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My aunt had surgery for a broken shoulder and since then her mental status has gone down hill. They took her to rehab cause she lost her leg function( which before that she was walking with a walker and pretty much independent) but she can't stay awake to do therapy and just mumbles and sings and sees things. They have done all kind of tests in the hospital which all came back normal. She is refusing to eat or drink. I might get her to eat tiny bits. What should I expect from all this

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I'm so sorry!

A broken bone is a shock to the body and older people often don't completely recover. Even the hospital experience can be upsetting enough to set someone back. As mentioned, anesthesia is also a risk.

There was nothing that you could have done differently. Your aunt may or may not get better with time. She could even continue to decline mentally. Sadly, these things become part of the aging process for many.

So what you can. Keep an eye on the medications because they can add to the problem. And take care of yourself, as well.
Carol
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Is she taking pain meds for her surgery? If she is, they could affect her memory, however, getting a dementia diagnosis is mostly subjective. A shoulder injury/surgery should not be having these thinking problems. Get her to a neurologist who specializes in dementia. Being 85 yrs. is time to be showing signs of dementia (if you are predisposed to getting it). I suspect her refusal to eat is a medication problem. After surgery some pain meds might be needed, but opioids should be tapered off and then discontinued. What does her doctor say about these symptoms? Be sure to discuss them with her/him.
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is she on any new meds? esp. pain meds,,They can cause confusion.
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Thanks for the answers. Her surgery was 2 hours. She is not on any pain meds only her regular heart meds. She also has COPD and her breathing is very labored. Couldn't get her oxygen level up to 90 even by increasing the oxygen liters
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How many liters of O2 are you giving? From 90 - 100% is ideal, but if she has COPD she has problems breathing OUT the CO2. Call her pulmonologist to ask what to do. She may need hospitalization.
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All of the above are possible complications but I would suspect her ongoing low oxygen levels to be a major contributor. What can you expect? Unfortunately in your aunt's case with her degree of COPD I would expect a continued decline
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Any time an older person goes into the hospital, it is very stressful to them and if dementia is already present, it gets worse. My mom was in the hospital for a month for a bi-lateral fracture of her sacrum. Her hair started falling out. The doctors had my mom on Gabapentin (Neurontin)for nerve pain and it made her hallucinate. One doctor even gave her Haldol one night because she didn't want to stay in bed and you would think she was Linda Blair from the Exorcist from that drug. Needless to say, we threw a fit about that choice and got another doctor who quickly determined that my mom had a urinary tract infection. In older individuals, that can cause confusion and dementia. Once she was administered antibiotics, the dementia was gone.
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General anesthesia can cause dementia in elderly people. It can be temporary, but sometimes it is permanent. There are a lot of studies about this problem
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Surgery in the elderly can be very tricky. Mother had a hip replaced 2 years ago. The surgery was successful, but mother went downhill before our eyes. It was due in part to the pain meds, which she really needed for the pain, but even after she stopped taking anything but Tylenol, she never was the same. It was as if the "filter" that kept her from saying nasty things just disappeared. She's much angrier and meaner, at times. We've all adapted to her. I used to help her a lot, but she looked on me suddenly as the enemy, so I have opted (and was asked) to step out of her life. I have respected that.

This is not uncommon, it's sad, but it's all part of the downhill slope. Mother can have no more surgeries, they've stated emphatically she wouldn't make it through one (age 86).

I wouldn't not look in to the o-sats. That could be a factor. I would look into all possibilities before just assuming it's one or the other thing. Also, GA is pretty hard on geriatrics. My DIL is an Anesthesiologist and she says GA is really, really hard on older people--they just don't shake it off well.
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My 91 year old Mom had surgery for a bowel obstruction in August. About 3 weeks after the surgery, I noticed she was increasingly forgetful & meaner.
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