Is there any one factor that makes Dementia all of a sudden start progressing quickly? - AgingCare.com

Is there any one factor that makes Dementia all of a sudden start progressing quickly?

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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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