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Old 05-03-2012, 01:30 PM   #1
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Need advice about elderly dad

My dad started acting strange last week. He doesn't say much. He will answer questions, but doesn't initiate conversation. He stares all the time. He doesn't remember how to answer phone or turn in microwave. Doctor prescribed antibiotics thinking he has infection. Any input what this could be? Thx.

 
Old 05-04-2012, 06:20 AM   #2
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Re: Need advice about elderly dad

Hi Tamara. Very sorry to hear about your father. How old is he, and what is his general state of health? Are there any existing health issues, e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, etc?

I am assuming that one day he was fine and the next day he started acting strange? The first thing I would rule out is stroke. How is his gait, does he walk differently than before? Are his left and right sides equal? (e.g. facial tensions, pupils, hands and feet?) Check his pupils for equal dilation, one side at a time by covering up the other eye. Look for equal pupil responsiveness when you turn on and off the light.

I am telling you all this, but really, the proper thing for you to do is to take him to the clinic as soon as you can. Good luck, and I hope it is just something really minor!

 
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:25 AM   #3
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Re: Need advice about elderly dad

Tamara... Dementia does not come on suddenly but is a slow onset disease. If he was fine one day and acting in this manner the next then you need to get him to the doctor immediately. There are many reasons that could cause the symptoms you described and only his physician, with appropriate test, can tell you what the problem is.

Love, deb

 
Old 05-04-2012, 08:08 AM   #4
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Re: Need advice about elderly dad

Infection can take a big toll on the elderly and cause them withdrawal and confusion

BUT

So can a minor stroke and other things. A minor stroke could definitely cause forgetfulness, lack of clarity, etc.

I would bring him in for a full evaluation to be sure and I would do it urgently, because if it WERE a stroke, then time if of the essence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamara2011 View Post
My dad started acting strange last week. He doesn't say much. He will answer questions, but doesn't initiate conversation. He stares all the time. He doesn't remember how to answer phone or turn in microwave. Doctor prescribed antibiotics thinking he has infection. Any input what this could be? Thx.

Last edited by Suzy0513; 05-04-2012 at 08:09 AM.

 
Old 05-04-2012, 08:20 AM   #5
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Re: Need advice about elderly dad

He did go to doctor and doctor prescribed antibiotics for an infection. He doesn't answer the phone anymore. He has had problems dialing numbers. He will answer questions, but doesn't really initiate talk. He stares a lot more. He is 93. He needs help dressing. His vision is poor. The changes we have seen in him have been ongoing, but starting to get worse. He really hasn't had major illnesses. He had hip replacement 5 years ago. He is hunched over. He has some bowel issues (loss of control sometimes).

 
Old 05-04-2012, 05:37 PM   #6
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Re: Need advice about elderly dad

So these concerns have been present for a while but the infection made it worse? What type of infection was it. If dementia is present then any infection will make the symptoms worse. As the infection is cleared up it should return closer to his previous normal if not completely back to that level. But you do need to call his doctor and tell him what you are seeing.

Love, deb

 
Old 05-04-2012, 06:42 PM   #7
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Re: Need advice about elderly dad

I think the infection made his symptoms worse. I am seeing an improvement, so perhaps the antibiotics are helping.

 
Old 05-04-2012, 08:23 PM   #8
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Re: Need advice about elderly dad

Was the infection by any chance a urinary tract infection?

 
Old 05-05-2012, 02:08 AM   #9
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Re: Need advice about elderly dad

I think it was. The doctor did not get a urine specimen, but only went by blood work that indicated infection.

 
Old 05-05-2012, 06:06 AM   #10
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Re: Need advice about elderly dad

If your Dad has a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), especially one that was bad enough to show up in the white cell count, my bet is that is the reason for the dramatic changes you noticed. Any time the elderly, especially dementia patients, show sudden bizarre changes my first thought is UTI!... and more times than not it is the right call. ... and yes the cognition will get better as the UTI improves Remember this for future episodes because there very well may be more.

A suggestion... once the antibiotics are finished, take your Dad in for a repeat urinalysis and ask for a culture to be done. If they have difficulty getting a urine specimen then you can take a sterile specimen cup and a toilet hat (sits under the lid of the toilet to catch a specimen and looks like a plastic hat) home and get the specimen taking it back to the doctor's office. I usually catch that morning urine and take it straight to the doctor. Sometimes it takes more than one run of antibiotics to completely fix the problem.

If the UTIs are frequent it might be wise to start a maintenance dosage of antibiotics on a continuing basis. Mom had repeated UTIs that were all e-coli based. We didn't know this until a culture was done. Once the right meds were given and the UTI cleared up we used a small dosage of that same antibiotic daily to prevent their return. It has worked for 3 years :

Love, deb

 
Old 05-05-2012, 12:43 PM   #11
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Re: Need advice about elderly dad

OK, thanks so much for your suggestion. We will do a follow-up UA. Are you familiar with proteus mir. I have that in my urine, doesn't want to go away. Have lg. kid. stone, that doc thinks will fix problem once removed.

 
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Old 05-05-2012, 04:10 PM   #12
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Re: Need advice about elderly dad

Just that it is a rod shaped bacteria that can be treated with antibiotics though a small number of cases are resistant to some types of first generation antibiotics. A different antibiotic might help. A kidney stone could complicate treatment. Are you scheduled for lipsotripsy?

Love, deb

 
Old 05-05-2012, 04:43 PM   #13
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Re: Need advice about elderly dad

The stone is way too big. They will do a percutaneous... (I have it written down somewhere what its called), where they put tube in my back down to the kidney, then later in the day they place tiny camera and they break up the stone and suck it out with some vacuum thingie. This is scheduled the end of the month. Have had stones removed before and still have lots of stones. Fun!!

 
Old 05-05-2012, 08:48 PM   #14
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Re: Need advice about elderly dad

Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy Surgery (PCNL)... Hubby has had a large kidney stone and that was one option but he decided on Lipotripsy and it was successful. I know they are painful and I do hope you find relief from them soon. Hope Dad's Kidney infection is also better!

Love, deb

 
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