Mum has a kidney infection, will her mobility come back? - AgingCare.com

Mum has a kidney infection, will her mobility come back?

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Before the infection she was limited, but still able to care for herself. Now in the hoispital she seems to have lost all mobility.

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When close to discharge do request short term rehab for intensive PT and OT. If she is not progressing half way through, which is usually a 21 to 30 day stay. Then you may know that she will need 24 hour care and cannot be left alone. Do your homework early, stay a step ahead, so that you are not as stressed at the last minute. Think about looking at a future home and or Medicade funding.  Work with the social workers early by requesting appointments rather than waiting at the last minute.
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You should definitely run this question past her physician.
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I am presuming that your Mother is considered "elderly" in the sense that she is 70-90 yrs young.

Has your Mother been diagnosed with dementia/Alzheimer's? These issues can be diagnosed as young as 50 yrs young.

My Mother spent the entire month of December in the hospital last year. My ignorant older sister gave me all types of excuses regarding Mom's stay. At the time, my sister "could not find the Medical POA which had me listed" and I was able to get information from the nurses (we live out of State) when I called Mom.

Per the Drs., Mom had an extremely bad case of UTI. So bad that Mom could not walk, express her feelings, did not know the name of the President, basic math or even recognize my voice etc. A Psych was required to give her cognitive tests periodically during the day...Sundowner's condition. These tests are used to determine during what time of day she was able to answer these questions or perform tasks such has placing a round peg in the round hole.

Mom couldn't do these tests from about 11:00am through the rest of the day. The reason? The UTI, which effects the kidneys first, was so bad that she was not getting blood to her heart or oxygen to her lungs/brain (our daughter is an RN, so I have a medical source).

UTIs will always be a constant for your Mother now, especially if she is incontinent. She will not know that she has had an accident or realize it until she is soaking wet. If she does not clean herself properly (her happy area), she will never help to keep the infection away longer.

My Mother ended up in the hospital again the end of this past January. It just so happened the day I arrived for my 'surprise' visit as I did not want my sister to know I was coming to town. A neighbor had to tell me Mom was in the hospital again.

Have to say, LOVED the look on my sister's face like she got caught with her hand in the cookie jar!!

Mom was being placed in her hospital room when I arrived at the hospital. The nurse asked Mom if she was a DNR; sister had to ask what that was. I told the nurse that Mom was a DNR. Question: how do you know? Answer: I have a copy of her Living Will. Question: why didn't you bring it with you? Answer: why should I?

When I asked my sister why Mom was back in the hospital she told me it was due to a UTI. Really? I told you that in December and it was going to keep happening sister.

Sever UTIs effect every organ in your Mother's body. If antibiotics (which truly won't cure this) cannot clear the infection to the point that your Mother is able to walk, talk, think, express herself etc., I'm sorry to say that the out come isn't going to be a good one. Her organs will begin to shut down due to the toxins in her blood which cannot be eliminated.

The hospital will most likely suggest that she be placed in an assisted living facility or even if she regains some mobility for therapy to help her walk again. She will still have cognitive tests done regularly.

This will be the time to discuss, research in-home care (extremely expensive) with different options/costs. Research these helpers in depth. A Home for Mom is a good starting point. These facilities, caregivers must all be certified in medical care, help with light house keeping, runs errands and provide you, as 24/7 caregiver some respite. They will also help you with issues and discuss eventual issues that must be faced by family members.

This is not going to easy by any means. I am truly sorry to read what you are going through. Don't let any of the doctors give you an answer and go with it. MAKE them talk with you in depth. If you have a family member or friend in the medical field like I do, talk with them and if they are able to be there so they are able to explain in layman's terms. Make them do their job!!

Talk with your Mother's doctor by going into the exam room with her, if she ok's it...HIPA. He/she can help regarding Medicare provisions, letter for hospital needs etc. or if it has become necessary for Conservatorship/Guardianship.

Beware aware of the differences between Conservatorship/Guardianship. Google State Laws and State Notary Laws. These are different in every State.

Medical POAs are accepted between States, so if you have it for your State, but Mom is in a different State; your Medical POA will be accepted by any hospital, just need to send the hospital a copy.
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It may be temporary. My mother was hospitalized with a blockage. After several days of inactivity, strong pain meds, she lost her ability to independently transfer to and from her wheelchair. I asked for rehab so she could return to Assisted Living. Rehab can be in the hospital or nursing home. Pros and cons for both. My mother went to a nursing home where she quickly regained mobility. Unfortunately she experienced a mental decline which only improved somewhat. However she was able to go back to AL. Do not accept a discharge without a solid plan to improve your mother's mobility.
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Check her meds. My mom was admitted with fever delerium due to kidney infection, and though it cleared up, when they sent her for an MRI, they used Gadolinium and she had symptoms of delerium again. They started her on antipsychotics which made matters even worse. Her antibiotics probably didn't help either. She was unable to feed herself, etc. After they got the infection under control I demanded they get her off the antipsychotics because she still couldn't function. 4 pt lift, etc. The doctor said she'd never get better, but once off the psych drugs, she DID get better. Yes, her mobility could come back.
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I'd ask the doctor to order a physical therapy consult, then ask about a discharge to rehab. My mom has severe arthritis, but could walk a little with a walker, and then she had a urinary tract infection, which went systemic, and she became very weak and lost all mobility. She couldn't even sit up without assistance. I couldn't take care of her in that condition.

This has happened several times with mom. Some doctors are very proactive about ordering physical therapy, others aren't. And some physical therapists will recommend inpatient rehab right away, others will say just PT at home.

You have to emphasize to everyone, doctor, physical therapists, nurses, what a decline there is from her baseline, and that you cannot take care of her at home. They might order a social worker visit; be careful, of several admissions with my mother, only one was helpful, the rest were useless.

At least here, the doctor defers to the physical therapist's recommendations. Try to be there when the PT comes and explain how mom could care for herself and is now immobile. These infections are very hard on the elderly. A month of rehab in the rehab wing of a nursing home was what mom needed to get mobile and back to baseline.

Reassure your mother that going to a nursing home for rehab is not permanent, it's so she can get back her previous level of functioning. The nursing homes here even have the rehab wing on a separate hall from the permanent residents, and they have a nice, fully equipped PT room like you see at a PT office. This could be just what she needs, and what you need too. Hope this helps.
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Does she have other ailments, other than the diabetes that is listed on your profile? I'd ask the doctor questions. Do they suspect a stroke or something else that might explain it?

I'm going through something similar with my LO, but, she has dementia and these last infections (UTI and respiratory) really took a toll. She's suffered more decline. I'm meeting with her doctor to discuss it.

I hope you can find some answers. I might explore options for her care, before she has to leave the hospital.  Maybe, ask about rehab.
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