Tips For Caregiver's

People with Alzheimer's disease frequently become more disoriented after dark or when waking. Leaving a night-light on in the bedroom may be helpful.

~WebMd

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Dementia, Confusion, and UTI's

Well, Muddear still doesn't know who we are. Everyday, we find her in our bedroom going through the drawers. A few days ago, Muddear was in Mariah's room taking her shoes!

Whenever we tell her stop, Muddear becomes irate and says...

"You don't tell me what to do! I can be in here...Ms. Evans told me I could!"

Okay... does anybody know who Ms. Evans is?

Anyway, I called the doctor two weeks ago. I wanted to make sure Muddear's severe confusion was not caused by a physical condition - namely a UTI (urinary tract infection). For some reason, UTI's wreak havoc on individuals with Dementia and Alzheimer's. Sufferers do not experience the usual symptoms...pain when urinating, foul smelling urine, or backaches. No Dementia and Alzheimer's patient exhibit psychotic-like personality changes.

Unfortunately no one returned my phone call until I contacted the supervisor - SIX days later! The doctor, Dr. Tabrizi, made arrangements with the nurse assigned to us to collect the urine sample. That was last week... Apparently, when the sample was collected the lab refused to perform the test. Why? The urine sample was in the wrong container - even though it was the container they provided! Needless to say, the nurse was supposed to come last Friday to collect another sample.

However, today - FOUR days later - the sample has yet to be collected. Of course I complained to the nursing supervisor, only to find out later today that the Doctor's office called my aide (Sharon) to tell her that the sample had already been collected! Now considering the only people in my home are either my family, Muddear, and the aide - I find it odd that doctor's office is trying to tell US that the sample was collected even though we explained that it was not. Don't they think we would know?

Okay, sorry about the ranting and raving! This is very frustrating considering I have Muddear scheduled for a respite stay beginning on Thursday night. If the sample is not collected prior to Thursday, we may have to wait until next week! Totally unacceptable!

Not to mention, until the results of the urine analysis are received, we will not know if Muddear is experiencing a UTI or advanced stages of Dementia. I will keep you posted...

12 comments:

Glorious Hats said...

Very frustrating. There are standards of care for each level, Drs, nursing, laboratory. All have failed to meet safe standards in this situation. Is there an advocate for seniors in your town? ombudsman at State level, some one to call who will follow up. Or just tell each agency get it done or I'm calling the local TV channel to do a story on failed care for the elderly.

And why does the sample need to be collected by nursing? I mean why do you have to be held hostage when it only takes putting a plastic catcher on the toilet, and pouring urine into a specimen cup. Or do they do a catheterized sample?

Muddear and you deserve to have the test done and not loose days to unneeded confusion and anxiety, let along the higher stress level. UTIs are generally easily treatable, but the longer they go on the greater risk of infection going up into the kidney and more difficult to treat.

And if it is not a UTI, you need to know so other avenues can be explored before the situation escalates.

Best wishes in getting some action done and necessary care provided.

Hugs, Jane

njm said...

You are so right! The nurse was responsible for delivering a speciman cup then picking up the specimen to deliver to the lab. The nurse was asked to do so, because the doctor was not going to be able to perform a home visit for a week. It was all very frustrating!

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