My father is just turning 100! In January, he had a health crisis involving swallowing a large piece of steak. Prior to that he lived alone (drove until he was 99), cooked for himself, managed his financial affairs and was very alert and independent. He didn't choke on the steak but it required an endoscopy & full sedation to remove it from his esophagus. He was in ICU for over a week and had severe hospital psychosis while there & in SNF. He was in a rehab unit for another 3 weeks, over all losing 27 pounds and a lot of physical strength. But the worst part is he has never recovered his mental clarity. We have moved him to a board and care home for memory care with nursing and therapies brought in. His mental state has deteriorated, he recognizes us but talks constantly about "crazy" scenarios he takes part in - delusions for lack of a better description & has visual hallucinations. There are occasionally brief flashes of reality, which only throw you off from "living" in his reality. Maybe because all this came on so fast, it has been doubly hard for my husband & I to process. His doctors have not been encouraging that he will ever recover from this. Somehow the slow, years long progression of Alzheimer's seems like it would allow you to gradually adjust to the changes in personality and behavior. I find every visit with him unbearable sad, but want him to feel supported, loved and secure. Am wondering if anyone else has encountered this type of rapid onset of dementia and how have you dealt with it personally and with your loved one?

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Is he on any new meds from his operation? Could partly be a reaction to that. My MIL was completely nuts on Gabapentin although my mom takes it without issue. Every one is different.

I do know of a lot of elders taking a severe turn for the worse after a hospital stay. Anesthesia can really throw someone for a loop too. The things we learn....
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That was the case for my 82 y.o. Alz. mother. Two years ago, she came down with a bad cold. She took Dayquil during the day and Nitequil at night to help sleep as she usually did when she got a cold.

After two weeks, she got weaker and weaker, her blood pressure shot through the roof. So, to ER we went. Found dehydration. Got IV, then released home. Next day, she was bleeding when she went to the bathroom. Back to ER. It was her hemorrhoid,, not internal bleeding, got released home. Next day, she passed out, ambulance came and took her to ER again.

Took a month for her to get over her illness whatever it was. But she was still very weak, her memory took a deep dive like someone flipped a switch from on to off. All the sudden, she couldn't recall what I told her a few minutes ago. She started asking questions over and over. Yet, a few weeks ago, she was living by herself, cooking her own meals, etc. Now, she couldn't remember the grocery store we shopped at all the time, mixed up her brother with her son, etc. And downhill it went from there.

Alzheimer's is a terrible disease, it will take a person to a very ugly end, 10-15 years down the road, to where they forget who they are and all their family and friends, and be bedridden and in diapers. My most sincere hope for my mother is for her to pass before she gets to that stage.

Your father being 100, he had enjoyed 100 years of independent living, and being able to drive until he was 99 y.o.. Those are BIG blessings that not too many people get. Please take comfort in that. At his age, he probably won't make it to the last stage of Alzheimer's. That is another big blessing in itself. Although from what you describe, he's in the middle or late stage.

Try not be too stressed about his condition. Read more about it so you know what to expect and adjust your expectation accordingly. Let nature takes its course. Only visit him as often and stay as long as you can handle, then leave. Many posters here recommend Teepa Snow alzheimer's videos on Youtube to learn how to handle Alz. patients.

Do you have Power of Attorney for his health and finance? Does your father have a living will?
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cdeh61 Apr 2019
Thank you for your response! I do have his health care power of attorney & he has a living will, but his financial POA is the "springing" variety and requires 2 doctors certify his incapacity. Between stays in hospital, SNF & now moving him closer to us, he currently on has one doctor. Having trouble getting the 2nd to certify him! Yes, we are very blessed to have had him with us - healthy & independent for so long. Mom only passed 4 years ago, so they had a long and happy life together!
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