Something to keep in mind for other families with dementia diseases and big behavior changes:
Saturday, my mom and I met Lydia’s hospice doctor before and after she saw Lydia. When we talked with her afterwards, I indicated that I could always tell when something seriously was going wrong for Lydia when she would lash out at me. One of the things her doctor said was that when someone’s behavior changes suddenly like that, that is an indicator of an infection. Sometimes they won’t show an elevated temperature, and you’ll have to wait to get a blood test or a urinalysis back, but in the meantime the person is suffering, so you almost need to treat for infection first and then find out afterwards through those two tests.
The last time she was sick, she was dehydrated and fell, AND had a urinary tract infection (UTI). She looked like she was getting better, and the 12 hours of one-on-one nursing ended, but then she fell again the next day, hitting her head and got a scrape above her eye. They treated the UTI, we had a caregiver with her 24 hours a day to keep her from falling, and learned there was such a thing as a bed alarm with a remote chime so it wouldn’t scare her if it went off. Before this couple of falls, she wasn’t sleeping well.
When you don’t sleep well, a lot of things can be affected. That’s important for caregivers, too.