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memantine - Carers UK Forum


Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
hiya mum has just been diagnosed with mixed dementia,trying to decide whether to ask for some help with anxiety drug memantine.this was mentioned to us by the memory clinic nurse if we thought we needed it.she is very anxious when i have to take her for hospital appointments,to the point of blind panic.we are trying to get her used to the ceiling track hoist too.that is an art in itself had one ok day out of the first 7.does anyone have a good word to say about these drugs? i know there are others but we were told maybe to start on this one .many thanks jane .
Hi Jane, can't help with regard to memantine, but I'm just checking that you know patients diagnosed with dementia are exempt from Council Tax from the date of diagnosis? Iit can be backdated!
Is mum receiving Attendance Allowance?
My MIL with dementia was put on a lowish dose of diazepam (lorazapam etc - all the same thing I believe!) for her anxiety. (I've been on it myself from time to time - very soothing!)

The downsides are that it can become addictive, but, to my mind, when someone is very old anyway, 'addiction' doesn't really matter, does it? It's quality of life that really matters.

The other downside for the elderly is that it is a 'relaxant' not just for the mind, but for the muscles, too, so there is an association with falling. However, if your mum is not mobile anyway, that probably won't matter.

I haven't heard, myself, of the drug you mentioned, but a lof of these drugs are actually 'all the same' and just are sold by different companies with different name variations - there is always a 'true' name underneath somewhere, ie, the chemical formula name and the pharmaceutical name rather than the trade name (think of how 'paracetamol' is sold as a whole range of propertiery tradenames, but it's all the same drug underneath!)
Hi Jane,
I'm sorry I don't have personal experience of this med (as my caree has autism,) but I understand wanting to find out as much as possible before deciding what to do for the best. There is information here:
https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/download/ ... isease.pdf and this leaflet recommends a further two leaflets.

I hope this helps. Hopefully other's with dementia experience will be along to advise.

hi bowlingbun,yes mum has attendance allowance and i have carers allowance as i cant work at the moment with all these changes and appointments going on.i have taken a form to the doctors surgery today to claim council tax exemption.thanks to you for mentioning previously.kind regards jane.
thanks so much jenny and melly,your all so kind .i am sure we will strike a balance at some point with mums medication.i might need some myself.lol
I've never heard of memantine, but Like you I see no problem with really elderly people becoming addicted fo a drug is helping them. After seeing some tv programmes about cannabis I would also be happy for an elderly person in great pain being prescribed it as I can;t see an addiction being a problem.
Sory but I don't know your Mum's age, I gather she's not mobile so surely this drug is worth a try. How old is she?
I agree. The absolute priority is pain free, then anxiety/fear free, and then quality of life however that last can be defined.

We also, like it or not, have to think about costs. We know that my generation, baby boomers, is going to place an IMMENSE strain on society, whether that is funded by the families themselves, or the state via taxes. Personally, seeing how 'grim' dementia gets when it is 'deep', and 'the person' is barely there any more, I think that 'medication' to reduce the amount of care they need - because, to be blunt, they are mostly asleep - is perfectly morally acceptyable.

To be honest, I'd rather spend a grim end-of-life (whether badly physically incapacitated or badly mentally icapacitated) basically 'out of it' until the end finally came.

I think there is a 'tipping point' beyond which 'enjoyable life' becomes impossible, and we have to accept that the kindest thing is to 'slip peacefully and easefully towards the end as quickly - and cheaply! - as possible'. The real question to me is - where IS that 'tipping point'. THAT'S the tricky moral question! (And sadly, those with dementia can't make that call as they are unaware of the issues - someone with dire physical deterioriation could make it though.)

In respect of tranquillisers etc, as per this discussion, I think the one thing the docs worry about is not so much if the elderly patient gets addicted, but if it causes imbalance and therefore more falls (which then cause injuries that need to be treated, cause pain and yet further disablement.