Hospital confusion how long does it last?


I have posted before about my grandma 86 was confused from a hospital stay. After a complete freak out at the house she was sent to a different hospital thank goodness, where we found out the UTI was never cleared and she has very low anemia. This was last Tuesday, she was started on antibiotics and given a blood transfusion. The first few days she didn't even know who I was, after the blood transfusion she started having a normal conversation and was aware of who people were etc. She is going to rehab after the hospital stay probally in a couple of days, when I discussed it with her two days ago, she was aware of it and fine with it. Now she is adamant she is going home ( though my plan is to bring her home, but she is to weak right now for me to do that) She was having delusions yesterday thinking I was dead, forgetting that I had come that last several days, saying her sister is being murdered who died 50 years ago, Saying the nurses wanted to hurt her. 6 weeks ago she was fine doing her thing at home ( we share a house) No dementia or anything, hasn't even been in a hospital for 30 years. Is this normal to be confused like this. Compared to where she was she has come a long way, but the delusions were scary for me. Also can anyone tell me success stories of someone going to rehab. She has never been ill before and not sure what to expect at rehab. thanks

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It's fairly common for elderly people to get hospital psychosis especially when there's a UTI lurking around. The bright lights, no sense of day or night because staff is coming into the room around the clock and the subsequent loss of time can really do a number on our elderly parents. It can be very disorienting.

Encourage your mom to go to rehab. Tell her it will be like a spa. She'll have things to do and people to spend some time with and that she can't go home without going to rehab. Has she made her feelings clear to the hospital PT? That she doesn't want to go? Make sure the hospital PT knows how your mom feels. There is strength in numbers and if enough people tell her that she must go maybe she'll agree.
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I would still suspect the UTI - it's really kind of terrifying what they can do to an elder's mind. You could insist on them rechecking that it is really cleared up - a severe urinary tract infection sometimes needs more than a week of antibiotics to truly be gone and even a very low level infection can still impact the mind too.
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Yes, both my elder parents who are in their mid to late 90's have run into that. My Dad thought he was in a hotel and wanted me take him down stairs to the front desk so he could pay his bill.... he didn't even realize he was wearing a hospital gown or all the hospital equipment in the room.

My Mom has been in the hospital 2 times in the past couple of months, and each time she had delusions and delirium which the nurse told me happens in 80% of elder cases, and even happens to much younger people after they have had surgery.

Dad didn't mind going into rehab, but oh my Mom fought tooth and nail about going into rehab, she wanted to go home. Guess she figured her house would crumble without her there doing all the work at her home.
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