My grandmother has been in poor health for about three years now- she has osteoporosis, she was diagnosed and treated for lung and throat cancer three years ago, then in the past year broke her wrist, and in the fall that resulted in the broken wrist, a tumor was discovered behind her left ear, it was benign and removed. She was in a rehabilitation hospital over the summer, and was released in October to live with my aunt. Since the surgery to remove the tumor, her hearing has been really bad, even with her hearing aids we had to practically shout for her to hear us or write down what we are saying. Then about a month ago, she broke her leg and my aunt had to temporarily put her into a home, so that she would have round the clock care. I talked to grandma on Christmas day, and other than the hearing, she seemed to be very much "there" and not at all confused.
I talked to her night before last, and was devastated. She didn't know who I was at all, and seemed really unaware that I was even speaking to her some of the time, even with my mother in the room with her, telling her what I was saying. She didn't seem to know my mom or aunt- she kept calling my mother Tex and she called the phone a float. I asked her if she what she was doing and she started telling me that she was driving on a really curvy road and that it was dark. I asked if she wanted to talk to my son, and she didn't know who I was talking about. I was very much reminded of a family member (not blood related) who did have alzheimers. I know that alzheimers is a gradual thing though. What can cause this rapid mental regression (over a period of only three weeks)?
My MIL went downhill very fast. She would also vary - sometimes being lucid and then being quite well, there was no sense to what she said. It was very unpredictable.
There are different kinds of dementia so you can get her checked out by a geriatric specialist who can help you. My own grandmother just needed oxygen - without it, she was quite confused but once they gave her 02, she got a lot better. So it really does pay to get a thorough check up.
Even though they have the stages, from what I have seen, progression is not always as even or as laid out in those lists. My MIL would be in several stages at once.
I hope you can find your grandmother's solution. I feel for you.
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