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Elderly parents

UTI , constipation and delirium

21 replies

Cocteautriplet · 21/04/2023 18:27

Has anyone experienced this with their DP?

Mum is 86 lived in sheltered accommodation with a carer visiting daily for an hour. She has been experiencing bouts of painful constipation on and off for a few months now. This is concurrent with a stubborn UTI that doesn’t seem to be shifting … she’s literally been on some sort of antibiotic almost constantly now for over a month which is probably playing havoc with her digestion.

Her most worrying symptom is confusion that comes and goes. This morning was particularly bad I visited her and then phoned her a few hours later and she completely forgot I had visited and that I had given her her meds…. She was about to take them again despite everything being labelled up with days of the week. She also doesn’t think she’s in her own home which concerns me in case she wanders off outside in search of wherever she thinks she lives.

Im going to check up on her again this evening but I don’t know what to do in the short term to help her? She sadly can’t stay with us - we’ve no room and i can’t stay with her (I have young children that need me.). Should I get her urine tested again at a walk-in clinic? How do I keep her safe over the weekend? In the back of my mind I’m worrying that this might be something more sinister such as the start of dementia. I’m so tired I just want someone to tell me what to do to make things better?

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SiouxsieSiouxStiletto · 21/04/2023 18:41

It sounds as though she has Delirium @Cocteautriplet

Are you able to go to be with her and call 111?

She'll probably need checking over to try and find out what's causing the confusion.

She'll probably need bloods doing to find out what her infection markers are.

If she is going to stay at home, she'll need a Social Care Needs Assessment, you'll probably need to be there when it's done.

Has she ever given you LPOA?

If she's wondering (and that's an important thing to mention when you speak 111), have you filled in a Herbert Protocol in case she goes missing?

Cocteautriplet · 21/04/2023 18:52

Thank you - yes I have poa for health and finance. Thanks for the Herbert Protocol info and the needs assessment link. I’m considering going with her to A&E but I think being admitted may confuse her more than she already is. I’ve been Googling prognosis for untreated uti and the elderly and worrying myself with articles on sepsis.

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SiouxsieSiouxStiletto · 21/04/2023 18:53

I don't think that going to A&E would be unwarranted at all, especially if you think there's a risk of sepsis Flowers

Cocteautriplet · 21/04/2023 19:01

Can’t go over till my husband gets back from work hopefully soon and she’s not picking up the phone…. This is something she does when she is confused she forgets how to answer the phone but it’s so unsettling… I always think she might be lying on the floor unable to get up. She refuses to wear her alarm pendant 😫

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SiouxsieSiouxStiletto · 21/04/2023 19:06

Is there anybody where she longed that could check on you DM if you can't get there for a while?

Gotofriggingsleep · 21/04/2023 19:12

My grandad had similar issues, he had a lengthy stay in hospital while they tried to get the UTI under control. The delirium meant that he couldn't go back to his current living circumstances and he was moved into a nursing home at the age of 93. He succumbed to a chest infection a few months later sadly.

The delirium was strange, he'd be lucid for parts of visits and then talking about non sensical things. It never went away sadly but I do treasure the memories conversations we had when he was more lucid.

Wishing you and your mum all the best.

orangeflags · 21/04/2023 19:18

She may need intravenous antibiotics. My mum was hospitalised several times with UTIs and had to have these and fluids each time

mummyh2016 · 21/04/2023 19:31

The delirium will be because of the UTI. My grandad used to go crackers whenever he had one, I remember during one hospital stay the ward rang my Nan in the middle of the night because he was running round the ward with no clothes on.
Could the constipation feeling be related to the UTI as well? Only reason I ask is because I had my first UTI 18 months ago and I thought it was constipation for the first 12 hours or so because I thought the urge to wee was actually the urge to poo and nothing was coming Blush

Cocteautriplet · 21/04/2023 19:33

That’s exactly how my mum is Goto. DH is home so going over now. Thanks for the support everyone x

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LynetteScavo · 21/04/2023 19:45

I've been through this several times with my DM. The walk in center insist I take her to A&E. If I phone 111 they always send an ambulance (and she'll usually be admitted). Hospital will administer a drip and laxatives and antibiotics. I've learned the hard way it won't wait for the GP on Monday, and a visit to A&E is necessary.

It sounds as if the constipation can be sorted, then she'll be able to empty her bladder properly and avoid the UTIs and the accompanying delirium. Good luck.

