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Did it resolve? What was the outcome? How was it treated? MIL in hospital experiencing delirium after a series of accidents and moves. I am not hopeful.
I am amazed at how many of you take care of your loved ones at home. I don't know how you do it. I read in a response that 1 out of 3 caregivers die before the person with dementia. I know the last thing any loved one would want is for that to happen. We need a better support system or treatment for this fatal disease, but since in mostly affects old people, until the system feels a significant financial burden, not much will change. Then I dread what the change will be.

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Zyprexa I think that's the name.
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What kind of shots?
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Good news skinonna!
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After the first 3 shots the delirium abated.
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That's good news. It may resolve on its own.
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Update. No uti. Diverticulitis. Some improvement today. wbc down. Temp down.
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My mom gets "delirium" when she has a urinary tract infection, and when she was in the hospital and they didn't give her the Alprozolam for anti-anxiety. Got her home with antibiotics and gave her the anxiety meds and she was almost herself within an hour. People with dementia don't deal well with change of ANY kind and if sick, hurting, with strangers, etc. they just can't deal normally. I can't store her hearing aid batteries in a drawer because she remembers putting them in her purse when she got them. So I let her carry 36 if I get a new package. I can't bear to hear her fear and frustration over such a small thing. Do check out the UTI. Even after they start antibiotics it may be a few days before the hallucinations go away! Mom is in a retirement home, but needs AL. she can't afford it. We help pay for the retirement home.
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My mother fell in the shower and got a compression fracture. After being released from the ER, the following morning she said she saw my deceased father standing by her dining table. That is the first time she ever spoke of seeing someone who was not there. I didn't know if it was caused by the pain meds she was on, or a UTI or dehydration--or a combination of all three. In the ER no test was run on her urine. That is one thing I now know is a must do. She never drinks enough fluids and is dehydrated and susceptible to getting a UTI. She often has confusion. Before her fall, she did not know if it was day or night. All signs of a UTI and/or dehydration. Hind sight is 20/20. Once it was determined she had a UTI and dehydration and was treated for both her hallucinations ceased. I am going to speak to my mother's primary physician after she leaves rehab about future tests for UTI's.
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Update: Still in hospital as they try to pin down the source of rising WBC and elevated temp. At this point Dr.s are saying Divirticulitis. (took abdominal CT)I think something like this has been going on for a long time. I've seen this kind of situation develop into sepsis and am hoping it doesn't go that way. Blood cultures won't be in until tomorrow. I guess this could be a cause of an episode of delirium. One day at a time.
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Braida, condolences on your mother's death. I am also very sorry that you are burdened with feelings of guilt. You did all you could. The doctor did what he thought was right. I wish that hospice had been there because that would have been a comfort for both of you. But it would not have changed the ultimate outcome.

Your mother had several morbidity factors. She was most likely to die from one of them, and she did. This was not within your control. You did nothing wrong. I hope that you can honor your mother's memory by doing what she no doubt would want for you -- to celebrate the time you had with her, and to get on with your own life.
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hi Skinonna,
As most people here are telling you, delirium is very common in people with dementia. And yes, hospital staff often accidentally make it worse.

I've found it can take a very long time for people to recover...weeks to months, and research has found that many people don't get back to their prior level. If it happens to your loved one, you'll want to make sure whatever aggravating factors brought it on are identified and reversed, and then you need to give it time and support.

You can find delirium resources for caregivers here
http://www.hospitalelderlifeprogram.org/for-family-members/

