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Urgent advice needed please

ElaineB29 profile image

My elderly Mum was taken to hospital against her will last night as she became aggressive,I think she has dementia and had been advised to lock her indoors until the GP could assess her which was scheduled for today. The hospital have told me today they are going to do an MRI but she is being unco-operative. Does anyone have any advice to me as I am so so upset

51 Replies
bobbybobb profile image
bobbybobbAmbassador

Can you ring a solicitor, some offer free advice over the phone to point you in the right direction. Maybe you or a family member need to take out a power of attorney for health matters for your mum if she is in a confused state. Keep asking for updates this includes during the night if you are worried about your mum. There will be staff there to take your call and update you. It must be a very distressing time for you. Hope this helps. xx

Hi bobbybob, My post disappeared, was something wrong with it?

bobbybobb profile image
bobbybobbAmbassador in reply to springcross

Hi springcross, I didn't see any other replies, so I am not sure what happened to your reply. I thought I was the first to reply to the post. xx

Sorry, I thought it had been taken down as the first time it disappeared and the second time it wouldn't go. I'll give it another go. Thanks.

bobbybobb profile image
bobbybobbAmbassador in reply to springcross

No problem, I wasn't aware of any other post's. xx

ElaineB29 profile image
ElaineB29 in reply to bobbybobb

thank you for your reply I am not so worried about financial matters and POA i think is too late as she has been assessed as lacking capacity. Its just that no one is giving any information I rang the hospital and I know they are busy but I was transferred 4 times then told to ring back in an hour. I am not complaining about the NHS at all but the did say they would ring me this afternoon with her MRI results but I have heard nothing

bobbybobb profile image
bobbybobbAmbassador in reply to ElaineB29

The staff would have likely finished their mediation rounds by 11.00, it might be settling down then. You could ring and ask to speak with the nurse looking after your mum, the nurse would have had the full update from the days events. So I'm sure the nurse will be happy to inform you of what she can, over the phone. xx

ElaineB29 profile image
ElaineB29 in reply to bobbybobb

thank you that makes sense because the staff nurse said they were doing meds and that was why I should phone back I feel really bad phoning and bothering them maybe I should just leave it until tomorrow I was only urged to be by niece who rang and said I should know what was happening

bobbybobb profile image
bobbybobbAmbassador in reply to ElaineB29

It will be fine to ring back, they would have finished the medication rounds and the nurse will have time to talk to you. Once you have phoned you will have some idea of what has gone on, then you a less likely to worry all night. xx

Hi Elaine. I'm really sorry to hear that, it must be really upsetting for you. I don't know what to say to you except that they may want to carry out a scan to get an accurate diagnosis of what's going on - her GP may have requested that if he/she had assessed her today. I can quite understand how you're feeling as she's your Mum and I would feel exactly the same. The only thing you can do now is wait and see what the doctor says after the MRI and take it from there. I really do wish you and your Mum all the best and I know it's easy to say but try to stay strong for her at least until you have some news. You can always vent here if you feel the need. All the best. xx

I would like to say Bobby Bobb has given good advice

If your Mother is becoming aggressive and deemed to be at risk to herself or to others around her she can be sectioned under the Mental Health Act

I know this as my own Father was sectioned as he was becoming uncontrollable and unrully.

Do you have Power of Attorney for the Health and Welfare of your Mother

Or who is the responsible adult in the decision making process of your Mothrrs health and welfare and her Financial Affairs

If there is no Power of Attorney you will be advised to apply for a Court Deputyship by which the Court will appoint an adult to manage the affairs of your Mother

Very important you speak to the ward nurse and find out exactly what kind of tests your Mother is being subjected to

The NHS as a whole will do the very best for your Mother for her to receive the best possible care.

Does your Mother have a Social Worker

It is important you contact Adult Social Services wherever you are based

It is a very worrying time for you but try to manage the situation step by step as you and other family members if you have any Brothers or Sisters will need to act snd make informed choices

Also Dementia Nurses of Dementia UK and Admiral Nurses provide specialist advice for those who have family suffering from Dementia

This is a heart breaking time for you but try to face each step rationally and try not to get over anxious as your Mother more than ever needs you now

Snowdrops_17 profile image
Snowdrops_17 in reply to Roukaya

Best steps to take. I worked as Dementia Care Assistant and pray Elaine will heed your advice here. Underlying infections can also cause a confused mind and aggression on top of Dementia Patients.

But a daughter, close family member, has the right to know what is going on with her Mother.

Dear Elaine, you say your mom has no diagnosis of dementia at this present time !., that being the case she should definitely not of been forcefully taken into care against her wishes. We’re they aware of the imminent assessment for the following day ?. I fully understand your mom’s uncooperativeness of a pending scan, it’s yet more pressure as she sees it being forced upon her.

