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It seems like this past 1-2 weeks, mom has really begun to fail mentally. She can no longer manage her pills at all... she forgot her hair appointment today. Thing is, I reminded her last night @ 9:00 before bed, and then again when she called @ 10:00 this morning and by 11:10 she said, "oh, I have an appointment??"
Also she is getting more shaky. I took her to the dr last week because of her fatigue and weakness. But from the onset of symptoms to the time we got there 2 days later, she made what seemed like a great recovery.
Now last night, doesn't feel well again. We have a neurologist appt on March 3. But I really am wondering what the heck is going on lately. I made her drink a bottled water today on her way to the hairdresser. I think maybe she is dehydrated as she drinks coffee, sprite, and that's it. Trying to get her on more water. But this confusion of late seems to have springed up. Is there any reason it could be jumping like this?

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MIL had a blood test and urine test done when we took her to the Dr. Urine came back clean, haven't heard about blood test yet. When we call Dr. office the nurse said the Dr. hadn't finished her paperwork yet but they would get back to us by the end of the day yesterday (Fri. 2/21) they never called so I guess we might hear something Monday. MIL has stopped saying her son is her husband but she is talking crazy stuff and just being down right mean. Oh well another day in the life of unappreciated caregivers....
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my 2 cents---the sick elderly patient always seems better at the doctors office.
i really like the suggestion of keeping notes for the doctor, so he understands your concern and sees the big picture. keep us posted
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My MIL was fine at Thanksgiving. Mentally alert. She started to have mental issues forgetting things, asking strange questions; Her caregiver and homehealth nurse took her to hospital as we are hours away. She had no fever but a raging urinary infection. Was in hospital 3 days and she went to skilled nursing home for rehab to get strength back. Was fully alert. 2 weeks later things got fishy again mentally-- we asked for urine check. It came back clean. things would be in and out,but then she stopped eating and stopped answering phone, even therapists said "she's not herself." Again urinalysis -- clear. Finally she started
having weak spells. Now 4 weeks from entering nursing facility she is completely out of it and we ask doctor to check her. The nurses in the facility say she is faking to get out of therapy,
and are kind of writing it off to age and stubbornness (which she can be). They run blood test
came back white count 30 (30000), but urine clear and no fever. Now she is on her way to hospital with sepsis. Very Critical. Blood test should have been done 3 weeks ago.
SO DO NOT WAIT.
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Please get her a blood test right away
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Nikki, You didn't say how old your mother is now. Important. Unlike Ashlynne, I'm a believer in the medical doctors and their opinions.
Do you have a firm diagnosis of Dementia? Treat accordingly. Neurologists and orthopaedic specialists are your best bet. If it is dementia, it can worsen.
I could go on and on, but I'll leave that up to others.
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Get your mom a dog. My mom has a dog. My mom has a dog and it has really has
Helped her. She is ninety. This will also get your mom from being depressed. Plus give her exercise when she takes the dog out. Give it a try. Pami
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My MIL has been greatly getting worse with her dementia over the last month or so but recently she just snapped. I had been out of town for 2 days and when I got home she said she was so glad I was home that she missed me and it was too quiet with me away. We had dinner and my hubby and I were in another room watching tv when she came in the room in an absolute rage. She asked him if he was having relations with 'that woman' meaning me his wife. Well she continued on, "I'm not going to put up with these goings on in my home. I'm your wife and I bore your children! If you aren't out of my home by morning I will call the law and have you removed!" My hubby and I were both floored at this, she threw her glass in the floor and was screaming at us and stood glaring at me for the longest. We didn't know what to think. My hubby told her "Mother I'm not Bud (her husband and hubby dad) You are my mother, This is my wife, you were at the wedding." She didn't believe him and stormed off, mumbling something about we are going to go to hell as we are breaking commandments. It has been upsetting to say the least. When I went to bed I locked the door for not knowing what she might do next. We took her to her Dr. the next afternoon and she insisted that I wasn't going because I had no business listening to family business, it was private. My husband insisted I go in with them so that the Dr. would see what was happening. She told the nurse she couldn't tell much with that woman in the room, whispered this where I couldn't hear her. Well when the Dr. came in she didn't know who the Dr. was even though she has been seeing her for awhile and still introduced her son as her husband. The Dr. knew this was her son and asked other questions and came back again to "who is this?" with the same reply "my husband"
The Dr. wrote new scripts to help her memory and Ativan to help her sleep through the night. The Dr. is looking for a facility to place her in for tests to find out what happened to her that made her snap so suddenly, was supposed to be a couple of days, well it has been a week and still nothing. MIL has improved some but still says things like "remember when we met and how we walked to church together. We had such good times. When I said my vows I meant them... I get glaring stares and snide remarks even though we have told her that she is mistaken. It's been trying to say the least, ya'll say a prayer for us and lets hope they get her in somewhere that they can find out what happened.
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Hi everyone. I have read all the great answers on this topic as I am also dealing with this type of situation with both my parents. Unfortunately, I have nothing to add which would be more helpful than what has already been offered. However, Nikki, you mentioned that you're having problems with getting your Mom to take her pills when she should. I had the same problem with both my parents, so I ordered pill dispensers that hold a few weeks' worth of pills. Here's the link: Hope that works. If not, simply go to Amazon's website and type in "Med-e-lert Automatic Pill Dispenser". It has been a wonderful tool for us. The way it works, you fill it up (it holds several weeks worth of pills depending on how many times a day your Mom needs to take pills). It has a generic key. So, after you fill it up, you close it and put the key where only you can find it. You set the timer to go off whenever you want it (up to four times a day), and the dispenser will rotate to each compartment according to your dosing schedule. It will begin to sound a loud annoying beep that will go on for 30 minutes or until the dispenser is dumped upside down so that the pills can be removed (only the scheduled dosage can be removed). After that, it will just remain as it is until the next dosing time when it will rotate one compartment and begin beeping again. I know it's a little bit costly for a pill dispenser, but it is invaluable. That way you shouldn't have to be with her to "administer" her pills :) . Just thought I'd pass it along. Good luck with your Mom and God bless!
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wam, you brought up a good point--about anesthesia. I have heard from several sources that going under anesthesia puts the elderly under risk of developing dementia or at least its symptoms. And yes, often times irreversibly. If an elderly person is what appears to be suddenly exhibiting symptoms of dementia, and this person had also undergone surgery in the recent past, I 'd certainly being tying the two together.
There should be more information about the risks involved for seniors as regarding anesthesia.
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Hi Nikki - I wanted to add a 4th reason (from Jeanne Gibbs post) that dementia can suddenly worsen. In my experience (husband has later stage Alzheimer's), dehydration is another reason someone can spiral downward suddenly. I push water constantly every day with my husband as it helps him with just about everything (balance, ambulation, cognition, etc.). He has to be changed more often, but it is a small price to pay for something that will contribute to even the slightest bit of his well being.
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How about a companion to be with your mom 2-3 hours a day. That companion can remind her about the pills, Ensure, etc. We did that for our mom 3 years ago and it was the best thing we could have done for her. Yes, she fought us tooth and nail, claiming she "doesn't need anyone here - I'm not lonely, I'm not an invalid, etc.". However, once she met this companion/aide she felt much better about "letting her help me a bit". Mom loves her like a daughter; thankfully, she loves Mom like a mother.