It's probably not possible to prevent all delirium, but families often make a big difference. Good luck!
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Yes. As I am fairly new to this site, I have learned from it that Mom likely had dementia from age 82-89 (began after her aortal anyerism surgery). Mom was like Eleanor Roosevelt -- burden nobody, especially your children. She always presented just as she always was -- vigorous, controlling, vibrant. For five years she wore lovely Vermont Store-type mu-mu's. She fell one day (we weren't there), and weighed in at 65 pounds. When I arrived at the hospital, she was delirious, likely from a UTI tests detected. We didn't have a clue. Her delirium, though different than her normal paranoia and combativeness, was a bit different. She accused us of infractions from 30 years ago, and by her tone (which was current, not acknowledging time passed), it was all up there as absolutely a current event, all happening at once. She was overwhelmed with her life's traumas and griefs. All I could do (she always and still hated touch) was to make eye contact and reassure her that what she was accusing was not truth. After hours, she came out of it, her eyes lost their wild fear. She began to come back. It was the most frightening thing I ever witnessed. To hear these incredible people before my nearly-useless comment what they have dealt with say how it happens, calms my own sense of my own guilt and helplessness that my mother had to go through this. We are so suckered into thinking that deathbed is a lovely scene of sweet tears letting go, while holding hands. Instead I experienced "do not go gentle into that good night." It ripped the ground out from under me. It's been five years and I still can't quite accept what happened. But -- this is huge --- she did wink 10 hours before her final eye close. A big huge wink and smile.

Maybe vascular dementia's destruction of the brain turns inner experience into unpredictable fireworks. Add UTI, we can't begin to feel what they feel. Loving so much all the beautiful advice here.
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This happens to my Dad every time some idiot gives him a "sleep-aid". We have a list of medicines he cannot take, but just last Thursday, some cardiac nurse gave him Ambien. 48 hours of craziness followed. The thinking he is young and working on issues that are long past is not bad, the conversations he is having with people who are not there, or us (his kids) who he thinks are someone else from the past are not a problem, but the anxious hunting for items and worrying over past unfortunate incidents, and thinking he is somewhere other than home -- those hours are very sad. But medicines is what causes it for my Dad.
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My Mom died quite unexpectedly 4 months ago. I'm still reeling from pain and grief, thinking I didn't save her because sadly her physician was mis-diagnosing. I kept thinking she had UTI's, as she was hallucinating, restless, weaker, and up and down all night long. She had coronary issues, and had two hospital visits...one overnight on the Sat before she died, where they did routine heart tests and determined she did NOT have a heart attack, and then another on Monday to the ER as she was still very sick from the morphine they gave her at the hospital on Sunday when they released her after the Sat overnight stay. Both the hospital visits revealed nothing. But the two different hospitalists advised us to get Hospice on board. But her primary care Dr. thought otherwise. He said Mom was merely suffering ".agitated dementia." He said she was sleep deprived and needed a good rest. He prescribed Seroquel. The Seroquel had a warning saying DON'T GIVE TO ELDERLY DEMENTIA PATIENTS...MAY CAUSE DEATH. Her Dr. prescribed that on Thursday morning after we called telling him Mom was very anxious, restless, and worsening. In my haste to calm her, and trusting her Doctor, I rushed to the pharmacy, got the Seroquel, and gave it to her BEFORE I ever read that warning. The Dr. said it would calm her, make her go to sleep, and after a good sleep she would be greatly improved. She spent another 5 hours in and out of sleep...greatly agitated when awake. She couldn't even walk. We stayed with her every minute, trying to comfort her, thinking she'd finally relax and fall asleep as the Dr. had said. She fell asleep finally the last half hour and never woke up. She just stopped breathing. This was a person who prior to the last two days of her life was walking, talking, eating, drinking (although she had gone markedly downhill the last week.) I took care of Mom in our home for four years (after trying senior independent living facilities close to me which didn't work out for her.) I loved her immensely, and even though as things progressed I didn't have a moment to myself, I would never have done things differently. I miss her every single day. I feel sad and guilty that she died the way she did, and can only emphasize to others that if the primary care Dr. won't refer to Hospice (after two hospital physicians advised it) don't give up on insisting that Hospice come and make their own evaluation. If we'd had Hospice with us that last couple of days, my Mom's death would have, in my opinion, been much less frightening and anxiety ridden for her. I will never get that final scenario, before she finally fell asleep, out of my mind. :-( And I thank God that I never relinquished her care to a facility like everyone kept urging me to do. I vowed to keep her with me as long as she knew who we all were, and was aware of her surroundings
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I wish that assisted living or nursing care were available for my mother with very moderate dementia. Many of us who care for their loved ones at home have NO option outside due to lack of financial resources. My mother does not have Medi-Cal and is not eligible for full coverage due to the income guidelines that she exceeds. She can have it with a huge share of cost though. She has no long term coverage, no surviving spouse Veteran's benefits, no cashable life insurance or pension, and her meager mobile home is not valued at much to sell. In other words, it seems like I am the only care option til either she or I go. It sucks. It is hard and I get so bitter sometimes at the lack of affordable care there is.
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Hi. Delirium is all too common with older people, especially when they already suffer with dementia. There are many causes for delirium in the elderly, as mentioned by other responders here. Delirium can effect elderly patients in a hospital setting just because they are there. It is called "hospital delirium". Both of my parents experienced delirium while in the hospital; Dad had no dementia but my mother had Lewy Body Dementia. Many years ago I read several articles telling of the high risk for "hospital delirium" with the elderly. It was recommended that a family member stay with elderly patients in the hospital. My mother, husband and I took turns staying with my father when my father was hospitalized. More recently, I stayed with my mother the entire time she was there because of pneumonia. Our presence did not eliminate the delirium but it made it much safer for them. Hospitals do not have enough staff to give delirious patients the personal attention they need and therefore often give them strong sedatives or anti-psychotics to control the delirium. In some cases (for example, if the patient has Lewy Body Dementia) these medications can have very negative and sometimes deadly consiquences. In my experiences as a full-time family caregiver, I have come to the strong conclusion that the majority of hospital staff is not trained to deal with the special emotional and cognitive problems of the elderly. For this reason, I believe it is extremely important that caregivers of the elderly must be vigilant advocates for their "charges" who are hospitalized. We must not take their care in a hospital or other facility for granted.
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My cousin told me that a cat walked across her room and spilled some water that caused her to fall. (There are no cats at her assisted living facility.) I just listen and sometimes I'll ask if she's okay now. Later on, she won't recall she made the comment. She may have a different account or she may not have any memory of it.
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Yes we have experienced this and it did resolve to some extent. It depends. There are great answers before ours and our experience echoes much of what others have already written.

