Jsetht, what you have described is typical of Alzheimer's patients. Any medical condition, especially those that require hospitalization, will cause a sudden decline in their cognitive abilities. Everything you described is a symptom of cognitive decline. Alzheimer's is not just a memory problem but brain damage that affects everything. Every thing we do is control by our brain and each function is eventually affected by the damage that Alzheimer's does to the brain.
Mom had a UTI in June. She was walking on Friday morning. She started leaning to one side and slowing down during the day. Saturday morning she walked tentatively to the bathroom door. From that point forward she has been in a wheel chair. The UTI literally knocked her off her feet! The effect of the infection caused her brain to lose the ability to tell her legs how to walk. We have been though another such journey in the last eek. In just a few days she lost the ability to eat anything but puree foods. She forgot how to use utensils over a year ago and has been fed since. She would eat finger foods herself but eventually lost the ability to do that. A emotional break down and UTI took her ability to communicate effectively almost 4 years ago. Amazingly, she will still hold her urine and bowl movements if she is physically put on the toilet frequently. There was a time she ate non stop and never seemed to be full. Even during that time she began to lose weight. That is an indication that the digestive system is not functioning properly. She is not getting the necessary nutrition and calories out of the food to maintain her body weight. At this point she eats very little. Her weight 4 years ago was 130 pounds. She has lost 11 pounds in the last 2 months and is now down to 91 pounds. Yet when I saw her today, she was sitting up and smiling at me
I too think my Mom has had a TIA. This differs from a stroke in that the symptoms don't last for a short time and they do not show up on CT scans. But in a few hours to a couple of days she is back to her old normal. Basically, she is not in a wheel chair and depending on the staff for everything. Yet her heath is relatively good. I have no idea how much longer our journey will be.
As you say, each is different but eventually they all lose their abilities. The order may be different but in the end, they all go. I am glad you were able to bring Mom home with help. Just be sure to have plenty of help and not over tax anybody. The care givers have to take care of themselves.
A word about Hospice. There is still a bit of a stigma attached to Hospice. It is thought of as an end of life organization. In fact they are for much more than that. My Mom has been on Hospice for almost a year and a half. Every 6 months she is reevaluated and re-certified I can not say enough about their services. Mom has an assigned nurse that visits with her once a week or as needed. As her conditions deteriorates that will increase to one a week or once a day as needed. She has a CNA that comes in once a week to shower her and wash her hair. She also has a volunteer that comes for a couple of hours a week just to be with her. Beyond there there is a social worker assigned to her case that visits with her once a week and then gives me a phone call to find out how I am doing. If I need anything on the weekends or at night, I just have to call the main triage and I get a nurse quickly. Beyond all of that, the doctor comes to visit Mom. No more taking her out to the doctor. The doctor is always on call and in constant contact with the RN. They also pay for most of her medication, incontinent supplies, medical supplies such as hospital beds and wheel chairs, and a list of other items. ..... and it is all covered by Medicare!!
If you make the decision that you do not want Mom back in the hospital for aggressive treatments, and you are comfortable with your Mom receiving comfort care at home... then you really do need to get a Hospice consult from your doctor. Hospice evaluations here are done within a few days and you will get your acceptance immediately there after. The process with Mom took three days and her nurse visited on the fourth day. So give that some consideration.