As to weakness, dizziness, etc. -- once I paid attention to what Mom was eating, I realized it was all loaded with sodium. Not a good thing for someone with blood pressure over 200! So we revamped her eating habits, and now Mom is off all blood pressure meds because it is all within normal range.

An aide/companion will help you both tremendously. With luck, you might find a kindly, loving neighbor who would like to make a few extra bucks on the QT. Which would be a win-win for all involved. Good luck!
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Dementia is also brought on from Anesthesia during surgery. Sometimes goes away and sometimes not!
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My mom went downhill due to dementia very fast from this last July till now. She was diagnosed with normal pressure hydrocephalus and refused shunt treatment at the time due to no promises of reversal, possible infection, and she just doesn't want any invasive medical treatment at 87. Saw her today in her beautiful residential care home. She participates but is very quiet (if she's not angry with the caretakers), refusing to eat, refusing pills, has broken her ankle and will probably no longer walk, after just getting a walker in August, and all this since July. Just amazed at the rapid decline. She is in good care and followed closely by doctors, but only so much can be done. She helped a lot with her taxes last year (the biggest event of her life for years) and thankfully doesn't realize it's tax season this year.
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thank you everyone... appreciate the input.
I thought about it and I think it "might?" be related to her change in pills.... - you see, she was confused about "all the bottles" (she has 3... hello) but I said ok here we go; I will get you a weekly little pill box! Problem solved, right? wrong. This week has been hell.... she insists on knowing daily "what is the pink one for?" "What is the green pill for?" "How about the white pill?" Finally I just wrote her a description on a piece of paper so she could refer to it. I'd like to say, "Just TAKE THEM! The doctor prescribed them and I am tired of repeating myself every day" but I know that would upset her so I figured writing it where she can see it would work.
It didn't, because now she can't think which day she is on.
UGH!
So I am going to keep them in the pill box but I am going to have to "administer" (i hate that word) them to her... I'll just be there to see to it she takes them.
I think she either took them 2x in one day...
or didn't take anything at all for a few days...
I'm almost hoping that's all it is... It could certainly be enough to create an issue with an almost 91 year old woman who weighs 95 lbs...
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Definitely see the Neurologist and get a brain MRI or CT. If she falls or passes out you call 911 and get her to the ER, do not hesitate.
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Nikki I'm so sorry for what you're going through. At least your mom has the sense not to try and walk the dog and the little furbeast is well and happy. I sense you're a very kind soul and Bella will always have a home with you, just as my mother's little minpin x jack russell terrorist has with me.

