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Old 02-01-2007, 05:42 AM   #1
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Rapid Decline-anybody experience this?

Morning all from a very chilly Illinois. My brain is fried so hopefully this makes sense. Up until Sunday my father seemed to be at level 4/5 able to carry on conversations, recognized family short term memory issues and of course lousy logic and reasoning skills but doing okay and relatively good-natured. (He also has lung cancer so that complicates things) He fell Sunday night was checked over no physical injuries they did a CAT scan, and some x-rays but it is as if he has jumped to stage 6 overnight. He's confused all the time, does not recognize family or anyone he's generally seems to believe he's back in the 1950's when he makes any sense at all. His doc decided to hospitilize him for a few days so at least we are getting a little sleep and room to breathe. Has anybody else had a loved one decline in a big jump? Maybe a stroke? I'd appreciate any input you all have. Been reading posts but not writing. Would like to be more supportive of everybody but just trying to stay afloat right now.
Hope everyone can grab a few minutes of peace and joy today.-K

 
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Old 02-01-2007, 05:49 AM   #2
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Re: Rapid Decline-anybody experience this?

the little lady that I take care of did almost the exact thing . with her she was walking one day and the next morning she could not walk or anything it was like everything changed over night. now she is bed fast and in the end stage. she can not respond to us at all now all she does is either cry day and night or sleep all the time. every now and then there is an eligible word but not that offen.

 
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Old 02-01-2007, 09:14 AM   #3
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Re: Rapid Decline-anybody experience this?

My husband was in the middle of level four or so when he was in the hospital (stroke) he had all the same symptoms of your mom. We found out after a few days of his wild behavior and being in and out of the real world that the medication was wrong for him. It affected him in a totally different way than was intended. It would calm most people down but was just the opposite for him. You just might find out that when some of the meds are stopped the normal behavior and being able to recognize you may return. Of course with the cancer things just might be progressing faster. As bad as it is.....this would no doubt be a blessing for her.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Jan

 
Old 02-01-2007, 09:26 AM   #4
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Re: Rapid Decline-anybody experience this?

My experience has been that a SUDDEN deterioration in a dementia patient has one of several cause

- bladder infection (UTI) can cause extremely odd behavior!
- another recent illness
- any kind of surgery, usually the result of anaesthesia
- hospital stay for any reason
- being switched to a new living place, whether to a NH or another child's house or back home
- reacting to a new medication

Normally, AD progresses so slowly that you do not see the change happening. Those who have not seen your loved one for months or years see an enormous change, but from day to day it does not show.

Hope this helps,

Love,

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 02-01-2007 at 09:27 AM.

 
Old 02-01-2007, 07:34 PM   #5
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Re: Rapid Decline-anybody experience this?

Thanks all for the replies-docs thinking some kind of stroke but I'm going to push on a meds review and checking on the UTI just in case. Whatever the reason the hospital setting seems to make things worse not better. Because he is terminal with cancer we are avoiding any invasive measures anyway which also is best with AD I know. They are going to discharge him to a skilled nursing facility for at least the next few weeks with physical therapy etc. Now of course guilt is hitting because I feel relieved that he'll be in facility at least a few weeks and I can get a little of my life back (I live with him and do the majority of caregiving with great support from siblings and assistants) Peace and joy to all. -K

 
Old 02-02-2007, 05:16 PM   #6
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Re: Rapid Decline-anybody experience this?

Don't for one minute feel guilty! It is so hard and if you look at it this way....it is a blessing that probably something else will take him and he won't have to suffer the indignities of Alzheimer's for years to come. My kids and I pray every day that the good Lord will take my husband before he gets any worse. This disease is the worst! Please just try and enjoy the little time you have to yourself and it will help you cope.

Love to you and yours,
Jan

 
Old 02-05-2007, 01:09 PM   #7
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Re: Rapid Decline-anybody experience this?

Check the thyroid. That speeds up any other diseases. TSH levels in bloodtests.

My dh's mom went down in 6 mos. of being diagnosed and died. My mom has been going to 11 yrs with alzheimers. Enough already, let her go in peace. But my religious sister thinks it's God's will for mom to still be here (in what way) to help her deal with her issues? I doubt it, her issues aren't any more important than anyone elses.

 
Old 02-05-2007, 03:04 PM   #8
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Re: Rapid Decline-anybody experience this?

Hi. It does sound like a possible stroke but I agree with the others. If he's taking a lot of meds or has changed/added meds, they can counteract each other and cause any sort of side effects. A change in environment, especially a hospital, can cause a sudden decline. I saw this with my dad but it only lasted until shortly after he came back home. Thyroid disease is another possibility but usually it happens gradually.

You sound like a very proactive person. I'm sure your doctor will find out what's causing this.

Big hugs to you!

Love, Barb
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Old 05-06-2007, 08:37 AM   #9
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Re: Rapid Decline-anybody experience this?

When my Mom finally decided she needed help and asked my Daughter to move in with her, she went downhill very fast. So I think this is normal.
Good Luck!
Laner

 
Old 05-06-2007, 11:53 AM   #10
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Re: Rapid Decline-anybody experience this?

With my mom she was fine one day and the next she didn't know who she was. She actually has done that three different times since January. They take her back to the hospital and change her meds and then she's fine until the next time. AD may be different from Vascular but so far we understood that it's a very fast pace change and one minute will be fine as the next will be complete opposite.

 
Old 05-24-2007, 04:57 PM   #11
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Re: Rapid Decline-anybody experience this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha H View Post
My experience has been that a SUDDEN deterioration in a dementia patient has one of several cause

- bladder infection (UTI) can cause extremely odd behavior!
- another recent illness
- any kind of surgery, usually the result of anaesthesia
- hospital stay for any reason
- being switched to a new living place, whether to a NH or another child's house or back home
- reacting to a new medication

Normally, AD progresses so slowly that you do not see the change happening. Those who have not seen your loved one for months or years see an enormous change, but from day to day it does not show.

Hope this helps,

Love,

Martha
We've also seen how these things you've written can affect a person with dementia. When it's an infection, the dementia is noticably better when the infection is treated....but what about change of location such as a nursing home. Is the deterioration permanent (from what you've experienced)? Thanks.

 
Old 05-26-2007, 10:05 AM   #12
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Re: Rapid Decline-anybody experience this?

I agree with Martha, I didn't see any rapid decline when Mom went to live in a "group home."

Things had become so chaotic in my house while she was living with me, it was a relief to have her with caregivers who knew how to cope. After the "settling in" time, Mom did much better than with me. She had a set routine, day in and day out, and adapted well.

As you can imagine, no home is consistently the same every day. If my grandchildren visited, or we went some where, or I went somewhere without Mom, or she lost something.........it would be total chaos! The smallest thing could set mom off. One day she was disturbed because she said I talked to my husband more than her.

At the home, the same routine all the time calmed her. No upheavals. What would be monotonous for you or I, is exactly what an alzheimer patient has to have to stay calm.

I would take her out for holidays or family barbecues and she would be totally disoriented and relieved to go back to the "home." Though she continually asked to go home till the end, she never had a complaint about the "group home," and spoke of all the empoyees with love.
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