It is the saddest process, watching your mother slipping day by day into oblivion. Along with that journey comes bouts of stubbornness, depression, extreme anxiety, and tears. There is no all-encompassing solution. These hapless ones cannot be reasoned with. It is impossible for them to remember what they should or shouldn't do. Their fear is sometimes debilitating because, on some level and in moments of lucidity, they are aware that they are "losing it".
Obviously, caregivers need help. It, therefore, begs the question, should I request psychoactive drugs to make her more manageable by diminishing the mood swings? Well, in the five years that my sister and I have alternatively had the responsibility of caring for Mother we have opted not to go that route. It has been our feeling that not only the effects but especially the side effects, of these medications are a poor trade-off.
Mom suffers from Sundowner's Syndrome and becomes extremely anxious, stressed, and sad as evening falls. She will stay up late, unable to wind down, afraid to go to bed, cannot understand where she is going to sleep, etc. As Mom's condition worsens the medication option was beginning to look like a necessary coping tool short of placing her in a care facility.
Thankfully something wonderful came on the scene just in time to save her from this fate. It is called CBD. After doing some conclusive research I decided to try this avenue of treatment for Mom. Due to the lack of medical studies of CBD and dosing, I have had to move carefully forward with my own experiment. But It has proved to be an absolute MIRACLE!
I found the sublingual drops to be the best mode of delivery for my mom. I started with a one-ounce bottle of 500mg pure CBD Hemp Oil from Pure Source Extracts. I administered a 5 drop dose at the onset of the evening (6:30 in winter, 7:30 in summer) about half an hour before her Sundowner's Syndrome kicks in.
The positive effect on Mother was noticeable but not yet optimal. So, I moved up to 1,000mg pure CBD, same 5 drops. Now the results were significantly better! When Pure Source Extracts came out with their Full Spectrum Hemp Oil I put Mom on that.
The pure CBD definitely lessened Mom's symptoms, but the full spectrum has absolutely made a notable difference. Mom is completely calm and amiable through the evening, without an episode. She is ready and happy to go off to bed by 9:00. She sleeps soundly and peacefully all night and is up around 8:00 in the morning.
Mom also goes to Adult Day Care every day. It was a big resistance struggle getting her to go on the little bus. The great results I had with her nighttime routine helped me to reason that CBD could also reduce her anxiety about going to daycare. So, I began dosing her with the same amount when her feet hit the floor in the morning. The result? Her bus arrives about an hour later and she is ready to go.... no resisting, no cajoling.
I have photographed documentation of the positive effects that CBD has had on my mother. But, perhaps the best news is, there are NO side effects whatsoever. CBD calms her but without psychological changes or disorders. There is no need for "no driving or operating machinery" warnings because there are absolutely no mental impairments with CBD. If Mom occasionally has a day with a little more excitement or activity than usual and she starts to get a little anxious or depressed, I can give her a dose of CBD, improving her mood almost immediately, with no fear of overdose or knocking her out.
Needless to say, if I had not discovered CBDs help for Alzheimer's, I would not have been able to keep Mom at home for much longer. But now, I see no reason for her to leave as long as she is physically able to be home. Thank you Pure Source Extracts and CBD for saving my Mom... and me!