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My Mom is doing some "off the wall" things and it was once thought that she had a TIA. She has dementia. She has had 2 brain bleeds and 2 surgeries and I was wondering if someone could tell me what stroke symptoms to look for with an elderly person. Thanks for your input.

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I agree with the above. You can definitely see the physical signs of weakness on one side or slurred speech with a stroke. However, with a UTI in an older person who cannot articulate the usual symptoms we know as burning on urination, etc., they appear delusional and appear confused. My mom is in a nursing home for rehab and seems to constantly get a UTI. I am there every day and when she starts asking me about my baby that I just had (am 64) or that there is an underground restaurant in the nursing home (in FL where we don't even have basements), I know she has a UTI and I have to press to nursing staff to get her tested and treated immediately. A bad or untreated UTI can go into a blood infection that will kill older folks, and unfortunately, some of our folks who go into a nursing home for rehab, never come out because of a UTI that eventually kills them. You have to be constantly vigilant and insist on testing and treatment. Good luck.
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I was sent this article after my dad, who was on statins, passed from hemorrhagic stroke. https://www.agingcare.com/articles/things-to-consider-when-taking-statins-159350.htm. Mom and I did not know he was suffering from stroke/MI symptoms until after it happened. He was on statins and having SE but would not tell us. After the stroke, mom finally told me she knew he had been vomiting several times before his stroke, a symptom. Mom was told he was having trouble walking. He would visit my mother at work for a few minutes for no reason a couple times before it happened which was unusual. At one point he told my mom after he bought his new car several years ago he would never need another one. She thought he was talking about his horrible eyesight but now thinks he may have known something else. He even got out his Air Force paperwork mom would need for his funeral and left it in the basement for her to find. Some strange things we had no clue about until putting the pieces together after he died.

We had no idea. I wish he would have taken better care of himself and tried to lower his cholesterol naturally to reduce his pharmaceuticals. SE are serious business! Check her BP regularly bc when dad went to hospital they had a horrible time regulating his BP. He may have had high BP for years and we would not have known. (His GP was an incompetent!!).
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I was told by a PT that my mom might have had a TIA (mini stroke?) after I described what had happened to my mom when she was on the shower chair. We got Mama up one morning and took her to the shower. She was pushing herself back almost like she was trying to lay flat instead of sitting on the shower chair. Her head was thrown back as far as possible. She was rigid. Nothing like this had ever happened before or since. As it was happening I just thought it was some new form of fighting back against bathing. I wish I had known that it might have been a stroke. My mom never had any of the face drooping or slurred speech but her dementia was already well advanced. I know that your mom is so grateful to have you there with her and so compassionate to her needs. I'm sending you both my best wishes for a good New Year.
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Go to WebMD to get symptoms. Women present differently than men, but if she has dementia, she might not be able to communicate how she is feeling. When one side of her face looks frozen, she is unable to speak, and maybe her same side is affected, get her to the ER immediately, because she only has about 3 hours to be administered a drug to keep her from paralysis. Of course if she has a DNR in place, none of that will be necessary.
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Whodathunk - the DNR isn't relevant to the person deciding whether to call for emergency medical attention; that instruction is addressed to those who would otherwise carry out the resuscitation.

Person refusing 911, difficult. I think… I'd still get the ambulance or equivalent to attend. If the patient wants to send help away, he or she can do it in person and not expect me to make the choice.
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Agree with much of what's been said above. The National Stroke Association says to do these things if you suspect a stroke:
1. F - Facial drooping on one side or the other - Ask them to smile which will
show it more prominently.
2. A - Arms: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift
downward?
3. S - Speech - Is their speech slurred or funny (using wrong words, etc)?
4. T - Time - If you notice any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately.

F-A-S-T helps to remember these things better. If you go to an ER immediately, and they can give her the 'clot-buster' within 3 hours of the 1st symptoms, often the permanent paralysis from a stroke can be avoided. And, keep in mind, as Braida said that if it's just an increase in confusion, it could be a UTI (urinary tract infection), but they could tell that right away in the ER. Don't ever be embarrassed if you go to the ER and it is "only" a UTI. It's always better to be safe rather than sorry, and extreme confusion can make them do dangerous things, so the earlier they get on antibiotics, the better also.
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My Mom was recently behaving bizarrely. She was seeing things that weren't there, her words were mumbo jumbo, and she acted agitated and anxious. She didn't even know who my husband was, at one point in the evening. At first I suspected an adverse reaction to a new med the Dr. had put her on to help w/ sleep that I had just given her the night before. I stopped the med the next day, but her behavior continued. It was a Sunday, and I called the Dr. on call and asked for a U.A. to see if it could be a UTI. The results were positive, she went on Ciprofloxacin that Sunday, and by now she's back to normal behavior. I didn't know if you'd already ruled out a UTI, but if not, you may want to take that route as well, because my Mom was acting bizarre! Best wishes to you!!
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Now, what if there's a DNR in place and the person refuses 911?
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TIS and TIA ? I am thinking they have something to do with strokes? I was present when a friend had a stroke. You are right it was frightening. 911 was called.
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my mom had a massive stroke in front of me, it was very scary. She fell and her right side of her face drooped. She could not speak and I called 911 right away. Call 911 right away, better to be safe than sorry.
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I was taking my mother who suffers from MS home from getting her hair cut. When I got her in the car, we were talking and she began using the wrong words for what she was trying to say. It was odd but I at first thought she was joking, then when I realized it wasn't a joke, I asked her several simple questions and she could not use the correct words. This was confirmed as a TIS, the symptoms did go away after about half an hour but it was frightening. Any symptoms you see that you feel in your gut are wrong, go to the ER. You know your parent better than anyone as their caregiver and do not be concerned with "bothering" anyone if they may seem subtle to others. It is better to have it confirmed that nothing went wrong than to have an untreated stroke. It's frustrating when others who don't see someone on a daily basis feel things aren't a big deal but we know these changes and you are not alone. Anyone dismissing you should themselves be dismissed!
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Not sure what your 'off the wall' things are - but the symptoms of TIAs disappear within 24 hours and sometimes you may not even notice your mum has had one at the time. My mum is in her late 80s and has had two strokes, and as far as we knew no TIAs but a brain scan over a decade ago revealed lots of scarring from TIAs and now it is clear that on each occasion, something was lost but that it wasn't immediately obvious. Now I believe she has TIAs regularly, for example, she might wake up in the morning and say she can't see out of one eye, or she might be overly confused and just repeat the same word continually. By the afternoon these symptoms may well have gone and she's a different person. This tells me that she's had a TIA at some point in her sleep. And the GP confirms this as a common pattern among the elderly with a history of stroke - gradually the TIAs result in greater dementia. Perhaps your mum could have some appropriate medication but be careful because if she's already confused, that medication could make her life even worse.
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the symptoms of stroke are weakness, facial drooping, numbness, difficulty understanding speech, difficulty talking, confusion,loss of balance or coordination,
trouble seeing out of one or both eyes. With a history of brain bleeds, your mom needs to go see the doctor now.
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Call 911.
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Call her MD ASAP. He's going to want to see her and do some tests. He many even send her to the ER. Make the call.
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