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My grandmother recently suffered a bad fall resulting in a broken neck and back. She was recovering well until she suffered from a UTI hospitalizing her for a week. Since then, her mind has still not came back fully. She was starting to show early signs of dementia, just telling you the same thing 4 or 5 times in a discussion, but it has become increasingly worse. She can't tell the difference between a phone and a tv remote. When she is told or asked a simple question, she seems to always answer with "I don't know" or "I forgot about that". I asked her dr about it and he said very rarely does a UTI create permanent deficits like this. Has anyone else expireanced something like this with a loved one? How long have you seen the effects of a bad UTI continue to take control over a mind? It's been almost 2 weeks since she has been treated and returned to "normal ". What should my next step be?

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Her broken back and neck were taken care of immediately. She was hospitalized for these original breaks for almost 3 weeks. The UTI was a after effect, of what I believe was a lingering one since before the fall. And, yes, we were extremely shocked to find out that her neck will never heal, that was never proposed to us by any of her doctors or therapist. We knew she would be in the C collar for awhile, we never anticipated life time.
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Lorilassick: That what I told you. The broken back and neck should have been the FIRST PROTOCOL OF CARE! IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ADDRESSED STAT! Of course she had bigger problems. Why weren't you prepared to hear it? I don't understand why you were shocked since you knew she had broken her back and neck!
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Well, it's been a few weeks now since the UTI. Grandma has came back to pretty much herself at this point. A follow up test said there was no UTI lingering, we just had to wait and see. Now her mind is "back to normal" but we have bigger problems. A recent follow up CAT scan delivered bad news that her fractured displaced breaks in C1 and C5 of her neck will never heal properly and she will always need the support of a C collar for the rest of her life. Not something we were prepared to hear and very hard to accept. She can do surgery to fuse the bones together, but at her age (84) we're wondering if the pros out weight the cons.
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Get her tested for Alzheimer's asap
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Your loved one may benefit from getting tested for dementia & Alzheimers asap.
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Right, JoAnn29!
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I was going to say the same thing. Was she checked for a concussion.
Problems from a concussion can last a year. Your primary should check for another UTI. They don't always clear up.
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The UTI is the least of your worries for her. A broken back and neck? Good grief! Get her some assistance.
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To keep from having to take my Aunt to the doc everytime she showed signs of a UTI, her doctor gave me some sterile specimen bottles and the small packets that you use to clean the area. I was then able to get a specimen from her and take it to the doc that day without my Aunt needing to go along. I would always take her temperature, her heart rate and her oxygen level to include with the specimen. Made things so much easier.
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My Mom was down for nearly two weeks after a UTI. She had difficulty walking and not falling.
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when I used a home test strip, it indicated a uti but the doctor said that was bacteria that did not signify a uti. I am in the process of testing for another uti for my mom but a home health aide is taking care of it. She also had surgery in September and it took a couple of months to be herself again. We were told she has "sundowners" and she does get a confused at night but not all the time. I guess what I am saying is, those uti's are brutal and they can happen one after another.
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if she is taking the antibiotic Levaquin or another in its class, this could be the problem. I personally know 2 elderly people who went into serious dementia, including paranoia and halucinations when on this antibiotic. This type of antibiotic is usually what is given first in UTI's. After this antibiotic was stopped both people came back to themselves and began to function as before. Please check on this!
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My mother gets very confused during a UTI and that is usually my first inkling that she has one. The confusion and such usually recedes back to normal once antibiotics kick in - even before the UTI is totally cured. Her baseline has been what I would call mild dementia.

So, this past UTI was treated with oral antibiotics but, even after her course was done, her dementia seemed to be even worse. Her Doctor basically said that this was our new norm as she is aging and that is what happens when we age.

