Greetings to all who are or have been a caregiver to their loved ones; what do I do?

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My father has just been diagnosed with Dementia. OH! how disheartening this is to see him literally go from one a sharp mind to almost infantile stage. He wandered off a few days ago and of course, I got the scare of my life. After finding him thankfully still alive, he had fallen flat on his face with swollen eyes, fractured nose, bruises and abrasions...things that can be treated. He was hospitalized and now ready for discharge. Only to find out he is not ready to go to Rehab. They have suggested a Geriatric Psych Hospital for evaluation. OMG, how devestating that was for me to hear that and the two hospitals suggested are both about 45-60 minutes away. I really don't know how I feel right now...numb I guess, but what do I do? Anybody out there can help me with this or offer comfort if they have gone through this...please...thank you in advance.

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After the fire, they put him and me both in a Suite across from each other. The usual routine has always been I would go to my room once he fell asleep. Tbay worked for us...like I said this is all of a sudden.
The plan is to go yo s Rehab posy Geriatric Psych
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Thanks EVERYONE for any and all help...It is SO WELCOMED!!!
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After the fire they put us both in a Suite across from each other. The normal routine has been I would leave out when he fell asleep...usually around 11:00pm.
They did a Urinalysis but no UTI found.
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Welcome to this site. I found it about half way through the 4years I took care of my mother. I wish I would have known about it earlier in her care. Please stick with us because this is a wonderful resource. Best wishes.
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How many hours was he under during the surgery?

The rule of thumb is that for every hour "under", it takes about a month to recover in elderly folks.

Dad's behavioral symptoms sound like they could be caused by a UTI. Make sure they check for that.
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Hi Geewiz
Dad is 81 soon to be 82 in March. He had Open Heart Surgery in December. While in Rehab his house caught fire. He got out of Rehab to be placed in a Suite. He was doing fine waiting on the house to be finished then all of a sudden started acting like this.
He had about 3 CT Scans and they just showed brain shrinkage...no strokes. But it is recommended to see a Neuroligist.
Even before the Triple Bypass, he lived alone, was driving, very independent.
I didnt know this could happen so fast.
Yes, he has recently become combative...talking to people who are not in the room...hallucinating...grabbing at something in the air, like he is threading a needle or something...looking at the ceiling vents, saying they are fish...pulling at his covers all the time...just disheartening for me
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Geronimo, you don't say how old your dad is, or where he's been living. Are these symptoms of sudden onset? Have they ruled out Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus? And DO make sure they check for a UTI.

Not trying to cause you stress, it's just that sometimes with older folks, hospitals make assumptions about prior level of functioning and stick a dementia label on people without investigating what else might be going on.

If dad has had a stroke, or heart / lung issues for years, then it's much more likely that he's developed Vascular Dementia and that his decline has been there but he's been covering it well for a while.

Read everything you can (on this site and elsewhere) about dementia; it'll help you ask better questions.
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Thanks BarbBrooklyn
I really dont know. I guess because I will not be there with him. I wish this was all a bad dream. I could wake up back to normal. BUT I know reality must set in. Afraid of not knowing and scared of the outcome.
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Very good point on the UTI! For some reasons hospitals often overlook them as causes of behavioral issues.
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WOW, you must be in shock! So, before I throw out some ideas let me ask a few questions. How old is Dad? What are his living arrangements? Has there been any history of behavioral issues prior to this? Are you comfortable with the reputation of his current hospital and the doctors treating him? Has he been evaluated by a gerontologist? Screened for causes of these changes --- mini strokes, for example. Are there other major health issues. Is he combative?

Ok, onto some quick thoughts. I've dealt with dementia, but not a geriatric psych ward. Have you been able to Ask the doctors what type of dementia they think he has/ (Read up on alz.org there are many types of dementia). Why is the evaluation, as an in-patient necessary? How long do they anticipate he will be at the hospital. What do they think it will produce? Would he go to rehab after that? (Ask social worker would a rehab take him from a psych hospital??? Has he been tested for a urinary track infection? Thyroid imbalance? Both of these (easily fixable) issues can be overlooked and thy both cause dementia like behavior!
It sounds like you are working to be a great advocate, and that is exactly what he needs right now. More here will respond, but keep us up to date on what you learn.
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