Comatose in Memory Care (Three memory cares in four months?)

Comatose in Memory Care (Three memory cares in four months?)

Comatose in Memory Care

Comatose in Memory Care

My mother-in-law who got over drugged in the hospital several months ago is now in her second memory care community in Seattle. The first high-end memory care community in downtown Seattle wanted to follow the doctor’s recommendations of sedation. It took me three days to get the drugs reduced by half after I saw my overmedicated mother-in-law. Then the second memory care community promised our family that they would get her off the reduced Haldol dose. We believed them and paid a hefty community fee (a one time move-in fee) Sigh…

It’s been almost two months in the second Memory care.

We had an unproductive care conference about two weeks ago. When the family talked about changing the psych drugs the conversation led to considering Amy as a candidate for hospice because she was not eating. What? It turns out one of the drugs she began in the hospital was also an appetite suppressant.

She was overmedicated in the hospital because there were no rooms in the psych ward, so my mother-in-law stayed in the emergency room for three days and two nights. Getting the picture of sedation now?

My sister-in-law is on the warpath. She is demanding changes for her mom and talking about moving her to a third place. Will it help?

The second memory care called my husband to see if they could save the move out. He simple said, “You have known that the family wanted my mom off the Haldol. How many phone calls and faxes have you made to the doctor to make that happen?” The administrator started to back pedal.

My sister-in-law took my mother-in-law to her doctor yesterday. A 15-minute appointment turned into nearly hours. The doctor is going to take her off the Haldol but does not have a clue what medications will help or are necessary. My mother-in-law has significant dementia, and seemed to have had a psychotic break when she lost her home of 50 years and her husband within a week.

Why is it so hard to unsedate a senior who cannot speak on his or her own behalf? Is it easier for the memory care staff if the residents are half sedated? Can anyone help us on how to turn this around? Any tips on psychotropic drugs?   Which ones are best?

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For weekly tips and advice go to and learn more from author and senior housing expert Diane Twohy Masson.