Nope, another fall and a hospital visit two days after completing the course of antibiotics. And, of course, the hospital found a UTI. After IV antibiotics and four days in the hospital, she has given a clear sample. No UTI (for now). But, it looks like this increased level of dementia is here to stay.
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My 95 year old Father suffered a stroke and was hospitalized for several weeks. He lost speech and memory. Went to Nursing facility for rehab with an undiagnosed UTI. Was there for just over 2 weeks; became his old self again and then went home. After only a few hours home he collapsed and was taken back to the hospital where the UTI was diagnosed and treated. My Father's speech and memory were lost again. He then had another stroke and began having seizures. It is very hard to communicate with him now. He does not know simple words. His mind seems sharp at times and other times not. He does not remember our Mother, how to use a telephone, TV remote, or computer. We do not see the person he was anymore. He is shuffled from one care facility to another by his present wife. We are all very sad. Hope this has helped. Before leaving any medical facility, please request a test for a UTI! May save so much heartache.
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A UTI can definitely cause dementia-like symptoms. And worse. Have her pcp order a test. Then if he orders antibiotics make sure she finishes them. At the same time, be sure she is drinking more fluids such ad water, herbal teas, even juices and broths. Especially if at all possible add a probiotic with the anti-uti addition in it. Your healthfood store should have it.
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Wow, freqflyer, so sorry to hear that! Im definitely bringing it up at her neuro appt next Monday. I know she hasnt fallen since shes been home this time bc myself or either a caregiver is here 24/7 with her.
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Lori, I remember back when my Mom had her first major fall [that I knew about, my parents were so very hush hush about falls when it concerned my Mom] Mom had a brain bleed.

After she came home from the hospital she was quickly back to normal, doing all the housework, etc. The doctor recommended caregivers to which Mom shooed out of the house on day 3.

Then a week or two later, another fall where Mom had once again hit her head. Thus another brain bleed, plus a blood clot elsewhere, but this time it took a fair sharp person who was 98 years old, it put her into the last stages of dementia, and she wasn't able to walk or even stand ever again.
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She did have a minor subdural hematoma. Subsequent scans have shown the bleed was stopped and unmoved. The fall took place the night before thanksgiving. Her last CT scan was Dec 23rd.
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Never surgery. Did she have a brain scan, MRI or other to confirm there is not a brain bleed? Was she checked for a concussion?
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There are a number of things that could be causing this, but, I might get a consult with a Neurologist. I'd try to rule out Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus or Rapidly Advancing Dementia.
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Read up on them on WebMD. They are accurate if you use them according to directions.
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I dont beleive it is the UTI. The effects on her were definatly more hallucinations and complete delirium with that...not just confusion. Remembers things from 30 years ago just fine, but her short term is definitely where the deficit is. Are those home testing strips for UTI accurate?
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One thing I noticed with my very elderly parents is that any change in routine would cause memory issues to increase. Even visits to the ER, stays in the hospital, any meds given at the hospital, and especially falls.

But with UTI's it caused strange effects... such as my Dad seeing ants on the walls and in his food. Once the antibiotics kicked in, the ants started to go away.

Falls were the main culprit for my parents memory issues increasing.
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Did you withdraw the Ativan gradually or just stop it? Is it possible she's suffering from withdrawal symptoms?

Ultimately, I think CM is correct, that it's another UTI. Call her doctor to discuss. And find out about home testing for UTIs, going forward.
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Markedly worse in the past 3 days - my first guess would be that that nasty uti is back with a vengeance. But better not guess: call her GP for advice.
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She had no surgery at all. She was however on a hefty dose of Ativan and Percocet, which i immediatly took her off of once she returned home. It did take a few days for the cloudiness in her mind to subside, but she came back rather well. It, in all honesty, has been getting markedly worse in the past 3 days. No new meds that she hasnt been on for less then a month (antibiotics, diurectics). Just strikew we strange as i thought once she was home and in familiar suroundings it would get better not worse. Are there any simple "test" i can do at home to see if its just forgetfullness or something more? What dr would i follow up with? Is it her PCP or does she need a neurologist for dementia?
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When an elderly person with dementia suffers a significant injury it often causes an exacerbation in the dementia. Add a UTI on top of that and it's not surprising your grandma's dementia has gotten worse.

Talk with her Dr. about her symptoms. I'm also curious as to whether your grandma had surgery as a result of her fall. Anesthesia can wreak havoc on dementia.
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Your grandma? Have her primary doctor refer her to a neurologist that specializes in dementia. Did grandma have surgery asa result of the fall?
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