Yesterday my 89-year-old mother became dizzy and instantly seemed to have dementia, but the doctors can't find any cause. I'm terrified!

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She is in the hospital and they are doing a full workup but so far no cause of her dementia symptoms. I am worried they will discharge her like this and I don't know what to do.She lives with us and until now has been able to take care of her daily needs with help from us.The doctors are looking at possible stroke, TIA, and even dehydration (which I seriously doubt is the cause).

This is heartbreaking and I don't even know what questions to ask, who to ask and how to proceed so she gets all the care she needs.Any input/suggestions would be truly appreciated. We also need your prayers.

Thank you in advance for caring .
Kim

8 Comments

Kim - sorry to hear you're going through this, it's scary. I have a couple quick points to make:
1 - ask them to check her for a urinary tract infection, drug interaction and allergies. any of hese can make our elders a little coocoo. My own mom developed a latex allergy at age 84! That meant each time the aides, nurses touched her with regular latex gloves or used a standard bandaide, she got a rash. They thought it was a psychosis at first and told her to knock it off!! Push them to find a cause.
2. - Tell them you CANNOT take her home like this. If you don't feel comfortable or capable of handling her at home there is NO shame in it. You can't risk your own health and your mom's safety if it's too much for you. Tell them you have to work outside the home and can't be there, can't afford an aide while you're gone, etc. Tell the nurses, her doctor and social services at the hospital that they must help you find a nursing home or rehab center. If she's over 65 Medicare will pay for 120 days of care in a facility as long as she's getting therapy and showing improvement.

I'll spare you more details but if you have more questions post them here. There are a lot of people in the same situation on this forum and you'll get good advice. Best of luck to you and your Mom,
I completely agree with Lynn... You cannot take her home like she is. Talk to a SOCIAL WORKER at the hospital regarding what you should do next. They should know what skilled nursing facilities are able to help and yes Medicare will cover the cost for up to 90 here in Florida (maybe different elsewhere in the country).

I am not a doctor, from what you described... it seems a T.I.A. is most likely, but like Lynn said, a UTI can cause some really ODD behavior. I would have her checked too!

Kim: has she been given a new prescription lately? Or has her pharmacy switched her to generics or another company's products?
Awhile back the pharmacy Mom was using switched to prescriptions that were made in China. They were found to be stronger or the wrong Rx and many cases made patients sick.
My mom,82yrs old just retired 6 mths ago.She usually called me every Sunday. With no response I called her,I could tell she wasnt right as far as her speech.Immed ,she was taken to the hospital.Results showed no stroke,however with numerous test done.She had
full blown cancer.Expected to live no more than 6mths.She after 2 wks was to be dischged frm the hospital.Hospice wouldnt take her
due to they dont provide long term care.Mind you my mom had Hip Insur.and a
pension.tried to get her Medicaid ,no because she had money ,that
was refused.Now we are faced with bringing her home, she is not capable of taking care of herself.The occupational Therapist stated
she can walk 50ft with a walker therefore she is capable.
How can she climb up a 5 floor walk up.What if she falls at home
She was denied rehabilitation for 3wks to get her on her feet due to this occupational report.,which showed they didnt even test her
on being able to climb stairs.We are forced to bring her home today..
Did they check your mother for any heart problems? She may have had a heart attack.
All the comments above are right on...have they checked for an Electrolyte imbalance? This combined with a UTI could cause a younger person to act this way, let alone an 89 year old woman.
My Mom began showing the same symptoms you mentioned and they found it was due to her sodium level being very low and she was a little dehydrated. Her thyroid meds also had to be adjusted. My Mom has dementia and at first I thought that here dizziness and confusion were due to that. My family doc informed me that dementia is a very slow relentless disease and does not shoe sudden extreme changes.
My 89 year old grandmother had similar problem, they did a MRI and found a brain tumor. They say its a slow grower and its non cancerous but because it has grown its giving her the dizzy feeling, problems with memory, and such. If they haven't done a MRI request one just to be sure. They are going to remove the tumor and said she should be fine. Hope all works out for you!

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