Can I insist on medication for my mom?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 29, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My mom has Alzheimer's and is to the point not wanting to eat or drink. The nurse says she can't have Ativan for depression or anxiety because she wants to sleep all the time, but she didn't before when she was at another nursing home. What do you think I should do? It helped her in 30 minutes to be herself.

Expert Answers

Ladislav Volicer, M.D., Ph.D., is recognized as an international expert on advanced dementia care. He is a courtesy full professor at the School of Aging Studies, University of South Florida, Tampa, and visiting professor at the Third Medical Faculty, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic. Twenty-five years ago, he established one of the first dementia special care units.

The first thing you need to do is aks if your mom is on some other medications. Sleeping all the time and refusing food and liquids could be caused by advanced Alzheimer's disease, but it also could be due to medications. I do not think that Ativan would improve her current condition because you do not describe her as being anxious. If her condition is not aggravated by medications, she might be in a terminal stage of Alzheimer's disease and you might consider enrolling her in a hospice program.