Rapid decline aided by delirium

SlimyUnicorn

New member
Jul 25, 2023
2
0
Is anyone else experiencing a rapid decline with their loved one?

My mum’s last year has been a mess of sepsis, cellulitis, delirium and now an undeniable cognitive decline into dementia (still not officially diagnosed but GP, nurses, paramedics etc seem convinced).

In the last six months my mum has gone from being independent but prone to delirium when sick to daily hallucinations, aggressive, violent and wanting to “go home” nearly constantly. She won’t consider any medication and every day is unpredictable.

Anyone???
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
81,732
0
Kent
Welcome @SlimyUnicorn

All these infections will be the cause of the rapid decline in your mum's condition.

Any infection , even the mildest , can have a serious effect on the quality of life and seeing the number of infections experienced by your mother it's not surprising she has gone downhill so quickly.
 

gwenster

Registered User
Mar 20, 2023
14
0
Is anyone else experiencing a rapid decline with their loved one?

My mum’s last year has been a mess of sepsis, cellulitis, delirium and now an undeniable cognitive decline into dementia (still not officially diagnosed but GP, nurses, paramedics etc seem convinced).

In the last six months my mum has gone from being independent but prone to delirium when sick to daily hallucinations, aggressive, violent and wanting to “go home” nearly constantly. She won’t consider any medication and every day is unpredictable.

Anyone???
Yes. If I use last September as a benchmark, I took my Mum to Anglesey for a few days. Some days she walked 4-5 miles. Since January it's been a rollercoaster of back pain, delirium, falls, infections, back pain, delirium etc etc. Now she can't walk round the supermarket. She was diagnosed with vascular dementia in April and she may also have normal pressure hydrocephalus (awaiting results from recent tests), but the deterioration has been rapid. Every day is very unpredictable here as well. I'm currently signed off work with stress as trying to deal with this situation on my own with the various admissions to hospital, tests, constantly arranging/rearranging care has taken a real toll on my mental health. I look at my Mum and can barely believe how fast she's gone downhill. It's really rough.
 

melli

Registered User
Dec 9, 2021
41
0
Hi - similar happened with my Mom, she had delirium post an infection and hospitalisation for low sodium.
she just disappeared in front of our eyes. I was rung out with grief and not understanding what had happened. the consultant eventually explained the delirium was causing a lot of the issues and slowly it did lift, however he also explained it "kicks the ball down the road" for the dementia. so she progressed with the dementia quicker , all cloaked and coated in delirium

I really feel for you - its so hard to take it in and process it. take each day at a time x
 

MrCanuck

Registered User
Jun 9, 2016
59
0
Ontario, Canada
It seems to be a catch-22. Those with dementia are more likely to experience delirium, and the delirium tends to advance the dementia.

My mother fell and broke her ankle and ended up in the hospital. Up to that point she had just started to show signs of dementia (I had not yet pieced all the signs together at that point), but was still quite independent.

While in hospital she went into delirium and that triggered a massive decline. She went from being independent to needing assisted living in a span of about 6 weeks.
 

Cappy67

Registered User
May 11, 2023
29
0
My mum seemed to drop really quick then plateau for a while then drop again but never went back to how she was.
Delirium was a common occurrence and was frightening for me.
I feel for you
 

Nix686

New member
Sep 2, 2023
1
0
My dad over the last few days is suffering from delirium badly and has lost his grasp on reality. From your experience is this likely to be caused by infection or other underlying cause than his Alzheimer’s? Do we go to the gp? He’s been like this sometimes when tired but this flip is new and seems permanent
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
25,048
0
South coast
My dad over the last few days is suffering from delirium badly and has lost his grasp on reality. From your experience is this likely to be caused by infection or other underlying cause than his Alzheimer’s? Do we go to the gp? He’s been like this sometimes when tired but this flip is new and seems permanent
If someone has dementia then it seems to me that every time they get an infection (especially a UTI) they get delirium. There are other causes of delirium, but if theyve had an infection Id say that is definitely the likely main culprit.

Delirium can take up to 6 months to resolve, unfortunately, but they often do not recover back where they were pre dementia. Sometimes they dont recover at all. There is also not much you can do about it medically AFAIK and doctors dont like giving anything like antipsychotics as this delirium may be only temporary.
Im sorry this is not very helpful. Can you put extra care in place while you see whether he will recover and by how much?
 

