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Mom is 90. She has had no previuos health problems. She got dehydrated and fell 4 weeks ago. In Rehab. They are sending her home on friday, stating that she is able to be home with daytime care only. All meals will be made by her family. She has some good days but on a bad day, headaches and lethargy. We cannot possibly predict anything but without a shunt is she going to get worse?

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NPH doesn't normally present with headaches, so maybe your Mom has a different form of hydrocephalus. (NPH means the pressure is normal even though the ventricles are enlarged, so headaches don't result). So probably nothing I mentioned about my Mom is even applicable to yours. Sorry I don't know more about hydrocephalus in general. Maybe you can find information online or from your mother's care team about what to expect.
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We know that she has fluid on her brain. She had a spinal from a neurosurgeon. We were told that she is not a candidate for a shunt because of her failing health. She already shows signs of dementia, headaches, and trouble walking etc.
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How do you know she has hydrocephalus? If it's Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (which is what my Mom has) it generally presents with gait/balance problems, urinary incontinence (and sometimes bowel as well) and cognitive issues. My mother had/has all of the above. She now has a shunt. She's not improving much but she's not declining either. We were told she'd continue to decline and would probably end up needing nursing home care without the shunt. But she had been progressively declining for several years previous so they could predict in her case. I don't know how helpful anybody else's experience would be for your Mom, though. If she does have Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, she doesn't seem to have the classic symptoms, yet. Except maybe the lethargy - part of the cognitive decline is a lack of initiative or motivation, and my Mom did and still does have that.

Sorry I can't be more helpful. There are message boards for NPH where you can learn more if that's what your Mom has.
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