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Decline of a lovely lady (my gran-in-law)

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by concernedgdaugh, May 5, 2015.

  1. concernedgdaugh

    concernedgdaugh Registered User

    May 4, 2015
    1
    #1 concernedgdaugh, May 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
    Decline of a lovely lady

    Hi, Apologies if I have posted to the wrong forum (this is my first posting) as I do not directly care for a person with dementia but I am close to a lady who has dementia (my boyfriend's gran). The lady in question is 96 years old and up until about a year ago she was doing very well health-wise for a lady in her 90s. She was a bit forgetful but that's pretty much it. However, about a year ago she needed urgent surgery requiring a general anaesthetic. She recovered but unfortunately the general anaesthetic caused a significant negative impact on her cognitive ability (apparently general anaesthetic can do this in v older people?) such that she started to forgot what day it was and occasionally forgot if she had phoned someone so would phone them again - but she remained her happy self (the lady we all love) and would laugh with us at her silliness. Then a couple of months ago she had a water infection and was admitted to hospital where she was also diagnosed with anaemia (a side effect of a drug she was taking for arthritis). I understand that confusion etc is common with very older people who have an infection but her condition continued to decline even when the infection was cleared by the antibiotics. She is getting worse and worse, for example, she has become aggressive (completely not like her) and seems frustrated and confused a lot of the time. The doctors also told us that she has suffered mini-strokes in the not too distant past that are contributing. My in-laws think she has alz but can this be true? I thought alz was a progressive, over many years kind of thing? Like I said her condition only really become noticeable a year ago - before that it was a little bit of forgetfulness. Can anyone offer similar experiences? Thanks very much.
     
  2. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    4,999
    UK
    Hi

    I'm just turning in for the night but didn't want to read and run.

    I'm not medically qualified but strokes are one cause of Vascular Dementia which can to progress in steep steps of decline. People with Alzheimer's can also have Vascular Dementia, together they are classified as mixed dementia.

    I hope that helps.
     
  3. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,569
    Female
    South coast
    Good morning
    My mum declined like that too. Mum was in her late 80s and we all thought the same too - shes a bit forgetful, but doing marvelously for her age. Then suddenly she started to accuse a long-standing and very good friend of hers of stealing from her and started being really nasty. After this it seemed like every week there was some new problem and she declined very quickly. She was referred to the local memory clinic, had a scan and the consultant said that there was no doubt in his mind that she had Alzheimers. I was surprised because - like you - I thought it was a very slow disease, but he told me that it didnt always happen in a text-book way.

    Im not saying that your boy-friends gran does have Alz - Im just saying that it could be. It could also be vascular dementia, mixed dementia or it might not even be dementia at all (although the symptoms sound likely) I would encourage your boyfriend to get his gran to go to her GP so that she could have anything else ruled out and then the GP could refer her to the memory clinic.
     

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