MDJunction - People Helping People
 
Ask a Question
12/07/2009 08:11 AM

ECT and Alzheimer's

job
 
Posts: 9
New Member

It's been a while since I was here and an update is in order. Mom became ill, having a reaction to a sedative-type drug to help dad handle her. This was in September. Landed her in the hospital, then in nursing home. Then to a larger hospital in Fort Wayne to have psychotic meds regulated to help control her behavior. What was supposed to be a 10-15 day visit turned into nearly 45 days. She is now back at the nursing home in her hometown. We still don't like the "sedation" affect that the meds have on her. She is very, very sensitive to these types of meds. We are considering ECT treatments and are starting the preliminary testing for it. We have gone through considerable counseling and feel it may be our only choice, in that when she becomes violent, she will harm another resident of the nursing home, then she will be "discharged"!!!

Now, my question. Has anyone ever used ECT treatments for their AZ loved ones? And how was the overall effect? We have, so far, heard nothing but very good comments from those who have used it, but we are always talking, checking and listening to others.

Dad is having a problem accepting the fact that her behavior and decline is a result of AZ. He thinks it is from the meds.

Thanks, everyone!

Reply

12/07/2009 08:49 AM
alznotwell
Posts: 1145
Group Leader

Hello Job. Most of us who deal with Alzheimer's go through that confusion of "Well, is it the AD that is causing this current behavior or is it the meds we are giving her for the AD?" It takes close observation and a good working relationship with her doctors to figure out what is going on. I am totally ignorant about ECT as applied to AD, and my best advice is to find a doctor whose opinion you trust, and who takes time to pay close attention to his patients. Work closely with the doctor until you reach a concensus on the proper treatment to try. ANW

12/07/2009 08:59 AM
job
 
Posts: 9
New Member

Oh no ... the bad behavior is absolutely AD related. The place she was at for 45 days is called Generations, and it is specifically designed to regulate psychotic meds. 80% of their patients have AD. It has been recommended by 2 doctors to proceed with the ECT and we have gone to specific meetings to learn about the procedures. We have discussed at length this with her doctor. We even asked the all-important question to the doctor ... "If this was YOUR mother"!!!! We only have 2 choices of nursing homes in their hometown. Mom has already thrown vases at other residents and if she had made 'contact', she would have been dismissed from that nursing home. While she was at the hospital getting her drugs regulated for the 45 days, she sent one tech to the Emergency Room!!! She pinches, bites, kicks, hits, spits --- we have all the bad behaviors all wrapped up in one person. She can also have a spoonful of food in her mouth and forcibly spit it up to 8-9 feet!!! And isn't it amazing. In her life, she was a very gentle woman and the parent who would not discipline if her life depended upon it, for fear of hurting one of us kids. This disease is such a bastard disease.

12/07/2009 09:29 AM
tony36
tony36  
Posts: 1408
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

It is all that, Job. So sorry to hear that her personality has changed so much.

Tony


12/07/2009 09:46 AM
alznotwell
Posts: 1145
Group Leader

One of my aunts engaged in that kind of violent behavior. My uncle never found a place that could keep her. He cared for her for 20+ years and died from exhaustion shortly after she did. What a horrible disease. ANW

12/07/2009 05:02 PM
lovingyoungwife

In our area there is an AD unit that will take the ones that other places can't handle. They are equiped to handle the "hard" ones. It would be worth seeing if any such place is around a reasonable distance to you. I hope all will get better for you all.

Hugs,

LYW


12/07/2009 05:08 PM
job
 
Posts: 9
New Member

Thanks for the suggestion; however, there are only 2 nursing homes in my parents' home town. Dad wouldn't think of driving very far every day, so we are pretty much limited. So far, so good on the meds, but we just don't think it is right to keep a person in a sedated state if we can provide alternative therapy for mom. Her quality of life is pretty rotten and to keep her constantly sedated just isn't fair ... at least to us right now!!! Ah, the decisions we have to make for this horrible, horrible disease. And dealing with dad just adds a new element to the equation!!! THANKS AGAIN SO MUCH!!! ---

05/21/2013 07:23 AM
hz10wj
Posts: 1
New Member

I have personally experienced ECT and I can tell you first hand that ECT is a very bad thing. ECT may make a person docile, but it will only degrade quality of life, erase memory, sense of self though quieter. Also I have worked for a non-private organization that has a hot line for psychiatric abuses and I received many calls about adverse effects of medications that patients were prescribed. In my opinion, if you want a loved one to have the best quality of life, no to ECT and these strong medications.

05/21/2013 07:57 AM
alznotwell
Posts: 1145
Group Leader

Just a quick note on medications HZ. Many nursing homes will not accept AD patients if they are not on Alzheimer's medications, because AD patients are often difficult to handle and are sometimes a danger to other patients. The current medications are all we have, so if we cannot handle the disease at home, medication may be our only alternative. ANW
Reply

Share this discussion with your friends:


Disclaimer: The information provided in MDJunction is not a replacement for medical diagnosis, treatment, or professional medical advice.
In case of EMERGENCY call 911 or 1.800.273.TALK (8255) to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Read more.
Contact Us | About Us
Copyright (c) 2006-2014 MDJunction.com All Rights Reserved