Joint replacement on patient with memory issues. Advice? - AgingCare.com

Joint replacement on patient with memory issues. Advice?

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My Dad needs knee replacement. This will be his third joint replacement in ten years. He is in a great deal of pain. His ability to get around is being affected. He is 84 and his memory issues are beginning to affect his daily living activities. I'm afraid rehab with be a nightmare and that he may hurt himself because he will not be able to remember precautions. I am the only caregiver and work full time. He will be going to rehab after surgery. With the memory issues becoming more problematic; is surgery the best choice. I love my Dad and want to do what's best for him.

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Anesthesia does NOT help memory issues. Having said that, the alternative of constant pain doesn't seem great either. So, let's list the positives and negatives: With the surgery, he eliminates the knee pain and is able to get around better. But it may result in a big decline in his memory issues. And, rehab will be a challenge. Without surgery he is in constant pain and you are second guessing yourself from this day forward. One thing you can control, research EVERY rehab facility in your community to see if they have ANY experience in dealing with patients with memory issues. Some therapists have special training on dealing with ALZ/dementia patients. That is what I would look for. KEep us posted.
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You said he is in pain and from that perspective alone I would go for surgery. Also he is 84, does he had heart issues? Cardiology may not clear him for anesthesia, so no surgery then. If he does have surgery, I think you are at the point of having to place him either in AL or NH. You said you worked full time,and yes, rehab may be more difficult for him this time, insurance will only give so much time in rehab. You may be at a crossroads about where he will be living,I am assuming he lives with you. I am so sorry for your situation, it will be some tough calls and I know you want what is best for your dad.Knee surgery is rough even for someone without memory issues.Again , I would go for the surgery to just relieve pain, however, he may not be cleared to have anesthesia due to age and heart issues so surgery may not be an issue.However, where he will be living looks like a definite issue at this point regardless of surgery, with you working full time and he is having memory issues, I assume short term memory issues at this point,he may need more care than you can provide yourself. Keep us updated on how you are doing and so glad you came to this site.
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