How can I ease my mom with Alzheimer's and her neck discomfort?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 01, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My mother has late stages of Alzheimer's. She is bedridden. She moves her neck from side to side a lot. We've tried prescription and over the counter creams and lotions and got a new pillow and that hasn't seem to help. What can I do to ease her twitching of her neck?

Expert Answers

A social worker and geriatric consultant who specializes in dementia care, Joyce Simard is based in Land O' Lakes, Florida, and in Prague. She is a well-known speaker and has written two books, one focusing on end-of-life care and the other, entitled The Magic Tape Recorder, explaining aging, memory loss, and how children can be helpers to their elders.

This question had me puzzled so I asked my husband who is a physician to help with the answer. He responded

"It is hard to tell what it is. It could be tardive dyskinesia as a consequence of antipsychotic medications or myoclonus. If it is tardive dyskinesia, it does not bother her. Klonopin sometimes help if it is a myoclonus."

Ladislav Volicer, MD, PhD

I wonder if she has hospice and if not do pursue talking to them. They have a great deal of experience with patients with advanced dementia and would be a good resource for you and your mother.

Does she move her neck when she is sitting up? And, can she get into a lounge chair. She may be uncomfortable being in bed all of the time. Hospice might be able to supply you with a chair that is comfortable for her.

Best wishes...