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.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Grandma's Gone Wild

The last couple of weeks have been incredibly trying for Muddear. Her behavior became increasingly odd. It is not unusual for Muddear to be confused, sometimes hallucinate, or even become verbally aggressive. However, we knew something was seriously wrong when Muddear became physically aggressive. Needless to say, after several days passed and she intentionally hit Mariah several times, little Mike at least once, and the aide... well, I contacted her doctor's office.

A nurse practitioner was sent to the house to draw blood samples. The results... dehydration. Apparently, dehydration can cause erratic behavior, especially in those with Dementia and/or Alzheimer's Disease. We decided to aggressively push fluids for a couple of days while keeping a close eye on Muddear with the hope the dehydration would subside. It didn't and we ended up in Mercy Hospital's emergency room. 

Six hours later and after numerous tests, including chest X-rays, Muddear was admitted into Mercy Hospital. Prognosis - severe dehydration, caused by severe anemia, caused by internal bleeding.  Muddear has always been anemic with a baseline anemia of 9.52 - I really don't know what that means, but the doctors say that the normal baseline for women is 12. A "normal" baseline for anemia is between 10 and 11. When tested at the hospital, Muddear's anemia level hovered around 7. Treatment - blood transfusion.  After receiving two pints of blood, Muddear's levels increased to 13 - above the normal range for women. The conclusion was that Muddear's internal bleeding was slow at best. Based upon her age and medical condition, any further treatment for internal bleeding would probably be more intrusive than what she would be physically able to handle.

After two days in the hospital, Muddear appeared (she didn't realize she was sick) to be feeling and looking much better. Thankfully, she was no longer hitting, but still thoroughly confused. I'll keep you posted on her progress.


Anonymous said...

my mother in law also becomes very different after blood transfusions . she is 86 years old and diagnosed with moderate dimentia...she tends to hulicinate and become very nasty...we are now positive it has to do with the took awhile for us to figure this out...she can go 36 hours without sleeping..once her levels start to drop again she returns to her semi normal self...she than sleeps 12 to 15 hours probably because she is weak...her levels have dropped below 7 on many occassions...she has severe anemia...she currently receives procrit every 2 weeks...but lately it doesn't seem to be helping...her dorher thinks she is starting to fade which breaks our hearts...but really her quality of life is not so good....she will only leave the house for dr. appts....if anyone has any information or ideas on what we can do for her please contact me at could possibly be we will try to keep her more hydrated.....not an easy thing

risk of dementia with anemia said...

anemia is now believed to cause dementia in older people.