Follow
Share

Mom is 92 yrs old and she has congestive heart failure (ejection fraction 20%), COPD, and fronto-temporal dementia. This weekend she took a huge cognitive decline. Sometime during the night on Saturday, she took off her Depends undergarment and defecated on the floor of her bedroom in three different spots. And by that I mean she squat down and just went in her room. She did it again in our kitchen, then failed to even wipe herself, so when I found her she was wrapped in her robe and covered in fecal matter all over her rear and back. It was all over her bed, her recliner, etc. I got her into the bathroom and as I was turning on the shower, she peed on the floor while she was standing there, and it didn't even register with her that she had just messed on the floor. After getting her cleaned up, she was agitated and angry that we were making such a fuss about cleaning her room. This morning, at 3 am, she managed to turn on the television set (again, while we were asleep), and then thought it was a window. She thought the people on the tv (newscasters) were talking to her through the window and telling her that me, my husband, and our kids were missing or something to that effect. She became hysterical and started screaming out all our names and wandering around the dining room sobbing. She woke the whole house up - me, my husband, our kids (oldest is 10). And quite frankly, she scared the crap out of our children. Should we be calling an ambulance when these things happen? I know these are dementia symptoms but have no idea if a hospital would accept her when these things escalate. Yes, we're in the process of getting her into a memory care unit. But it's going to take time. In the meantime, when things escalate is there anything a hospital can do for her or are we on our own?

Yes. It's called Altered State (of mind). You cannot control her and she might be a danger to herself, you, and your family. Call 911. After you get her to the hospital ER tell them that she is delusional and agitated. Make sure you tell the paramedics the same thing, so Medicare will cover it.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Ricky6
Report

Hi Wubba, I haven’t posted here in a long time but wanted to share my experience. I tried everything to keep my Mom at home and never wanted to place her in a facility. There were a handful of bowel accidents over the years. But one day there was an event where it flew everywhere and I reached my caregiving limit. Had a mini breakdown. I also knew in my heart that my Mom wouldn’t want me to have to be dealing with this and her dignity was at stake. After composing myself I took her to the ER, explained exactly what was going on and demanded help with placement. It had taken me 3+ years to reach that point and I knew I might never have the strength again and I wasn’t backing down and I wasn’t going to take her home. It was heartbreaking but it was time. The ER doctor got it. The social worker got it. In fact the social worker worked on finding a placement for my Mom until 11 pm that night which was a Saturday. She went to a Senior Behavioral Unit the next day willingly (I drove her) for 17 days and then directly to a dementia facility that could not have taken more wonderful loving care of her. Prayers for you and your Mom and your whole family.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to dmasty
Report

To answer your question - "Are they ever admitted to the hospital because of their dementia behaviors?" is a YES.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Llamalover47
Report

Infection, electrolyte imbalance, stroke,... can all cause exacerbation of dementia type behaviors. Have her checked by her physician. If it is a reversible problem, follow the doctor's orders and keep him/her apprised of changes in behavior.

If this is the new "normal", your family needs to decide if she can still live with you. All members of the family need to be able to meet their basic needs for cleanliness, nutrition, rest and interaction with others. If your needs or other members of the family can not do this, then something needs to change. Maybe you want to hire a sitter at night to help mom while you sleep. Maybe she needs to live in LTC. Check her insurance and resources and have a family meeting. Make sure whoever has POA attends, because that person will need to implement the new plan.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Taarna
Report

I didn't know a UTI could cause such dramatic behavior symptoms! So many people have mentioned that, that it's certainly worth checking. That or a stroke. Let us know if you go to ER and discover any addressable medical reasons for your mother's decline.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to RedVanAnnie
Report

Even though FTD dementia presents itself in lots of mind boggling ways, your mom still could have had a stroke. That's what I'd say if calling an ambulance or rushing her off to the ER. My 92 yo mother took a big cognitive step down last year herself and it turned out she'd had a stroke, which wasn't discovered until a pneumonia hospitalization in May. If you get her to the ER, they'd likely test for all sorts of possibilities including UTIs. I like to call the ER "One stop shopping" because it's ALL taken care of in one place at one time, versus 200 trips to different doctors and specialists etc.

Best of luck....I am sorry you are having to deal with such a tough situation. It sure isn't easy, I know
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to lealonnie1
Report

UTI? My mother becomes confused and thinks people are out to get her when she is watching TV, and she sees people looking in the window. Sounds very familiar. Take her to the ER. Urine spec for culture and sensitivity , antibiotics, IV fluid if dehydration. I take my mother to the ER for testing if UTI is suspected, and usually it is a UTI, antibiotics and a day or two back to normal, but on antibiotics usually 7- 10 days. Very tough and worrisome, I know. Drinking plenty of fluids especially water helps flush bacteria out of the bladder. Hope everything gets better for your mom and family. Any change in mental status can be serious, please get help asap if reoccurs.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to earlybird
Report

Sounds like it might be a UTI. I see your post was 12 hours ago. How did the day go? You could bring her to ER if this happens again. If not a UTI, maybe meds to calm the delusions could he helpful. My Mom’s mental status took a quick decline on Saturday with delusions. Called Dr this AM and got her in for urinalysis. Started on antibiotics. Crazy how quickly these infections can pass to the brain. Sorry your family is going through this. Very tough times.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Sweetstuff
Report

At least, if you haven't already, contact her doctor; advise him or her what happened. A medication maybe be needed.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to peace416
Report

OMG that is HORRIBLE! Personally, I could not deal with that. Gag.

So, can she get into a NH while waiting for a MC room?

I am not a fan of calling 911, unless there is a life threatening event happening. What's happening is horrifying, but perhaps you should take her to the ER in the morning and see what they find. Could be a UTI, as already mentioned. Or get her in to see her regular doc. Somebody, but I don't know if she needs a ride in an ambulance. Unless she refuses to get in the car with you for appointments?

How long do you expect the MC room process to take?
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to againx100
Report

Yes, you should call 911.

A sudden change in mental status is an emergency and may have a medical cause (stroke/UTI) that can be addressed. What meds is she on?

If nothing else, admission to the hospital will speed up placement.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn
Report

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter