Help me to decide what to do, my heart is broken.

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6 weeks ago my grandma 86 got a UTI went the hospital 4 days, though it was suppose to be cleared up wasn't, now we are in the hospital 2 weeks, grandma is completely out of it, not eating but some water and some ice cream, right now she is just moaning. They kept her because of high calcium. I am waiting to see what she wants, I am thinking of calling hospice. 6 weeks ago my grandma had no dementia, was doing fine and now this, she keeps saying she wants to go home. I just want to make her happy anyone been through this

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Cory, I'm so sorry. I hope you will be able to get someone else to see your grandma. There are a lot of doctors who are not adept at handling geriatric patients, nor do they understand what it is like for the families. I'm sorry this is happening to you. I know you are close to your grandma and I hope it will be a relief for the two of you to have her at home.
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They have ran all tests, she has stopped eating and drinking they said she is decling and as long as she is not eating or drinking she is not going to make it, MRI clear cat scams clear she was already not eating a lot because of the UTI then she was on cipro that was the wrong med
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Cory, are you taking your grandma home on medical advice? Have they given you a prognosis?

If they are throwing their hands up, no plan for treatment and just telling you they don't know what's wrong, definitely take her for a second opinion.

But if they are recommending she stay there, could you call her primary care doc Monday morning and explain that you are trying to understand what her issues are and ask him or her to talk to the hospital doctor on your behalf. If this 6 week patch is your first go-around with an elderly in the hospital, it can be very scary to see the dramatic way relatively minor problems present.

Your grandma could be declining rapidly on her own, they could be missing something treatable, or she could just be in the process of getting better. But make sure you are hearing what the staff are telling you, both for your grandma's well-being and for your own peace of mind.
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I can tell you from personal experience that there are many reasons why the elderly refuse to eat. One of my main problems was the diet. i was on a cardiac diet. This seemed to include no salt or other flavoring except pepper. No sugar so all the soda was diet. i won't even mention the tea and coffee. The kitchen had to follow the rules so I did not blame the servers for "cream" of wheat served with nothing and made with water. I actually threatened to throw it into the hall if they brought that again. Sandwiches were always offered as an alternative. my idea of sandwich is not two slices of dry bread with slices of deli meat. luckily the nurses helped me with the contraband. They would make me hot chocolate with 2 real half and halves and three sugars. Hubby bought in a minute fridge and stocked it with yogurt that had sugar and flavor and and canned fruit in heavy syrup.and full cream milk instead of the fat free white colored water served to everyone.
Well that was just me but i can get pretty demanding . Anyone when they are sick elderly, demented or not can get very confused from lack of sleep. because i needed a pill at 3am why drag me out of bed to weigh me.??????? and two hours later here comes the blood draw, then "Would you like to get in your chair ready for breakfast (It will be here in about two hours) I was pretty frayed at the edges after months of this. One hospital insisted I go to rehab and not home. Guess where I went? I did not want to spend three weeks sharing a room with a demented old lady. One night of that was more than enough on a regular floor in the hospital. She kept coming over and tucking me in and telling me how all the Drs were her brothers. Overtime i got the thermostat turned down to 70 she would walk back into the room and flip it back up to 80 as she walked past. I could not figure out how she had escaped an alarm mat on her bed and chair. It did come in handy when some one took too long answering a bell. I would just stand up and immediately the alarm brought at least three nurses. Guess this was off subject but I wanted to explain some of the problems older patients experience
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Agree with Vsteffans. Start with a second opinion.
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Do you have recent pictures or even videos of here before this happened? Something to make it vividly clear to medical people that she was NOT debilitated before this illness, so they investigate properly! I can't help wondering if calling in hospice is premature, in light of a specific, acute, treatable illness and previously functioning well.

