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Also if nothing can be done and we notice that words start out okay but decline in volume and clarity, would that have been a stroke? Has anyone experienced something similar and what the timeframe on the decline of health on those issues. I know everyone is different but if the patient refuses to eat how do they get the meds into the patient?

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Head injuries can definitely make the dementia a lot worse. My mom fell and hit her head, 2months before she was diagnosed with dementia. She had been having symptoms of dementia prior to her fall. But it was until she hit her head that has really caused her to deteriorate very quickly.
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the POA is the mother (wife) of husband who had falls and now in NH. plus he didn't think he needed care. they (meaning wife/husband) never liked "outside" help I think mainly due to "it cost" and they didn't have money. I would say she is capable, just don't want people in their business. I whole heartily agree with you that family members be kept up-to-date, but you can't fight when they clam up. so she does the best she can and I give her ideas of how to get suggestions across.
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So, who is the caregiver and who has POA and makes health decisions in this situation? If it is the mother, is she mentally and physically capable to do so? I agree whole heartedly, that your friend should be kept up to date on the ever changing stages that develope with an elderly family member. A Social Worker will help assist your friend with some options to persue with regards to financial matters as well as the secrecy issues.
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to caregiver4all: the secretative person is the mother (husband to the man who has fallen). apparently both parents have been this way most of their lives, they don't want anyone to know anything (even their kids) as to what they have, their health history, etc. it only comes out in little spurts by accident I think. I feel for my friend cause she is the one who tries the hardest but has been bitten by other family members so she can only do so much. She has been hurt mentally, but she still tries. I try to give her suggestions on what to ask, or ideas of what might be happening but suggest that someone be with her mother so that questions can be asked and things not forgotten. its tough when your family members won't "let you in" to help. and a money issue is another thing is why they waited so long to get help after numerous falls........
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You might want to suggest getting the person to a neurologist. They can help your friend distinguish between normal aging, dementia due to a biological issue like Alzheimer's, etc., and non-dementia reasons for dementia-like symptoms. See if you can get them a brain MRI before seeing the neurologist.
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Your question and comments sound all too familiar. Although, keep in mind, what I am about to say only refers to various stages of caring for my own Mom with regards to her health issues.
My Mom had two major strokes and numerous TIAs in the ten years that I cared for her in conjunction to having A-fib. and even though she was carefully monitored with her daily dose of coumadin and blood tests prescribed by the Cardiologist. Long story short, at times she would collapse and never remember what happened. Because mom could not recall anything, her physician believed she was having TIAs. There are methods that you can do to check for a TIA or possible stroke. A Physician, or nurse can give you instructions on what and how to proceed when you feel as though something has suddenly changed with normal behavior..
I would question why the caregiver is so secretive regarding any type of injuries to an elderly person. Your friend. may want to contact a Social Worker with her concerns, they can check into these matters to make certain this person is not being abused in any way.
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thanks and I was asking for someone else whose father had these issues. I gave her this site to use but don't think she has yet. And lots happening in her family of secretness so most times she is in the dark. He did apparently have a UTI, they gave antibiotics but still stuff going on. She thinks he had a stroke but they are doing a catscan soon to see what else has happened or happening. thanks again, my thoughts were all pretty much the same as your responses.
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I know a man who had a brain bleed last year. He was in the hospital for several days. When I saw him again, he had what looked like dementia. If I had not known the history, I would have thought maybe Alzheimer's. His memory, reasoning, and the things said were all affected. The dementia-like symptoms got better with time. Pretty soon he was pretty much the same as always.

I haven't seen this man for 2 or 3 months now. I don't know him well enough to call them. No one seems to know what happened to him. I wondered if something else happened.
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Of course it can!
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This sounds like you need more clarity from your physician. Repeated falls where the head is injured certainly isn't a good thing. Has the physician looked for a reason for the falls? Has this person had TIA's before/or a stroke? Blood leaking in the brain can cause dementia like symptoms. If this person is experiencing strokes, UTI's or other illness, this could cause the falls. It may be possible that a physical therapist can help this person to gain some ambulation skills if the dementia isn't to severe. Dementia is progressive and each person is on their own timetable. As far as getting meds into someone; pudding works well as it's sweet and people will usually eat sweets even if they won't eat foods. Yogurt is good too. I've seen doctors prescribe liquid meds which is easier to get into someone that isn't eating well. Remember, not every medication comes in a liquid form. Contact your local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, they will be able to answer question regarding dementia, dementia related behaviors and can give you some tips on how to manage issues such as refusal to eat etc. Good luck.
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Meds can be given in liquid or by I.V. Check out the symptoms of NPH. Repeated falls usually indicates muscle weakness, a fracturing of bones (osteoporosis), and or medication side effects. When one has leaking of blood or fluid in the brain that will cause messages from the brain to muscles not to work properly. Ask the doctor to explain what is happening to this person so you will know more and what to expect in the future. Dementia in itself is a terminal condition, always.
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