My 90 year old mother was put in memory care for her advanced dementia. After three weeks, her heart stopped and although revived by CPR and sent to ER, she passed away the next morning in the ICU. The doctor tried everything - antibiotics, blood pressure meds, but she never turned the corner and her organs started failing. I found out she did have bacteria in her urine. I talked to the nurse at the memory care facility, and she said mom had been incontinent, and they had no luck getting a urine sample. They were actually waiting for health services to come in that day to get a sample with a catheter, but it was too late. We were shocked to hear that cause of death was septic shock. I feel that the facility had to know she was sick for a while and didn't give her the proper care. I am not sure how long she had a UTI, but it must have been for a while. Would have been better to put her in a skilled nursing facility, but the one we found for her wouldn't accept her as they were not a licensed memory care facility. We have not heard back from this facility at all - no condolences, nothing. I told the nurse to tell the director how she died. They actually owe us money for the week she wasn't there and we paid for. She was also getting Medicaid to cover the main cost. I feel that she was not properly care for and that this could have been avoided. Am I totally off base here?

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shakingdustoff, Let me do some research and I will start a new post about urinary tract infections that way we won't interfere with Maui4me's questions. It may take me a couple of days to get the information that I need. Okay with you?
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I am so sorry that you lost your mother so suddenly. Unfortunately, the elderly are more susceptible to infections than the general public and Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are so hard to diagnose in the elderly because they mimic so many other illnesses and because they can cause mental changes or decline in the elderly.

Sometimes an UTI can lead to bacteremia (the presence of bacteria in the bloodstream) which does not show any distinct symptoms until the bacteria has accumulated in certain tissues or organs or spread throughout the body resulting in sepsis or septic shock. This type of infection can occur slowly or rapidly depending on the person's age and overall health, if the person has had a joint replacement or heart valve replacement or has a pacemaker, the cause of the infection, how many organs have failed, and how quickly and aggressively medical therapy is started. Unfortunately, sepsis or septic shock has a high death rate and even with prompt treatment, it cannot always be prevented.

In regards to the Memory Care Facility, it sounds like the facility’s policies and procedures had a part in how your Mother was treated. The MCF nurses attempted to get a urine sample but were unable to because of your Mother’s incontinence. Based on what the nurse told you, apparently the policy was that the MCF nurse could NOT catheterize your Mother and that someone from another facility or organization had to do the procedure. So you really can’t put all of the blame on the nurses as they were following the facility’s policies and procedures.

I really can’t tell you that your Mother would have been better taken care of in a skilled nursing facility. Your Mother still could have gotten a UTI and she still could have ended up with sepsis and dying. It just depends on a lot of variables.

Unfortunately most health care facilities do not respond in an emotional way towards a family that has lost someone who was in the faculty’s care like we would like them to. You need to remember that this is a business and that they have certain accounting procedures to complete before they can return any money that they owe you or Medicaid and that it can take 1-2 months before you get any refund.

I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that even though you feel only sorrow and anger today, your sorrow is rooted in love and that anger is one of the steps in grieving. Remember that as much as you loved your Mother, God loves you even more and that HE can renew your strength and restore your peace as you take shelter and comfort under HIS Holy Wings of Love. God Bless.
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Maui, people develop immunities to antibiotics and treatment is adjusted to take that into consideration. When someone passes unexpectedly, sometime ppl look for fault or blame or scapegoatswhen there is none. I hope you can come to terms with this soon.
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Maui4me, this is a type of question that only a doctor could answer. My heartfelt sympathy to you and your family.

I believe with such advance age, it's a wonder the doctors can pin point cause of passing. With my own Mom [98], I was surprised to find "advanced dementia" as the cause of passing. It was a serious fall with head trauma at home that got the ball rolling, as Mom didn't have dementia when she fell. She passed 3 months later in long-term-care.
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