My Mom (89) is experiencing great pain in her hip. she is considering hip replacement. Any advice?

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Both orthopedist and gp have approved so far. She's had two cortisone shots in hips, one in shoulder in last 8 months. They work but only for 2-3 months' time. She also had physical therapy which medicare just stopped. In the last year she has grown a bit more irrational, obsessed with what her money is doing, wants constantly to change her will, empty her annuities (which are making enough money in interest to practically support her with retirement) to move them to checking account (which is sitting there with $100,000 in it) or buy gold to keep in her safe she has lost the key to. I have been handling her with kid gloves so far, but am worried now that she perhaps is more mentally off balance than I thought. I am now worried that she should not have the surgery because her orthopedist surgeon gave her a steroid-pak for inflammation (avoiding another shot), and she became the mad woman of our family. Confusion, irritation, aggressiveness, combativeness, wanting to act out even more (threatening legal action when we took her car keys), very hurtful statements, hiding things, lying about when her doctors called. I know she is trying to hold on to her power at this hard time, but the trust between us before seems to be threatened. So several issues, should she have hip replacement? Should I enact some sort of power of attorney to keep her from doing something irrational? (like getting friend to take her to bank to pull out money) I want to keep the trust between us as much as I can, and it seems any action on my part will make it worse. How can I tell the doctors about her mind and my worry she will get worse with surgery? She is a very good performer and tells everyone she handles her own bills, does everything for herself with no help from anyone (which is totally untrue). Anyone have advice on any of these issues?

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amitebird, sounds like your Mom is having some type of dementia/Alzheimer's. If that is the case, I would NOT recommend an elder to have any type of surgery as surgery will accelerate the memory issues.

A few months ago I had a minor surgery and was under for just an hour... oh my gosh, the brain fog took forever to lift, and I am still having some memory issues which I didn't have before, and here I am just in my late 60's.
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Thanks everyone for your answers to my questions. I have a new issue. My mother, who is no idiot, has called her doctors and told them not to call me or to talk to me, but to call only her. She's also done this with home care which we just started a few weeks ago. We managed to get from the home care that she is calling them 4-5 times a day and seems very confused. How do I get all these people to talk to me?
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if her doctors are saying she is a good candidate for hip surgery then I would definitely let her get it. I am only 50 years old but I suffered for about 3 years before I had hip surgery. I had the right hip done in September of last year and it went well except that I was so nervous before hand I lost a lot of blood due to high blood pressure during surgery but afterward my recovery was very easy except that I was very tired from the blood loss for 3 or 4 months after. my left hip was done 6 weeks ago and it is going much better than the right hip and I can actually walk normally now. She may be having anger from pain medication also is she on any pain medication? The pain pills sometimes make me have minor bouts of rage so I try not to take them. I think when she does have surgery and she gets home the most important thing is to do the physical therapy exercises at home, not just when the physical therapist come to your house or when you go to their office for therapy and is very important to do the exercises at least once a day if not twice. They are very easy and I'm sure they would be slightly different for an 89 year old person. The pain I had before surgery was absolutely horrible so I can imagine how she is suffering. As for the money issue I have no idea, my dad has not been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's but he has made some very poor decisions with his money in the last few years. They are a different generation and they get funny ideas about money but like Jessie Belle said if you can just reassure her with a simple answer I think you will be ok there. I can tell you for the hip surgery you will need a walker, a cane, a toilet seat booster and a shower chair. Also Gel ice packs are very good I got two from amazon.com one is very big and covers the whole hip area and ice rather than heat seems to help so much. I would also find out if they do the posterior approach or anterior as I have not heard good things about anterior approach as sometimes the femoral nerve can be damaged and recovery is supposed to be quicker that way but often is not so the posterior approach is actually better. in my opinion and research that I have done. Good luck to you
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A woman at the assisted living where my sister works successfully had the surgery despite her families concerns, and she was in her 90's! She reasoned that her quality of life was suffering, and if she didn't survive the surgery she had already lived a good long life. I think if she is fully aware of the possibility of negative outcomes it is her choice to make. Major surgery CAN cause or worsen dementia, so you all need to be prepared for that possibility.
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Thanks JessieBelle, I will recheck the blood sugar. Yes, I am hoping she will calm down, today is her last day of medpak. If she doesn't, then I will have to talk to her doctor she loves who is also spiritual friend so it makes it hard. She has always been EXTREMELY religious, but after my dad's passing has gone into a new realm, citing end of world so we don't have to worry about money, and her special designation by God. It has grown so much now I am worried she is almost delusional. I have always ignored this before simply accepting her religious fervor, but feel now I need to question her health.
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PS. Yes. Get POA and whatever it takes to control the money and legal matters for your mom. It may be a struggle but it must be done.
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Jessie's advice is good. My mom , 84, suffered with a bad hip for years. When I heard her doc was recommending replacement surgery I was quite alarmed. Her age, diabetic and ather
Health issues were worrisome. She had the surgery and it has improved her mobility and quality of life dramatically. Each case is different. My mom doesn't
Have dementia as your mom does. I think you have to carefully weigh the risks with the amount of pain and quality of life she has. My mom and I had long disscusions before her surgery and decided even if it didn't go well she wouldn't be much worse off than she was pre surgery. I wasn't sure she wouldvrespond to therapy and discussed with her that if things went bad she may not be able to live at home. Her lifelong depression was a large factor for her. Much to my relief, she did well with a month in rehab and has been home since late December. She is more active and alert than she has been in years. But it ain't over. Mom and dad still have looming issues and I'm struggling to keep them in their home for as long as possible.
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The steroids can make some people more off balanced. I couldn't help but wonder if your mother has had her blood sugar levels tested recently. Some of your mother's behavior is a lot like mine when she is having trouble with blood sugar. She particularly had trouble after one of her epidurals. She lost an entire week.

What you're describing sounds a lot like dementia. I would be very hesitant to have serious surgery on a 89 yo woman with dementia if there was any other option. Things might be fine and it would increase the quality of life, but I would be afraid what it would do to her mind. I would discuss the possibilities with her doctor to see what he/she thinks is the best course and perhaps even get a second opinion before making a decision. They will know more about potential complications of the type surgery she needs.

My mother went through a time when she was obsessed with her money. She has no concept of figures, so money balances don't stay in her mind. What I do when she talks money is to reassure her that she has plenty of money to last if she remains at home, but it will go quickly if she has to go to a nursing home. This is honest and seems to calm her. I say the same thing consistently. I don't make the loss of money to the nursing home threatening, but just a matter of fact. I don't want her to see a nursing home as a bad thing if she does need it one day.
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