Delirium Is Dangerous In The Elderly

Another reason for staying away from doctors if you want to live long and stay healthy. It’s been my saying for decades: if you want to live long, stay healthy and be happy… KEEP AWAY FROM DOCTORS!

Now it emerges from a study just published (June 2012), one of the major risk factors for Alzheimer’s is going into hospital. It doubles your risk of becoming demented. That’s how little doctors and nurses know about health.

They take it away, not restore it!

I’m sure there are two main reasons: the deplorable food served in hospitals (negative nutrition, for someone already on the edge) and the cocktails of drugs, with side effects.

Those who experienced delirium, which is a state of heightened confusion or unusual mood or behavior, while in the hospital were even less likely to go back to the way things were after hospital discharge, the researchers noticed.

The study was published in the June 19 online issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

If you have an elderly relative who faces hospital, you might like to know there are a couple things you can insist on, which will help (after this study, if you don’t get cooperation from the hospital staff, you can sue).

  • Visits from family members or at least familiar faces, is good. Do lots of it.
  • Make sure he or she has reading glasses and/or a hearing aid is needed.
  • Getting out of bed for walks is very important
  • Avoiding unnecessary painkillers of sedatives, which only add to the confusion.
  • Having an elderly person treated at home is by far the best strategy, where there is love and care, instead of bullying and impatience from nursing staff, which borders on abuse.

People with Alzheimer’s disease are three times as likely to spend time in the hospital. Between 20 percent and 40 percent of Alzheimer’s patients are hospitalized each year for an average of about four days, the study authors noted. Typical disorders requiring admission are fainting, falls, heart problems and abdominal pain. Delirium was an uncommon reason for admission but a common result of going into hospital.

The researchers took into account the fact that hospitalized patients were generally older and sicker than patients who did not have to go to the hospital during the study.

[SOURCE: June 19, 2012, Annals of Internal Medicine, online]

3 COMMENTS

  1. Dehydration is extremely common in hospitals, to the point that doctors often “medicate” for water levels to ensure the nurses don’t overlook this. Symptoms are commonly confused with dementia which increases the risk of inappropriate medication and it’s side effects

  2. My wife and I went thru this with her mother and thru powerful nutrition/supplement measures helped her regain memory. A couple times in the hospital were set backs but we took our food and supplements to the hospital for her and our own good well water. So true on the dehydration issue and you have to watch the staff all the time due to conflicting instructions and I will do it my way attitudes. Truly not a safe place. We did this for over 7 year period. But every minute was worth it.

  3. You might like to look into the risks of general anaesthesia, enhanced in the elderly (whose brains are already running on reduced supplies of O2, nutrients, etc). My mother first observed this in her own mother, after an operation for cataract (simple op, but the anaesthesia is brutal) – she started to deteriorate mentally thereafter. Then more recently with my father, who had a couple of hernia ops in the last 2 years of his life, both under general anaesthesia (again fairly routine ops – or supposed to be… the first resulted in a blocked intestine, which is not good for you). There was a noticeable decline in his cognitive capacity after both ops – recovered partially over time, but not completely. Horrifying to see a man who was a distinguished research scientist in his day, not being able to figure out how to use the TV remote. My mother unearthed some research that had been done here in Australia…. the dangers of general anaesthesia are generally not mentioned (& nobody thinks to ask about it)…. but it’s something that should be made more public.

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