Has anyone ever experienced short periods of 2-3 days of sudden deterioration in dementia sufferer?

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Dad has being diagnosed some time again with dementia and I've witnessed all the usual symptoms many carers have posted. However for three days last week my dad was very sleepy, all the time, even during meals. He was so bad, at breakfast I had to mash a banana onto a slice of bread and cut it up into bite sized pieces so that he could just jab his fork into a piece, but it took forever, having to feed him at times and sitting beside him to catch him as he was leaning over to the side. Lunch and dinner were no better. On top of that he was constipated for on day two, probably following the taking of an antibiotic, but that never happened before. That night I gave him two senokot and had a mighty surprise awaiting me the following morning, on the floor of his bedroom. (Thankfully the floor is wooden). During the three days being very sleepy and incoherant he was also incontinent, constantly standing up even when having a bowel movement. The washing machine and dryer was going non stop as I had to wash and change him multiple times each day. After those three days, he seems to be back to normal, usual cat nap during the day and eating meals with no falling asleep. My question has anyone experienced similar episodes where you think that a nursing home is the next step, and then suddenly being back to some kind of normality, and if so, has it happened subsequently, in other words, is my dad likely to have other bouts like this? Any thoughts much appreciated.

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It’s just such a hard journey. My first thought as I read your post was I wonder too if he may have gotten dehydrated. They can forget to drink water, leading to fatigue, confusion, and constipation-sometimes also to UTIs. A very valuable piece of advice I was given by mom’s geriatric psychiatrist was it is better to err on the side of early than late when making decisions about moving to the next level of care. This helped take some of the weight off my shoulders worrying about when is the right time. I hope it helps you too. You certainly are carrying a LOT of weight. I wonder if your local AreaAgency on Aging provides any respite services for caregivers? Be kind to yourself.
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All good comments. My Mom, in Assisted Living for several years, has ups and downs. The downs are worrisome and can be extreme -- once she was convinced I had lost all of money somehow and it took weeks to convince her otherwise. Numerous other less-extreme events, seem to occur about monthly now. She was diagnosed with "mild to medium dementia" 1 1/2 years ago. I've come to realize there are so many types and stages of dementia, that there's no one thing that works for everyone. I've pushed regular exercise, observed that she's a lot better when she gets it. She suffers incontinence, another thing that manifests unevenly, bad days and good (or at least better). I appreciate one comment about dehydration, might explain some of my Mom's worse episodes -- she's afraid to drink water for fear of an accident, compounding the problem. At worse times, UTI and blood sugar have been tested, often inconclusive. Nirvana, this care-giver stuff is frustrating and difficult! It's obvious that you care. You'll try to help with mixed success. Stay positive, and don't kick yourself over the inevitable failures. You'll have some successes, too!
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Nirvana,

In my experiences with grandma I have found that expecially bad days or times corresponded with adnormally highblood sugar levels or a urinary tract infection. Her Dr has confirmed that wither of these two issues would cause isssues.

It may be useful to look into
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My Husband had been "diagnosed" with Alzheimer's.
As he declined I noticed that most of the time the decline was slow, like walking down a ramp.
Once in a while I noticed a drastic change, he would be able to do something one day but not the next.
This decline combined with the slow decline sort of looked like going down a ramp then going down 2 or 3 stairs to another ramp.
I heard a neuro-psychologist talk one day and I came to the conclusion that my Husband probably had Alzheimer's AND Vascular dementia. But at that point I did not see what further testing would do, it would not change the outcome nor were there medications to change what was happening. And I would not have wanted to stress him by putting him through tests that would not help.
I guess what I am saying is it is possible to have two types of dementia and one type can have slow declines and another faster more drastic declines. the bigger question is...is it worth subjecting your loved one to the tests to confirm what you suspect knowing that there is nothing that can be done.
(The exception to this would be confirming Lewy Body Dementia as there are medication that one with LBD should not take)
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My mother goes through this every couple of months. Goes down hill and we think we are close to the end then she rallies back. I think its just part of the disease. Like some days she knows me and some days she doesn’t. My heart and my thoughts go out to you, it’s a hard journey you are on.
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You mention he is on antibiotics. What are they for? If it is for a urinary tract infection, that could be the cause of the sudden decline. UTIs cause dementia patients to suddenly become a lot worse and can even make an elderly person without dementia seem like they have it.

If not a UTI, it could be a side effect of the infection or he could be dehydrated. I would follow up with his GP.

Good luck!
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My husband has been diagnosed with Alzheimer He is 75
There are days when he seems almost normal.
Then there there are days when he is totally confused.
I wonder myself how can that be . No infections or flu.
Wakes up in the middle of the night just to ask strange questions.
It is all part of this very complicated and strange disease.
some days my husband does not even get dressed and sleeps on the sofa off and on all day.
Other days he wants to go for a walk..
Big hugs to you.
It is very hard being a caregiver.
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No input here. Just very thankful you are all willing to share your experiences as reading them as been very helpful to me in dealing with my own father.
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My dad has gone through this cycle many times. Usually it coincides with him being sick, dehydrated, having some kind of infection. Sometimes he just has off days.

Dad can still have conversations, somewhat continent (although doesn't always make it to bathroom), still eats on his own and gets around with just a cane on most days. Every now and then he degrades where he sleeps all the time, doesn't show interest in anything, barely answers with yes/no responses, sits with his dinner in front of him like he doesn't know what to do with it, has a hard time standing and getting around.

Then... a day or 2 later he is back to what he was before as far as mental and physical abilities.. It seems to be happening more and more now though.. so I wonder if it is part of the decline process.
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Hi All,
Many, many thanks for all your responses. We were in the hospital yesterday getting results of a basal cell carcinoma and a squamous cell carcinoma which were all good, it was the hospital that had prescribed the antibiotic, and I told the consultant about the 3 day incident. Although her expertise is plastics, she said neither the procedure or the antibiotic would have caused it. I have been encouraged to take a leave of absence from work, and over the coming weeks I intend to speak with his GP and the local representative from the Alzheimer's society. My local health nurse has referred us for an occupational therapist review as well as other services, so I'm hopeful that more assistance and information will be available.
Again I take everything you have all said on board, and will keep it all in mind. I'll keep you updated on any progress.
It's mother's day here in Ireland this Sunday, so to all you mothers out there, Happy Mother's Day.
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