A few podcast episodes ago, my husband Dale and I introduced you to his mother, Leonie. Leonie has Alzheimers and we’re doing a series of podcasts during what seems like a pivotal time, the transition between her independence and full time care. If you haven’t listened to the first podcast, click here. I recommend it because it might fill in some blanks that come up during this current interview with her.
In the podcast I mention that Leonie is on a controversial drug called Risperdal. We were unaware of it until the staff at her day care center mentioned their concern about it. It only took the simplest Google to understand why. Risperdal is an antipsychotic drug that was prescribed to manage her anxiety and while the drug is approved in Australia, it’s very controversial in the United States and the U.K. and was the subject of a BILLION dollar settlement for misbranding and false claims that it was beneficial for dementia in the elderly. You can read the FDA press release here. In addition to Risperdal, her doctor has also added Diazepam (Valium) to the mix. Again, a simple Google, reveals that mixing these two drugs is, at the very least, questionable. While we’ve passed this info and our concerns on, nothing was resolved. I gotta admit, I’m kind of freaked out about how mood soothing (all the varieties) drugs are so easily doled out by doctors and accepted by their elderly patients. I’m convinced that knowing how to work our way around technology and not worrying about upsetting our doctors is an essential part of health care, especially as time goes on.
So that’s where we’re at, tethering between the world of what used to be and what’s ahead and somehow trying to find appreciation in right now. We’ll keep you posted on how things go.
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