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Hi there my mother aged 90 lives has lived in a resthome for 2 years following a stroke and various TIA's. Recently she has become on some days mentally completely confused (not even knowing where she is or who we are). Other days she is her usual old self. She has had many urinary tract infections which I understand can cause mental problems? but understand she hasn't got one at the moment. She also has a bad skin cancer on her cheek which is to be removed soon. Could this be a cause? If not can you enlighten us as to why she can be so mentally alert one day and confused to buggery the next. Thanks in anticipation.

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Maybe she has a B12 deficiency and needs a shot.
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Constipation, an undiagnosed infection anywhere?
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Dementia starting at age 90 and so suddenly (different one day to next) is unlikely. Hydration should be investigated. I'd have the nurses look into her blood sugar, differences in sleep, and electrolyte levels. All of these things can cause sudden changes are among the most common that I see. Also, as someone with a history of UTIs and TIAs that should be investigated also. UTIs are sneaky little buggers. Running a UA is quick and easy.
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UTI may be the culprit as well as other underlying infections, food borne illness, medication mixup and dehydration. Dehydration can readily occur but not be readily evident. Get a thorough medical and mental health work up. Request that fluids, nutrition and electrolyte balance be checked and or restored through IV under drs direction. This may pass. Did she have traumatic event or scare at the NH? This can cause confusion temporarily or she may have suffered a minor stroke, mini brain bleed, head bump or fall or other leading to this confusion
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I agree with geewiz.. hydration is key!
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Tia's and strokes can lead to vascular dementia. Get her to a neurologist if possible to do a brain scan. It is in your best interest to find out if it is vascular dementia so the proper medications are used. Google vascular dementia to get more info. Hug to you!!!
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Thank you for your reply

maybe it is the start of dementia, but does it affect them in that one day they're completely switched on and the next day completely confused? have read about delirium on the net and wonder if this seems more likely to be what it is...i'm probably hoping that way so that she might return to normality all the time

would appreciate your thoughts...thanks again
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A few quick thoughts: Is she properly hydrated? If not, confusion results. Pump fluids. Any change in meds? Confusion may be a side effect. You've covered the UTI, but keep an eye on that. I can't contribute on the skin cancer. Has there been a change in staff at the rest home? That may cause a change in her care and awareness. Try some extra visits. Could it be the start of dementia?
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