Lyness12

New member
Sep 2, 2023
4
0
We lived quite independently until Good Friday when husband had one of his many falls at home. He was hospitalised for 51 days with low sodium, UTIs, delirium, agresion, paranoia, hallucinations, violence and 15 falls due to roaming etc etc. He now has a dementia diagnosis and after a long fight to get him moved from a nursing home 20 miles away is now settled in a lovely caring home near to me. The hallucinations and paranoia etc did not decline but after being prescribed anti-psycotic drugs he is very much calmer and settled. If your mom's symptoms do not resolve themselves I can testify that the medication is a good way forward. I wish you the best of luck on the journey we are all facing.
 

gheckogirl7

Registered User
Dec 7, 2022
25
0
My Mum (94) became quite agitated and confused about ten days ago. This was followed by a fall then a hugely, rapid decline, including hallucinations and delirium. It was very disturbing and lasted around 48 hours. She doesn’t have a UTI which would appear to cause so many of these symptoms. She is no longer able to eat or drink much although being offered anything if she is able, but now receiving morphine and sedation in her carehome and sleeping most of the time. It’s a drastic change but up until recently, she has coped well and had a fair amount of clarity. It’s hard to witness the rapid decline as I don’t think I expected it to happen this way. It is now a case of being there and supporting when possible but it’s now one day at a time. I am very sad of course and don’t want her to suffer and linger on. Does anyone else have a similar experience? Thank you
 

SherwoodSue

Registered User
Jun 18, 2022
499
0
Mum has bronchiectasis. Now infected with pseudomonas. Dementia was ticking along from 2016 onwards with forgetfulness, but since pseudomonas hit 😱
negotiating with GP for at home only care.
 

Agzy

Registered User
Nov 16, 2016
3,822
0
Moreton, Wirral. UK.
Is anyone else experiencing a rapid decline with their loved one?

My mum’s last year has been a mess of sepsis, cellulitis, delirium and now an undeniable cognitive decline into dementia (still not officially diagnosed but GP, nurses, paramedics etc seem convinced).

In the last six months my mum has gone from being independent but prone to delirium when sick to daily hallucinations, aggressive, violent and wanting to “go home” nearly constantly. She won’t consider any medication and every day is unpredictable.

Anyone???
At least twice for my LO. First time saw her hospitalised following UTI and most recent was a fall and visit to A&E and a subsequent big decline and now needs almost 24/7 care 😔
 

brightsideoflife

Registered User
Mar 15, 2023
12
0
hello
my dad was admitted to hospital last week. He wasn't feelinh himself at all (his own words) and we had noticed in past weeks a decline in his ability to understand things, problems with getting his words out and his mobility. He's also had about four falls in the last few weeks- one of which resulted in a nasty open wound on his leg, We have noticed he has been a little incontinent as well and prior to his being admitted to hospital, he was saying his wife had been talking to him and telling him what to do (she no longer lives at home with him)
In hospital he has been put on IV antibiotics. His confusion is still the same. This is somebodywho at 94 was very independent at home on his own, cooking his meals, reading his newspaper and following tv programmes. I can't believe the decline in my dad and so much of how he presents would lead me to think that he has dementia. My question is : will he ever go back to what he was ? Where does the delirium that comes with infection end and dementia begin? What questions should I now be asking the medical team ? I fear that he will be discharged once he is deemed fit - quite possibly to go back home
Thank you
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
81,732
0
Kent
Hello @brightsideoflife Welcome.

I`m afraid it will be a waiting game to see how your father recovers from his infections. He is a wonderful age to have done so well until now.

If you are worried about him returning home to resume looking after himself, discuss it with the medical team in good time. Let them know how concerned you are.
 

SherwoodSue

Registered User
Jun 18, 2022
499
0
Hospital occupational therapists are very important prior to discharge and just after. They can advise on equipment and falls prevention etc. I would ask for a chat even now and share your concerns
 

brightsideoflife

Registered User
Mar 15, 2023
12
0
Many thanks for these helpful replies. I have been to see dad today. He is still very confused. I was , however, able to chat with the ward sister about my concerns. It was explained to that delirium and dementia have a complex interrelationship. and that patients with delirium have a higher risk of developing dementia. I voiced my concerns about him returning home and was reassured that my dad would need to be "all singing and all dancing" before the medical team were confident that he would be able to manage safely at home. Thank you for the helpful advice.
 

brightsideoflife

Registered User
Mar 15, 2023
12
0
Medical team also mentioned that the confusion and disorienation could last for weeks/months and in some cases a person never went back to being as they were before.
 

reef

Registered User
Dec 22, 2023
12
0
45
Cambridge
Is anyone else experiencing a rapid decline with their loved one?

My mum’s last year has been a mess of sepsis, cellulitis, delirium and now an undeniable cognitive decline into dementia (still not officially diagnosed but GP, nurses, paramedics etc seem convinced).

In the last six months my mum has gone from being independent but prone to delirium when sick to daily hallucinations, aggressive, violent and wanting to “go home” nearly constantly. She won’t consider any medication and every day is unpredictable.

Anyone???
Hey , yes , mu mum has gone from independent to not being able to work her heating , cooker or phone , just like you the only diagnosis was CT scan or frontal lobe deteration, I watched her decline in weeks , seeing faces in everything , I'm so sorry