Patient Active During The Day
Plan daily activities go for a stroll outdoors, meet family members and friends, and if happy and able – visit a specialist group, such as a dementia cafe. Exposure to natural daylight is important to regulate the body clock, and getting out and about is the best way to enjoy good physical health. This will also help to tire and promote better sleep.
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How Well Do Dementia Treatments Work
It is thought that about half the people treated with a cholinesterase inhibitor will see an improvement in symptoms which affect thinking and memory. Whether they help with other symptoms such as aggression and agitation has still not been confirmed. The improvement in symptoms is usually only seen for about 6-12 months.
For memantine, some studies have shown that it can slow down the progression of symptoms in some cases.
Organise A Reminder Phone Call
It can be time consuming to have to ring all the time, but sometimes its the most straightforward way to ensure that a loved one is taking their medication. Giving them a call to remind them to take their pills could help. However, you could also look into telecare, where you can pay professionals to ring up to check that medication has been remembered.
The Pros And Cons Of Cbd Oil For Dementia
- Studies conducted on humans and animals have revealed CBDs therapeutic properties that may help treat the various conditions classified under dementia.
- Medications for dementia have several side effects, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and hallucinations, among others. Meanwhile, CBD generally has an excellent safety profile as its side effects are minimal. The most common are diarrhea, tiredness, and changes in weight or appetite.
- The World Health Organization has not recorded any case of CBD dependence in humans . Hence, it is not a substance that has the potential for abuse.
- As long as state laws allow CBD use, buying CBD products does not require a prescription.
- There is a need for further research on medical cannabis-related products, like CBD, in the treatment of dementia and its many diseases.
- There is a need for a standard dosage for CBD when used as a dementia treatment. Currently, the United States Food and Drug Administration has not approved its use for mental health-related conditions and other ailments except for epilepsy.
- Cholinesterase inhibitors are typically prescribed for dementia treatment. Some of the commonly used cholinesterase inhibitors include donepezil and galantamine. These are both metabolized by cytochrome P450. Caution should be taken when using CBD with these dementia medications because of possible drug interactions. CBD may reduce the efficacy of these medications as it can inhibit these liver enzymes.
Cbd Dosage For Dementia
There is no standard dosage chart for CBD, as the US FDA has not approved its use other than for epilepsy. The rule is to start with small amounts and increase dosage if no adverse reactions are observed.
It is recommended to begin with a small dose of 1 to 2 mg daily for one week, then increase by 2 to 3 mg weekly until significant symptom improvements are noticed.
The dosage should be based on the patients body weightthe heavier the patient, the larger their dose. For average adults, the standard dose is approximately a maximum of 5 mg.
Dementia patients or their family members should talk to a doctor before adding CBD to their medication regimen.
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The Long Haul Of Managing Polypharmacy In Dementia Patients
Maust notes that, of the 29% who received opioids, they most often filled just one or two short-term prescriptions, which may indicate treatment of an injury or acute pain.
But those receiving other drugs tended to fill multiple prescriptions in the year that Maust and his colleagues studied. This included epilepsy drugs that are sometimes prescribed as substitutes for antipsychotic drugs, or to treat chronic pain.
Taking these drugs for months on end is especially risky, says Maust. A brain that has dementia is doing its best to function as well as it can, he explains. If we add a psychotropic medication into the mix it may not be a helpful thing and it comes with risks.
Optimal Aging Portal Blog Team
The latest scientific evidence on this topic was reviewed by the McMaster Optimal Aging team. Blog Posts are written by a professional writer, assessed for accuracy by Dr. Maureen Dobbins, an expert in interpreting and communicating the scientific literature, and edited by a professional editor. There are no conflicts of interest.
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Anxiety And Insomnia Medications
Benzodiazepines, a class of medications used to treat anxiety or insomnia, comprise another group that has been linked with cognitive difficulties. Although these medications are truly a blessing for some individuals immobilized by anxiety, their use can be accompanied by sedation and mental slowing. A recent study even suggested that prolonged use of benzodiazepines might be a risk factor for later dementia, although experts have questioned the significance of this finding and clinicians continue to prescribe anti-anxiety medications such as lorazepam or sleeping pills such as temazepam and consider them very beneficial when used properly.