SiouxsieSiouxStiletto · 21/04/2023 21:12

It sounds as if the constipation can be sorted, then she'll be able to empty her bladder properly and avoid the UTIs and the accompanying delirium. Good luck

I had constipation last year and it caused havoc. Was wanting to see and then couldn't. It wax really uncomfortable.

Hope your DM gets sorted soon Flowers

Knotaknitter · 21/04/2023 21:12

If mum had to have painkillers for any reason I always made sure that she had a bag of liquorice. I can't face looking at it myself but she liked it and she said that it "kept you regular".

Hopefully the NHS can provide more effective relief than liquorice but it's something worth thinking about for any future constipation. I hope that they nuke the infection and restore your mother as she was, I've seen the effect of a UTI, it was sudden and dramatic but cleared up with antibiotics. Best wishes for a short queue.

SiouxsieSiouxStiletto · 21/04/2023 21:18

Love the name too @Cocteautriplet Wink

Cocteautriplet · 23/04/2023 15:10

Thank you Siouxsie! Think we like the same kind of music! 😊

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Cocteautriplet · 23/04/2023 15:21

Thanks for the responses, everyone. This weekend has been of a bit of a roller coaster… mum has swung between almost normal and very worrying levels of confusion….not remembering where she is, soiling herself, leaving the hob on, seeing swarms of ants that are not there and refusing to let her carer in.

On Saturday we had the paramedics out and a visit from rapid response today. They are not taking any action as, as far as they are concerned her vitals are ok and they are convinced there is not a uti anymore. They suspect dementia (think that she has been masking for some time) thathas been exacerbated by her constipation. We have a referral for memory clinic and a dr’s appointment for Tuesday but she can not have bloods done till the antibiotics are completely out of her system…

I suppose I half suspected something in the back if my mind but it’s still a bit of a shock! Goodness knows what the next few months will bring … also her carer is off sick so I’ll be picking up the pieces on my own for the next few days whilst trying to juggle my toddler, my two boys (who have ASD) and quite a heavy week at work … arrrgh!

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SiouxsieSiouxStiletto · 23/04/2023 15:55

Has she got Attendance Allowance @Cocteautriplet and can the Sheltered Accommodation prove a Carer?

I'd definitely apply for that Care Needs Assessment as soon as you can. Does your DM have a SW? If so, I'd get them to expedite the Care Needs Assessment. If she doesn't gave one, I think you need to ask the GP to organise one for her.

Cocteautriplet · 23/04/2023 16:05

No nothing organised like that yet. Thank you so much that's a really useful list to be armed with ahead of our doctor's appointment.

Do you know if you can claim carers allowance twice? I already claim for my DS2 but as I likely to be needed much more by mum in the coming weeks I'm wondering if I can claim for her too? I work but it's in a voluntary position and unpaid.

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SiouxsieSiouxStiletto · 23/04/2023 16:06

Sorry, I don't know that bit.

Cocteautriplet · 23/04/2023 16:07

Sorry please ignore that last question! - I just googled and the answer is no. Sorry I should have done that initially (not really thinking straight atm).

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SiouxsieSiouxStiletto · 23/04/2023 16:08

Cocteautriplet · 23/04/2023 16:07

Sorry please ignore that last question! - I just googled and the answer is no. Sorry I should have done that initially (not really thinking straight atm).

Don't worry, having a DP with Dementia is overwhelming and MN is for things just like that Flowers

JennyWreny · 25/04/2023 22:47

Just a couple of things that might be useful for you if you didn't know about them -

Pivotell (or similar) medication dispensers. You can set them to dispense the correct meds at a certain time each day, they can beep to remind you and won't let you have the next dose until the correct day/time. We have borrowed some from the Technology Enabled Care team at the council. Eliminates the possibility of taking two doses by accident as they are lockable and only release each dose at the set time.

You mentioned a referral to Memory Clinic. Here the wait for an appointment was over 6 months. We discovered that if there was a (I can't remember the phrase they used, maybe clinical) need then the GP could write again and they would prioritise. Luckily the GP agreed with me that muddling up medication was a big problem (this was before we got the Pivotell) and they wrote and we got an appointment quickly. I also made it clear that we could go at short notice if they had a cancellation - I don't know if that would be possible for you?

I hope you are able to get some help/support for you both soon Flowers

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