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elder care and physical condition?


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I think I recall someone saying the elderly's body knows when their time is coming, and as it starts shutting down, - on thing that goes is the appetite?  

in addition to not eating foods she likes ("i'm not hungry")   mil is also quite loopy - and paranoid.  (there's a man watching her.  she even called the sheriff's dept - when she claimed someone stuck a gun through her door.  she said the neighbors (who are a good 400 ft away - through the trees) are watching her.  they even cut down all the trees so they could watch her. (it's winter.  they're deciduous trees).   she pointed to the light in the ceiling where the man hid a camera.  (in my sil's house).

yes - this is all definitely paranoia.   sil is now moving her out of her house into an assisted living - that has memory care, or a family care home (I don't think that would be a good fit).  how do you tell when they're getting close?  she's 93, and in questionable health.  she has some resources - and I don't think she'll last long enough to go through them all

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I'm only half-joking when I say that my grandmother's mind has been iffy since I was a kid. 😉 But her serious mind/memory/fear stuff has genuinely been going on for close to a decade, though none of us can really say when it moved from her normal to clearly abnormal Food has also been an issue for most of those years.  She moved into care when she broke her hip... maybe 8 years ago? She has had other health issues before and since. Her 90th birthday is this year.

We've spent years thinking there might be little time left. But I was sent a video of her dancing a few weeks ago!  

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I agree with a PP who suggested testing for infection. UTIs can have a variety of presentations in the elderly that don't happen in younger people. If she hasn't been eating adequately for awhile she could have nutritional deficiencies that are contributing as well, have you all tried getting her to drink something like Boost or Ensure a couple of times each day? However, she could just be really old. My grandmother just turned 90, and she does have moments of confusion and suspicious thinking, though not to the extent you are describing. I would want her checked for infection and seen by a neuro guy who works with the elderly a lot.

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When my MIL was dealing with Lewy Body dementia she was afraid- we didn’t really see it as paranoid- but in hindsight it was.  And she wasn’t eating at all- her body stopped sensing hunger. She’d tell us she wasn’t hungry but we’d just put a plate in front of her and we’d eat ourselves, and she’d clean her plate. She clearly was hungry. 

It’s not clear how much of that was the dementia or how much was a UTI but every time we could get sil to take her to the doc to be checked, mil had a uti. 

The firt signs of dementia in mil were hallucinations and paranoia/being afraid.  


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8 hours ago, Melissa in Australia said:

depends how stubborn she is. The more stubborn they are the longer they seem to linger on

yes, stubborn.  we've joked she's too ornery to die.  when she was "herself" - she was definitely contrary and did what she wanted.  that part has gotten worse.

8 hours ago, happi duck said:

Has she been checked for infection?

I don't know - but I'll ask.  she does see her dr regularly.

21 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

Paranoia can develop after a stroke. Perhaps she has had a small stroke that didn’t leave much in the way of physical effects (my mom had one like this). But definitely check the UTI possibility.

As far as how much time she has to live... People often think that a person going to a nursing home must be getting ready to die. However, getting someone into managed care can actually have a life-extending, stabilizing effect due to consistency of schedule, medications, meals, and increased socialization. A great aunt of my husband’s was in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s for over ten years before the symptoms reached the end stages including being physically incapacitated, about 12 years total. 

I doubt she's had a stroke.  all parties have experience with TIA and stroke patients - and there aren't any of the same signs.

I think she'll do better in managed care too.  she'll have "more action".   tbh: I think she'll make them nuts, I do think they'll be better suited to deal with her.     sil's "respite" person - has proven to be completely unreliable.  So, her emergency "fill-in" for her respite person (who is reliable) - suggested moving her to an assisted living facility.

as for how long she'll last - she'll be 94 in june. she's not lasting 10 - 12 years.  it's only in the last six months anyone has seriously thought she's not lasting another year or two.

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I stopped by and saw her after my dr appointment near her.  I pulled in on 1sil's heels as she arrived to take her to a dr appointment.  I suggested having her checked for a UTI.  Help in getting her to the car, and left.

she had her makeup on, and was all ready and raring to go. she was also pretty with-it.  I'm suspicious her biggest problem has been boredom.  this woman is known for having dragged neighbors away from their breakfast to come entertain her.  (she can't do that anymore because she refused to do her PT after a hip replacement so she's in a wheelchair.)

I'm even wondering if the paranoia - man watching her - is the human version of small dog syndrome. My observations of her years ago (and not incidental to age) were this woman can't handle being alone with her own thoughts.

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Eh, even with strong signs of kidney and other organ failure they can kick on for years. My elderly relative is on year 5 of stage 4 kidney failure (no dialysis) and has had severe dementia (forgetting to eat, can’t manage self care, doesn’t recognize own children) for a few of those years. The above point about being stubborn being correlated to longevity beyond medical prognosis is spot on.

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