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Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by THEODORE, Sep 9, 2015.


    THEODORE Registered User

    Sep 9, 2015
    #1 THEODORE, Sep 9, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2015
    Questions:my father has moderate dementia and went into hospital 4weeks ago with heart failure . this is under control but now he has some kidney damage which is being treated. the problem is that he seems to be loosing his memory at an alarming speed. I am concerned but the doctors say this is because of the infection he had and heart condition as well as the long stay in hospital and he will be better when his condition improves. - HELP , is this really reversible ????
    Hi, Thanks for your question. I'll try to help you today. I am sorry to hear about your problem. I am going to address your primary concern but later you can ask anything you want. His memory loss can't be due to the kidney damage and heart failure. I would strongly suggest you to see a neurologist for an evaluation. I wish him good luck and that he gets well soon. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions. I will be glad to help you always. Regards
  2. lin1

    lin1 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2010
    East Kent
    #2 lin1, Sep 9, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2015
    Hi. Welcome to TP. I am sorry to hear about your Father.
    I hope that when he recovers and is out of hospital you start to see a big improvement in your father .

    I like many others on here have found that any infection can cause a sudden downward dip in dementia, even having a cold can do it, so can the strange surroundings, noise and routines of a hospital.
    Though I can offer you no guarantees that your Dads memory etc will return back to how it was previously , I seriously hope it does.
    Over the years my Mum had many UTIs (urinary tract infections) And all but the last two she recovered mostly back to her previous self, though it did take a few weeks.

    I assume this is a reply you've had from one of the consultants team of doctors that your father is under.
    Though I am no medic it my opinion that with dementia no one can state categorically that something like this cannot be so, because with Dementia noone can ever really know for sure.
    Although it may be wise to have an evaluation by a Neurologist.
  3. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    There may be an "improvement" when he returns to his normal surroundings, as the stress of being away is lifted.
    However, that would only work if he remembers!
    There may be another dip when he gets home, a dilemma that can only be faced at the time.
    An assessment, of his current condition by an appropriate specialist, memory clinic, rather than neurologist, would not do any harm.

  4. arielsmelody

    arielsmelody Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    Is that a reply from an online medical advice website rather than from one of the doctors who is treating your father, and possibly from someone where English is not their first language? I read it as saying that memory loss is not one of the symptoms associated with heart failure and chest infection, which seems sensible as far as it goes. But being unwell and being on different drugs and pain killers could easily make someone confused and disorientated, which hopefully would improve as he got better. If the doctors who are treating your father say that they think this is temporary, if it was me I'd wait and see how he is when his health has improved, and if he is still bad you can start chasing to see if there is anything more that can be done.
  5. AndreaP

    AndreaP Registered User

    Anything stressful makes my mother so much worse. In Dec 2014 she had a cataract operation and a night in hospital. Although no general anaesthesia, next day she was a mess. Repeatedly asking where things were and instantly forgetting; claiming money was stolen from her room; rifling through her handbag over and over.....

    Although she recovered a little she was still badly affected. Stress of any kind exposes how bad she has become. Sometimes she seems stable and then there is a sudden deterioration.
  6. looviloo

    looviloo Registered User

    May 3, 2015
    I can't really comment on your father's situation, but I can tell you about my own experience. My father has vascular dementia and it was progressing slowly but he was largely ok. Then he had a fall, bumping his head, and was hospitalised, and a combination of infection and head trauma resulted in him becoming delirious to the point of hallucinations/wandering/massive memory loss. As he recovered from the physical injuries, he also recovered a lot of his mental faculties, but it did take some time... about a month in our case. I would say that now, 4 months later, he is about 70 or 80% back to how he was before he fell.

    I hope this helps you :). As others have said, listen to the consultants who are looking after your dad, they are in the best position to comment on your dad's health. Take care x
  7. cragmaid

    cragmaid Registered User

    Oct 18, 2010
    North East England
    Hi Theodore and welcome to TP
    Before I say more, I am not a medic. I am the daughter of a lady who died earlier this year, having suffered from Dementia, Heart problems and various other ailments including Cancer during her later years. She was nearly 87.

    So, this reply you qouted was more definitve than I would have expected, assuming that it came from a medic. There are many cases of documented decline in cognitive states due to UTIs and linked to hospital stays in people with Dementia.
    Dehydration can play a major role in increasing confusion too.
    Sometimes the damage done to the mind can be temporary and will improve with time and care. I suggest you contact a Neurologist, but for now...keep a diary of the daily problems faced so that you can back up your feelings with details when you do get an appointment.

    Good luck.
  8. Bessieb

    Bessieb Registered User

    Jun 2, 2014
    Hi, I had a very similar situation with my Father in June. He was admitted to hospital with UTI and Kidney damage (and also has heart problems). His dementia (previously mild / moderate) dipped massively in hospital to the point where he had to have a DOLS, he had no idea where he was and was unbelievably agitated. The nurses on the ward told me it was 'just' the Alzheimers.
    When he was finally discharged everything stabilised. I don't think he has come back to exactly how he was but he is nowhere near as disorientated, confused or agitated as he was in hospital. I have been told subsequently that this happens a lot and the hospital environment is terrible for dementia sufferers and that generally things will stabilise when clinically well and back in a familiar or less stressful environment.

    Fingers crossed that you will also find this with your Dad - although I know everyone is different.

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