In terms of how to deal with it, like many above, we just humor her. She claimed she saw her dead husband a couple of weeks ago walking around the center where she is. "You DID? What was he doing?" was the response.

Sometimes, she mistakes common objects as something else which was much worse several months ago. The spot on the rug is a bug. The electric cord on the floor is a snake. She seems to be able to see pretty well and doesn't want to wear her glasses which she only needed for reading anyway.
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With dementia, the outcome is death, and yes, the caregivers suffer. However, if you can imagine your mother-in-law without the dementia, the way she was, maybe you can cope. Caregiving is not for everyone and that is not to say you are any less of a person because you cannot do it. Thanks for writing.
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My mom recently got pneumonia and had to be hospitalized. SHe was not getting enough oxygen and they put a Bpap on her in ICU. Wow she went completely delirious. It scared me to death. I had no idea this could happen and it was awful to see. She couldn't talk right and she was angry and then very loving. She didn't know who anyone was. ANd this was not because of medicine. Anyway she has been in rehab for almost 2 months and while her delirium has gone away, her dementia seems to be worse. She has gotten OCD with kleenex, folding her covers a certain way. Hoarding crackers/food. And she is getting crankier. I suspect this is vascular related dementia. She has gone for al ong time now with not enough O2 but her doctor in Mississippi did nothing and certainly told me nothing. which is why I finally moved her to be close to me in NC. Good luck and my mom does not live with me any longer. I could not be a good caregiver so she is going to be in AL soon from her IL situation that is not feasible any longer....
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Every night my mom would say there were people in her bedroom. My sister and I would spend the night so my dad could get some sleep. I would ask her to tell me about them. Then I would tell her things like you know they cant come near us while in bed. She used to tell me they were cleaners. I would put all lights on and convince her that as long as I was beside her holding her all would be ok. When she would have these incidents during the day, I would give a seroquel and if there was no convincing her otherwise I would take her to bed cause this is where she felt the safest. My mom had lewes body dementia and Parkinson's after a 8 yr battle she died this past February. I wish I had found this wonderful site before. The teepa snow videos on you tube were great. Good luck with your journey your mil is truly blessed to have you, you will have no regrets that you did the best you could
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I have found with my husband, delirium is not the norm, but rather a symptom. He is 18 years with parkinson's and has some mild to moderate dementia now. When he starts seeing things and has altered cognition it is one of three things.. he has an infection cooking somewhere (usually bladder) he is dehydrated, or there is a sudden change in location (hospitalization or vacation).
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MIL seems to be coming out of it. Dr's gave her some med that seems to work like a miracle.
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Get help from a personal caregiver for her too. This has saved my life and my sanity. Mother's caregiver had taken half the load off of me.
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My mother is 84 and has Parkinson's. 8 weeks ago she fell and broke her hip. For two weeks after her surgery, even though she recognized us, she also had hallucinations of other people in the room and she would speak to them and ask us questions about them, such as, "What is her name? I don't remember." and "O, there's Aunt Sally! Hi Sally!"