I truly wonder if even the doctors can get it right figuring out what is wrong with elderly people.m Personally I don't go to one unless something is dropping off lol

Please keep us updated. We're all here for you.
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Dementia symptoms can suddenly worsen for three reasons:

1) The onset of an infection or other illness. Often the increased dementia symptoms come first.
2) A drug reaction -- wrong dose, wrong drug, wrong combination of drugs, etc. Usually this will show up soon after starting a new drug, but it could occur any time.
3) A progression of the dementia itself.

If the cause is illness or drugs, the dementia can get back to its baseline when the cause is cleared up. If this is a true progression of the dementia then the best you can expect is to change the treatment plan to try to mitigate the new symptoms.

Dementia progresses. Some kinds of dementia progress in a fairly predictable pattern, gradually getting worse. Other kinds progress in fits and starts, seeming much worse one day and better by afternoon and worse again in two days. But either way, the disease does get worse over time.

I am glad you are seeing her doctor in just a couple of weeks. Keep a notebook of all the ups and downs until then, so the doctor has a good picture of what is going on.

I am so sorry you are going through this. It is a hard journey. Your mother is lucky to have you by her side.
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Sounds like symptoms related to spinal stenosis to me.
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Ash mom isn't even walking the dog... but it gets a little exercise a few times a day when she opens the back slider and lets her run outside around the pool area; which is pretty big and screened in. Mom sits and watches and talks to her. The dog is ok (for now...) at some point I'm sure I will get the dog anyhow and then that dog will get worn out from all the walks and my big yard. lol
I'm just really worried. I'm struggling with a few different issues right now in my own life not even related to mom directly... and I'm frustrated, worried, scared. I know it would absolutely break what is left of her heart to go into ALF... never mind memory care.... but I have a feeling with a year's time there will be no other option.
In the meantime, I can't wrap my head around her sudden fatigue, weakness... she is almost whispering on the phone and I know she's not doing it for attention or faking because she is giving up going out shopping in the car with me and it's a beautiful day here... so I'm really concerned. Last week when she went to the dr he said her blood pressure, everything was great... she had gotten over the first bout of "weakness" after a day or two and then we saw him so of course she was all perky... isn't that always the way... but now she's down again.
I am trying to figure out if the dementia is related to it,... if somehow something happened to progress this suddenly. She has a stiff neck, she thinks from how she slept... for about 4 days now, around the time it began... I don't know if this stuff is related or not and my head is spinning playing detective.
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Nikki you mentioned in another post that one of your kids offered to walk mother's dog but she refused. If she's walking a bit unsteady now maybe you can suggest that again? My mother fell twice walking her dog over the years, broke a hip the first time and broke an arm the second time.
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Well, I got her the Ensure... of course she won't drink it unless I nag her. As far as depression, I love her but she has always had the "poor me" syndrome since I can remember.... she's been depressed in a sense since dad died in '09. Usually her "depression" comes when I am busy and can't devote myself to taking her out or something, but lately she is turning ME down for outings, which is not like her. Her voice is weak... not strong... she walks a little unsteady... I will call her to see if she needs something from the grocery in a bit and remind her to take an ensure as well as to drink water.
I know exercise would help her but she told me her neck is stiff and she wants to sleep in a chair now....
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Gosh, not sure and might want to have her see dr again to check for any underlying medical issues, especially a low grade infection or maybe start of UTI. Keeping her hydrated and well nourished is important especially if she feels lethargic.

Could she be a little depressed with being cooped up or winter blues? My mom has spells where she is more confused, memory loss, lethargic and complains of not feeling well and then she sleeps more than usual and once she drinks more or drinks a few Boosts a couple days and gets outside to sit or go for a walk she improves and gets back to normal and is more sharp. She's always better when I'm around oe we go out to do things and I think some of her memory problems escalate when she is lonely or isolated.

The neurologist appt is coming up, might want to see if they can see her sooner if an opening pops up...could be a small stroke (not to scare you) but he'll be able to rule out anything.

Is it possible she has not taken meds properly or mixed them up? That could be source as well, although as you say she is bouncing back and was fine when you went to craft store.
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My mother has the dementia that often goes along with Parkinsons. Since having another stroke her level of dementia has increased rapidly. In the last two or three weeks she's gone down to having little reality at all. Prior to going into the NH no outsiders saw her as she really was as she could always pull it together for a time - showtime! I can only imagine the stroke caused such a rapid decline.
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Also yesterday she passed down an opportunity to go shopping, which, if you know my mom, is UNHEARD of. Then, a few hours later after sleeping in the chair and on the couch, I said, hey, do you want to go to the craft store? She perked up, went, had fun, and came home and was good until this morning again....
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