Rapid Decline in motor skills in 3 weeks...

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AdrockTN
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/28/2013 4:18 PM (GMT -6)   
First post, have been pulling my hair out trying to wrap my head around this, and finally decided to find an active forum.

Without going into the whole thing I was wondering how quickly people can go from walking to being bedbound as my grandmother has gone from being able to go to the bathroom, walk, and feed herself to needing assistance with everything including eating in drinking in about 3 weeks.

She was diagnosed with Dementia last year, but has been able to manage herself fairly well aside from being hateful when we had to get help for my grandfather who also had memory issues. He passed a month ago, she's done fairly well with it, but starting going downhill since the doctors adjusted her medicine a few times. Her memory has gotten sharper (in my opinion), but her motor skills have significantly declined.

She was checked out for strokes, had bloodwork done, checked for UTI's etc.. and everything has come back fine. Over the course of the last week (or a little before) she started having trouble with the bathroom and a little more difficulty walking which started around the last time they changed her meds. We had assumed that was the issue, her doctor was notified and he told us to cut a med out. Family decided to cut the med (1 day) and then just went ahead and took her to the hospital to get checked out... Again no issues with any of the tests.

I understand this can be an affect of late stage dementia, but have never heard of it coming on this quickly as she hasn't had a stroke and her health is actually good from the tests and scans. It's also confusing that her memory has gotten better and she's more talkative while her motor skills have gone downhill.

The doctors news was about as grim as you can possibly get today (suggest hospice), but my grandmother is talking, knows exactly who we are, and is hungry wanting food... it's just the motor skills. Just wanted to see if anyone had some thoughts on the situation. Everything I've read for late stages says that swallowing, etc... can be an issue, but it also says they won't even know who you are or where they are by that time. Not the case with her...

Lonie
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Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6447
   Posted 7/29/2013 7:21 AM (GMT -6)   
All I can say is the brain is a funny thing. I saw my mother-in-law decline that quickly, however my Mom has had a rather slow decline. My mother in law had heart problems as well, so I think that she may not have been getting a lot of oxygen, which could have been a factor. We are all so different! My Mother and Father both graduated out of Hospice a couple of time, and they are a fantastic organization. Unfortunately my Dad passed about two years ago, but they were with us all the way. Take care and good luck with your grandmother. Please let us know how things are going.

AdrockTN
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Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/29/2013 7:28 PM (GMT -6)   
This is actually my 3rd experience with Hospice, as my dad had it before he decided to go home and passed, and my grandfather had it at home to help him pass. Grandmother on my fathers side did the same thing at home.

The people are nice, but weren't very helpful when I asked a few questions about therapy and what they can do with patients. I understand they may not be setup for it, but they weren't helpful in the way that a lot of other agencies have been as far as pointing you in the right direction. All we got was a doctor will be in on Friday. That said, they have always been good with us when someone is nearing the end, I'm just not sure it's the place for someone that needs a push and some motivation.

I'm not sure about the whole graduation thing, but I had heard it mentioned a few times online. They didn't tell us anything about it -- it was basically put to us as they watch her until she goes or they send her home if she gets better on her own. I'm sure hospice is different in different areas, but I haven't been all that impressed this time around. There were some things about her room as well, but no need to go into all that.

As of now, we're hoping she'll continue to try and feed herself and want to get better. She actually fed herself successfully with no shaking (or choking), and talked normally about what she wanted and understands where she is and why today which was her first day of hospice. Basically did better than she's done all weekend, and it was her first day without being on all her medicine in months... go figure. Your right though, the brain is a funny thing and I'm finding out there are a lot of unknowns about medications and Alzheimer/dementia in general.

Thanks for your thoughts on the matter. We'll see how tomorrow goes; hopefully I can get someone to be a little more open about things or get some advice on alternatives aside from Hospice and general Nursing Homes. Home care would be ideal, but we can't afford 24 hour care for very long as it's extremely expensive.

Lonie
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Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6447
   Posted 7/30/2013 7:16 AM (GMT -6)   
I understand about Hospice. The first agency was not a good one -- the next was fabulous. If you are in the states, you have the option to choose which Hospice agency you would like. I didn't know that until someone I knew told me! And yes, in home care is insanely expensive, and I didn't think my Mom was getting the stimulation or nutrition she needed. She's doing so much better in the memory care. My parents Hospice was done at home -- sounds like they are doing it in her room at a facility?
 
Fortunately my Mom does not take any meds (never really has) but my friend cut her Mom's meds and she is doing very well -- go figure. Sometimes I think we overmedicate people. Take care, keep us updated.

bodhran
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Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/13/2013 8:30 PM (GMT -6)   
My father is 72 years old. For a little while he was having some memory problems. In 6 weeks he has gone from driving and doing normal household things to being placed in hospital and declared mentally incompetent. He can no longer walk or feed himself, and has to wear a diaper. We are now waiting for a nursing home for him. The Drs are all puzzled as to why he has declined so fast. He was diagnosed with frontal lobe Alzheimer's 3 weeks ago. He doesn't even know his wife or any of us, his kids, anymore.

Lonie
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Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6447
   Posted 8/14/2013 7:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh gosh Bodhran, that is very hard. I'm so sorry about your Father. My mother in law was never diagnosed with Alzheimers, but she failed rather quickly as well; no one was ever sure why except she had a lot of heart problems.
 
Welcome to the forum, so glad you joined. Take care and hugs.

bodhran
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/26/2013 7:42 PM (GMT -6)   
My father passed away on August 25 2013. Apparently the brain disease he had was so rare that his brain has been sent to Ottawa, Canada and hi body had to be cremated.

