Is my husbands dementia getting worse? What comes next?

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My husband with dementia is now cannot maintain his balance. Very unsteady on his feet. Now has trouble going out even with a walker. What comes next. Home health is suppose to be helping with balance but seems not to help. Went from very aggressive and talkative to submissive. Staying in bed alot and stays very cold. Doctors just had to double his high blood pressure and add another to keep his blood pressure down. Appetite is not good at all. I know its getting worse, but want some advise. Thanks.

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Upallnight, like capnhardass mentioned, for my MIL a fall occurred after she began having balance issues. We had her here for Christmas and when I accompanied her to the bathroom, she suddenly began to topple over. In midJanuary the nursing home doctor restricted her to assisted walking only. A few weeks later she was found with a broken hip laying on the floor next to her bed. Most likely she forgot that she was supposed to push the button for assistance and just tried to walk by herself.

Now update to the first week of April and she is currently in the hospital after a choking incident while eating lunch. Tests reveal she now has a "delayed" swallow. The speech therapist who took part in the barium evaluation said it could hold at this stage or continue to deteriorate. She seems to progress pretty quickly so I suspect she will lose the ability to eat in the not too distant future.

Her hip break was a bad one. Her recovery has weakened her a great deal. She has developed deep vein thrombosis, colitis and a kidney infection since the hip break. Oh, and not to forget she currently has pneumonia.

She now needs to be in a totally upright position to eat or drink. No more straws because she doesn't use them correctly anymore. She had just gotten to the point in her recovery where she is allowed to put weight on the broken leg. She is much weaker- again -so her physical therapy will suffer a setback.

She was in so much pain in the hospital this week that she did recognize her son and myself for the first time in over a month.
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BTW, my father also avoided going out of the house. He never went willingly. The only times we went out, I pushed him in his wheelchair. That was bearable for him. He was very afraid of falling. As his balance and health became worse, he had particular trouble turning. He could walk forward or back up, but rotating was very difficult. This made transferring him from standing to his chair very difficult. I tried to find ways that he didn't have to turn when it got very bad. I hope your husband does not get to that point.
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upallnight, my father had the same problem with dizziness and balance. He took a medicine -- Meclizine, I think it was called -- that helped some. If the balance is poor, it helps to wear supportive shoes. My father also favored a walker that did not have wheels on the bottom. He put the little tennis ball covers on the end of the legs. I don't know if this was personal preference or if it helped him with his balance problems.

One thing I found that was very important when balance is poor is to make sure the floor is cleared. One time my mother dropped her towel on the floor. As he was walking, he kicked to get it out of the way and lost his balance. That was a bad evening. Nothing was broken, but he spent the next few days in a wheelchair.

If your husband feels off balance, he may avoid walking. Encourage him to get up and keep the circulation moving if possible. Losing the sense of balance is terrible for the person going through it. He may go through it the rest of his life. Medicines help some. PT helps sometimes. Trying to stay active always helps as long as he is safe when he walks. Being active helps to keep the ears' balance centers in working condition.

I am sorry that your husband is going through this. I know how hard it is.
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in a high number of elders a bone breaking fall could come next. staying in bed a lot may be the lesser of two evils. broken bones are excruciating. i busted up a leg once and ,well, never kicked a dog in the face at 50 mph again i can tell ya that..
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