Mom remained in that state for about ten days. This gradually improved when she went to Rehab. Eventually, she even realized when she was seeing something that wasn't in fact there.

When the elderly and frail have a traumatic injury their bodies seem to use so much energy to stabilize and recover that cognition suffers. This is not at all uncommon.

In fact, that's how we know when my mother is suffering from a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) because she sees things that are not there. An elderly person having hallucination along with a UTI is common and is sometimes misdiagnosed as dementia.

Mom is now home and even though her cognition has declined a bit, she no longer has hallucinations. I didn't expect Mom to recover from this incident but she did.

Don't be afraid. Old age is not something that can be fixed. Be a medical advocate for your MIL, accept her as she is, take care of yourself and try to be at peace knowing you've done what you can.
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Yes. My cousin has delirium and significant dementia. I'm her POA and HCPOA. There is no one else to help her. She was living alone, but suffered injury and it was not safe for her to live alone anymore. I got her to a primary doctor and then into an Assisted Living facility. She also is seeing a Neurologist, just to confirm what has caused this condition. She's only 63 years old. It's suspected Vascular Dementia and Alzheimers.

How old is your MIL? Has she suffered from falls, broken bones, neglected her home and bills, had accidents? All of these things are common. Do they know why she has the dementia and delirium? Has she been tested for a urinary track infection? Sometimes that can cause people to appear that way.

Many people do care for their loved ones at home, but I don't know how they do it. It's not just the matter of a person who can't remember things. It's much more than that. It's a person who may talk constantly about things that make no sense. A person who may walk continually from room to room and attempt to unplug appliances or hide items. It's emotional swings and anxiety that cannot be calmed. It's a person who may make unreasonable and bizarre demands and who cannot accept an answer. And depending on the condition, it's likely the issues will progress. It's difficult for me to imagine how a family member could handle the person in a home setting, since you need so much in the way of medication administration, nursing care, hygiene assistance, physical therapy, etc. It makes a lot of sense to have the patient somewhere where they can get all the help they need under one roof, IMO. I applaud those who can do it, but it must take a huge toll on them. If it were my parent and there were no other options, I would do my best, of course.

Everyone is different, but while my cousin did well in Assisted Living, initially, she now seems to need a Memory Care facility and I am exploring that idea now. I wish I had realized that with conditions such as VD and AD, the progression is unpredictable and you may have to move the patient to a facility that is best suited to care for their needs. Relocating is not ideal, so I would keep that in mind as you research your options.

I'm sure you will receive many accounts of what it's like to care for someone with dementia here. I have learned so much from coming here.
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