Hypercalcemia alone can make people very weak, achy, sleepy, depressed - and it is important to know why someone has it. Antidepressants do NOT help hypercalcemia one iota. There is another specific entity called prolonged neuromuscular blockade with marked proximal (hips and shoulders) weakness plus swallowing trouble usually related to meds given in an ICU setting, and it will get better but takes time. Just gastritis or reflux can make someone not want to eat, and not everyone will verbalize that it hurts to swallow.

Don't just be mad and broken-hearted, get to the bottom of it. Maybe try different doctors - is there an academic medical center with a comprehensive geriatric evaluation center you could use? They could review the records and if there is really nothing else to be done might at least be able to expalin why, but I have a feeling they will find something that needs attention.
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Update, I am bringing her home on hospice on Tuesday, she is so out of it and hasn't eaten anything for a week and was barely eating before that because of the UTI. I am angry at the doctors. She went in for the UTI but wanted to treat other stuff none of it life threatening. She was rating a little and eith it a week agp.
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Hi Cory,

There is a lot of good advice here.

When my grandma was in the hospital after hip surgery she started hallucinating and I believe her potassium was way out of whack. It was very disturbing and we totally panicked! We had a resident doctor who was completely oblivious and very inexperienced, and we had to get tough with the dr and the nurses in order to get them to figure out what was going on. But once they treated her, she was back to normal within a few hrs. At the time my grandma showed no obvious signs of dementia (though in retrospect I can see that she did have mild dementia and was doing a really good job covering.) But I think sometimes younger doctors and other staff just assume that because a patient is elderly, that the patient is demented and kooky as a baseline. Sometimes you have to insist -- firmly but respectfully -- that they explain exactly what is going on -- ask to see labs, etc. and just act interested and curious and not accusatory. Ask to jot down all meds and then check their side effects.

Having spent a lot of time with my grandparents in the hospital, one thing that really helps is to try to be there very early when the doctors round, anywhere from 6:30 am on if it is a teaching hospital, probably about 7:30 or 8:00 am if it's a regular one, but ask your nurses. It is very inconvenient (and the dr's schedules tend to be unpredictable if it's a teaching hospital) but it is the best way to figure out exactly what is going on, and the best way to advocate for her.

The delirium Freq.Flyer describes is really common in the elderly. Your grandma might seem totally fine at home, but routine and familiarity are what keep the very elderly going strong. When they get out of that environment, they suddenly show how frail they truly are. Electrolyte imbalance, UTIs (which she might need a longer dose of medication for, or a different medication), the screwed up schedule, and new medications as others mentioned can all cause unusual behavior. It is very scary but chances are it is just an imbalance, side effect, or her age and will be corrected when she is a little stronger.

I hope she feels better soon!
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Cory, 80% of elderly patients become disoriented and have some type of delirium when in the hospital for whatever reason [20% of young patients have the same thing after surgery]. It's all because you wake up not knowing where you are at first, the sounds in the hall are different compared to home, you see faces you don't recognize, you are given drugs that may or may not have side effects, the food is different, and you are attached to IV so you can't get out of bed easily, you're awaken at 5 a.m. for a blood test, etc.

When my Dad was in the hospital after a fall, the next day he thought he was in a hotel and he wanted me to take him downstairs to the front desk so he could pay the hotel bill. After a couple days back home he was ok.
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The elderly get very disoriented in the hospital. Being around familiar people will help keep her oriented. They also often refuse to eat--sort of like a hunger strike, if you will. They just want to go home. That's all I ever heard out of my poor father. A discharge planner should be meeting with you to discuss the after-care plan, whether discharge to a subacute facility or discharge to a family member's care. Usually the hospitals can't hold on to the patients too long because of the insurance rules, but the rules can also work in your favor, because the patient has to be an in patient for a certain number of days before Medicare can do different things. But also bear in mind, once discharged, that the patient has to stay OUT of the hospital for a certain number of days. At least, that's how it used to be. Haven't stayed up on these things since my Dad passed a few years ago. But please do ask to speak to the patient advocate, social worker, or discharge planner--whoever the appropriate person is at that facility. Good luck!
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