Brought Mum home from a 3 day stay in the hospital today and she is even more confused than ever. Is this normal?

Follow
Share

Mum is in the beginning stages of dementia at 95 and has been in the hospital because of pancreatitis and a gallstone. I brought her home today and she is more confused than she's ever been. Want's to "go home" to her home she lived in as a child. She keeps trying to leave the house because she thinks she has to meet some men that want to buy her 1941 Ford, and she's talking about people that haven't been alive in many years. I can't calm her down. Is this because of the change in her normal routine? Will things go back to what I considered "semi normal"? I don't know how to deal with this behavior. I go along with as much as I can and try to pacify her but when she tries to get up and leave, I'm running around dead bolting the doors. I finally got her to bed because one of my cats who has really taken to my Mum, went in and snuggled on the bed with her. Hope that continues throughout the night!

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
6

Answers

Show:
Glad it all worked out Pink. Every change seems to be a new adventure in the caregiving game. The lesson is that you have to be right there and in their face to make sure nothing bad happens to a loved one.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Thanks everyone. I don't know what I would do without this group! We are just starting to get back to normal, or what is normal for her. Thanks Rainmom. I had forgotton but they did give her morphine the first night in the hospital. I wasn't aware of any other meds that they had given her other than her normal ones. Next time I'll know to ask. (I hope there won't be a next time)! I called one evening and spoke with a nurse who could not speak English very well and all I could understand was that they were transferring her to a Boston Hospital for a procedure. I told her I couldn't understand her, and she seemed annoyed with me. So I called back and spoke with someone else who was equally annoyed with me because I told them I didn't want her moved anywhere until I talked with a Dr. I got up there first think the next morning and the EMT's were there ready to take her to another hospital! Never called me to notify me or get my permission. I was furious. The second hospital ended up being a much better hospital, a very highly regarded place. But I'm sure all that craziness didn't help her situation at all. I learned a lot though. I'll know the questions to ask if there ever is a next time. Thankfully she's settled back into a routine, her INR is back to normal and the gallstone has dissolved so no invasive procedure was needed. Thank you all for your imput and concern. You guys are the best!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Hi pinkfelines4,

Blannie, Rainmom and MsMadge all raise excellent points. Hospitalization can be a very stressful and disorienting experience, even for individuals without dementia. A stay that is supposed to help our loved ones get stronger and healthier can actually compromise their health and immune function in additional unexpected ways.

A number of different things can contribute to this so-called "hospital delirium." Consider the medications she is taking now (and the ones she was given during her stay that are likely continuing to have an effect), gently ease her back into her daily routine, and let her rest and recuperate as best you can.

Unfortunately, in many cases this rapid progression of confusion and cognitive decline is irreversible. Therefore it is extremely important to help your mother avoid further illness and hospital readmission. Try to keep a close eye on her condition and any further changes in her physical and mental health. If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to contact her physician. House calls from a visiting nurse or a home health aide can be a helpful prevention tool as well.

You can find some additional tips and information on delirium and post-hospital care in these articles:

How General Anesthesia Can Affect an Elder’s Mind
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/how-general-anesthesia-affects-elders-mind-160100.htm

Can Hospitalization Lead to Dementia?
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/cognitive-decline-after-hospital-stay-147836.htm

Hospitalization May Increase Rate of Memory Loss in the Elderly
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/hospitalization-can-increase-memory-loss-150105.htm

Providing Healthful Post-Hospital Care for Seniors
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/post-hospital-care-155508.htm

Best of luck to you and your mum, pink.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Hospital stays are very traumatic and doctors use Ativan like candy to calm down elderly dementia patients
While my mom would return to a more rationale frame of mind upon discharge each stay or injury has a cumulative adverse effect which she doesn't overcome
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Did they test for a UTI at the hospital and/or could she had developed one close to discharge? Whenever my mom is extra loopy it's either a UTI or she's been given morphine. As the previous post states - meds can build up do to slow liver or kidney functions in the elderly. My mom has a particularly difficult time metabolizing morphine and winds up stoned out of her mind.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I would say it's quite common. Is your mom on any meds for her pancreatitis and gallstones? That might be causing it, or the total change in environment and routine for her. Get her back to her normal routine as much as possible and check if the medications she is (or was) on might be causing her problems.

They might have also put her on mood altering meds in the hospital to quiet her down, which could still be affecting her. Seniors metabolize medications differently than younger people do (it stays in their system longer), so she could still be reacting to something she had in the hospital. Did she have any anesthesia in the hospital? That can also throw seniors for a mental loop. I'd talk to her family doctor if she's still hallucinating tomorrow.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.