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Anything with hospital/medicare followup? She's 89 and zoomed through the surgery yesterday, but hospital pain meds making it hard to get her focused & back into real world - already an on and off problem before surgery. Can I grab some help somewhere in hospital opportunity. She's already suspicious we think she's crazy - not so, but teetering on edge. Anyone have any ideas? Doctors don't seem to care about the mental part of it.

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I know what you mean about AC being an escape! I will say that when my mom is in the hospital, I DONT try to keep her alert, I let her sleep as much as she pleases. It's her body's way of healing. My opinion.
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Excellent! Thanks for tips. Strangely, agingcare.com is my escape from hospital, helps me to feel more in control of a strange environment. She has had 24 hr. setback with diarrhea & gerd so I am trying to keep her alert, she is so tired.
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If your mom has already been diagnosed the dementia (as your profile indicates) then there is a long curve in recuperating from anesthesia, from being in a strange place, and from the surgery itself.

Is your mom on any antidepressants or antianxiety meds? If so, make sure the are still being given. I had a problem with those meds being stopped while my mom was hospitalized, twice.

Yes, ask about rehab and also get a geriatric psychiatric (or just a regular psychiatric ) consult while she's still in the hospital. Failing that, while she's in rehab. Psychiatrists seem to be the only folks who "get" the whole person.
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It really is a little early to be concerned, but you are prudent to be thinking ahead. Mental decline often accompanies surgery in the elderly. The hospital social worker usually stops in to see the patient sometime before discharge, but be proactive and arrange an appointment so you'll be sure to be there.

The other person who might be valuable is the psychiatrist. You can tell Mom this is routine. One came to see me when I was in the hospital for diabetes! If you can, arrange to speak to him or her briefly before he interviews your mother. Explain your concerns.

The surgeon is responsible for the physical outcome of the surgery, but may not be too knowledgeable about the cognitive after-effects.

It will really be easier to talk to professionals about your concerns while she is still in the hospital. I hope you are able to be in touch with all of them

Will Mom be going to a rehab center (or transitional care unit) to regain her strength? Perhaps the social worker can give you advice about which places are particularly attuned to the elderly.

Good luck ... and please keep us posted!
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thanks gardenartist, you really answered my questions. I guess my problem is a little too complicated for this forum - but I will try your suggestions, speaking to hospital staff.
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Ask one of the nurses if there's a social worker on staff. If there's a special nurse who shows concern, ask her; if not, ask the charge nurse. If you don't get anywhere, ask for the ombudsperson and/or the hospital administrator.

I've had really positive results from asking hospital administrators to intervene.

But I wouldn't give up on the doctors yet; you might need to be a little bit more forthright in addressing this issue with them.
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She just had surgery yesterday. Give her a chance!! Lordy.
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Anesthesia can be very harmful to someone who's 89 years old. Some people can bounce back somewhat but I've heard of elderly people who never fully bounce back.

I don't know who you'd talk to except the Dr. Have you tried talking to her surgeon and the Dr. who's caring for her in the hospital?
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