Franklen
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 8/26/2013 9:23 PM (GMT -6)   
bodhran, I'm so sorry to hear that. Shocking speed of whatever it turns out to be.

Goodness, I lost my father to Alzheimers, but the process took about 15 years from age 73 to 88.
To see that happen in a matter of weeks is very sad.

I'm sure this is a difficult time for your family. When you find out the cause please let us know what it was.

Take care

Gizzy'n me
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1870
   Posted 8/27/2013 8:57 AM (GMT -6)   
To AdrockTN ....
 
   Sorry to hear you are going thru this and watching a rapid decline in your grandmother. Could it be ... the passing of your grandfather a month ago has triggered the rapid decline of his partner in life?
   My Mother has had dementia for an unknown amount of years, but it was officially diagnosed close to three years ago. I believe she is going thru the stages of dementia in more of a normal timeframe .. that is, over a fairly long period of time. Changes of medication, however, have seemed to have started physical changes in her - the latest one of being confined to a wheelchair nearly all of the time.
   I wish the best for her ....... and for you and yours.
 
Rob
 

pocketfull
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 350
   Posted 8/28/2013 7:11 PM (GMT -6)   
My last 2 years before I remarried and my body went down, I cared for an old couple. He had Alz. a was 82. She was able to walk with a cane and wall walk in her house. she was 80.

I shared her care on a week own and a week off job. Great money but very.exhausting. He passed after I was there 6 mo. It was so sad they loved each other so much. She fell in love with me right away, but detested the other caregiver was cold as a fish.

I left on a monday morning as usual with my week off. She had a doc. apt that week so she was taken in her own car by the other lady. That was the first time she had been given zanax. When I got back the following monday morning she was in bed and just grabbed me crying to take care of her. I questioned the other gal and she gave her 1/2 mg 4 times a day. She just stayed in her bed flat down and coughing and choking. I called her son and then call 911. I spent the whole next week around the clock with her but growing weaker and her coughing just terrible. I asked why she had been put on zanax? I swear to god it killed her. I was gone that whole week and the other gal just kept her down with the zanax. She had been up to her beauty shop and had nails done too. We went to eat out and I took her to walmart. She had so much fun...... in one week of her flat on her back, wasnt getting up for a bath nor dressing her.

I knew I had to be so careful. There were 5 grown children and none of them cared a bit. I was just sick over it...i called them all one morning to tell them they needed to get there to see her because I could tell that she wouldnt last the day. One of them made it and I was with her holding her.

Medicines kill more people. She had been over drugged and died a week in the hosp. Tell me, what would yall have done? I knew it was just better to just walk away and collect my last check. life is so hard. She was killed by medicine I believe. i miss my little Ms.Josephine.
I am 62 years old. I was diagnosed with clinical depression 30 yrs. ago. Followed by: Fibromyalgia, spinal stenosis, arthritis, Neuropathy in both feet and lower legs for 8 years. Recently have neuropathy like burning in both hands and arms, possibly from damage to my neck.. I was diagnosed with diabetes about 4 months ago so my neuropathy is still diagnosed as idiopathic. Fibro and CFS.

SmurfyShadow
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 9/4/2013 3:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to Healing well! I think some better hospice staff would be better, personally. I noticed with my Gma, she declined rapidly, had a swing uphill and knew everyone talking and saying good bye, then declined more rapidly and passed on. Hang in there, hugss
~Moderator - Allergies & Asthma , Alzheimer's~
"The Walking Medical Mystery"/~Medical Caregiver and Doctors Worse Nightmare~/ And Doctor's Worse Nightmare DX: Lactose Intolerance, Gluten Sensitive, ADD, Fibromyalgia, Carpel Tunnel, Arthritis, Clasterphobia, Anxiety, Diabetes Type II, Grave's Disease, Tachycardia, GERD, PCOS, Migraines, UARS, Anterior Scleritis, Orbital Tumor

Gizzy'n me
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 1870
   Posted 10/8/2013 2:33 PM (GMT -6)   
AdrockTN .......
 
   I think a few said it already ..... it varies so much and maybe there just isn't a typical time period.
 
   I just noticed that yesterday in my Mother. Her hands are becoming so clumsy in the last few weeks. And her legs became nearly useless over the past several months. It's been since last winter that she was able to use a walker. Wheelchair only now!!!
 
   It's sad ... our hands are helpless ... and it's painful to watch the degeneration of a loved one. 
 
Peace
 
Rob
 

Traveler
Forum Moderator


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 35853
   Posted 10/27/2013 12:36 PM (GMT -6)   
"Without going into the whole thing I was wondering how quickly people can go from walking to being bedbound as my grandmother has gone from being able to go to the bathroom, walk, and feed herself to needing assistance with everything including eating in drinking in about 3 weeks."

This pretty much described my FIL just last January. He was living by himself, seemingly taking decent care of himself. He came to live with us in January and in 3 months he declined so quickly that he passed in March. It shocked the nurses, doctors were in denial, and Hospice was surprised as well. It was like once he knew we were there to care for him as much as was needed, he let go.

If they fall and hit their head, it can accelerate the disease, so can medication changes, nutritional issues and more.
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5yrs out
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 12/1/2013 10:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I am brand new to alzheimers disease but reading what you wrote made me want to share the sudden loss of motor skills we had..My husband went to bed one night with no clue he would wake up in the morning and not be able to hold a glass or a fork and his walk is now more of a shuffle he drags his feet..Our Dr. said he has Lewy Body Dementia....
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