My own opinion being she should be assessed firstly, as originally planned, her home environment was the best way of managing the situation, which I’m sure she would have accepted it in a much calmer way.

The tables though have been turned on you and your mom, so regardless I’d be wanting a assessment firstly, regardless of where it’s going to take place.

All best wishes. Chrissie 👌

ElaineB29 profile image
ElaineB29 in reply to one2one

thanks chrissie, they were aware of the upcoming GP visit but because of her attempted assault on me and threat to burn the house down they decided that as safeguarding they had to hospitalise her. under the circumstances it was the right decision.

If this is a sudden thing, with the elderly a UTI can often be to blame as the elderly often forget to drink enough fluids. If this has been a gradual thing, that’s obviously different and needs more serious assessment. Just mentioning as having worked with the elderly for many years, I’ve seen U.T.I’s cause aggression and dementia signs in many patients.

This happened to my elderly Mother in law It was a bad UTI when they cleared that she calmed down considerably.

Hi ElaineB29,

I understand how upsetting this is, because it happened to my sister too. Please try to remember that it is her condition driving her behaviour and not the mum you know and love who is being so aggressive. My sister fought and injured one of the paramedics called to the incident which led to her being detained in hospital for tests. She was given sedation and eventually evaluated. She'd been displaying signs of a dementia for some time, but every time we asked for help with her, she would cover her condition with charm and deny all her symptoms.

I'd say co-operate with the hospital and if there is any information you have about your mum's condition which is unknown to her doctor or to them, share it as best you can. Just support your mum and let her know you love her. She may become calmer on her own for a while but I think you should accept that this may become a feature of her life as her dementia progresses.

I moderate the Caring Community forum here on HealthUnlocked. Would you be interested in joining that? We have a wealth of supportive members there, many of whom with enormous knowledge of dealing with loved ones with dementia of all kinds, and those who have been carers in nursing homes and they are all always delighted to help. My very best wishes to you. It's not easy coming to terms with this and yours and your mum's lives may become quite different from this point onwards, but there is help out there. Very best wishes to you both.

So sorry Elaine, in which case you can only do your best by showing your own love 💕 to her regardless of how difficult it’s going to be for you.

I’m sure there’s still going to be some good times for you both at times.

All our thoughts and prayers 🙏are with you, here for you anytime.

Chrissie 😘

As a retired nurse could I urge you to ask that the staff do a urine test. It is very well known but sadly overlooked that urine infection can cause distressing behaviour and I have personally witnessed a " dementia" patient become ". Cured " after antibiotic treatment for UTI.

My apologies if this is way off the mark and also my best wishes to you and your family in coping with this upsetting situation.

Please do call, nurses really don't mind but will occasionally ask you to call back as happened because they were very busy just at that time.

Ellie

ddmagee1 profile image
ddmagee1 in reply to ellj

Excellent advice! That happened, to my Dad, when he was in a nursing home. His aggressive behavior was attributed to having a UTI infection!

Lurcher-lady profile image
Lurcher-lady in reply to ellj

So very very common in the elderly ellj and I’m always shocked that this is not the first port of call before so many other cognitive type tests.

petejmarshall profile image
petejmarshall in reply to ellj

Good Morning Elle

I have read what you said to Elaine I am also a retired nurse. But I can tell you that All Hospital's now get a urine sample and Blood tests on Admissions. It's a matter of routine now that this is done mainly because of the coronavisus a lot of details can be found in a sample of Urine. I would also like to mention that Elaine can still get a Power of attorney for medical purposes and other things. Even if the person can't agree to the power of attorney. People get confused with power of attorney's because the one that she was mentioning you can no longer get and they are Lastings power of attorney's which used to be for people who could make there own decisions about things. As someone mentioned Health personnel can admitted a person under the mental health act as amended even a police officer can as well under the 1948 mental health act that was s 172 and it lasts for 72 hours. I have mentioned before about power of attorney's and how important that they are. But I want to reassure Elaine that your Mother will be very well cared for in the Hospital as they only what to help your Mum to get as well as possible . Take good care of yourselves and stay safe always Peter

ellj profile image
ellj in reply to petejmarshall

Hi Peter, as you say bloods and urine tests are routine now.

I am many years retired so of course not up to date, however I recently accompanied my 101 year old father in law to A & E on two occasions after falls. Sadly on both occasions no urine screen was done until I requested it on the second day of admission.

In an ideal world but overstretched and underpaid staff can and do miss things.

He was even sent to a ward without a wristband id on one occasion.

I am not knocking the staff just mentioning that things occasionally get missed.

Ellie

S11m profile image
S11m in reply to ellj

A friend of mine died from a UTI.

It was about a fortnight after the initial ambulance call that she was diagnosed.

She was in her mid-nineties - but looked in her mid-seventies until she got ill.

ElaineB29 profile image
ElaineB29 in reply to ellj

Thank you for your advice so far a CT scan of head was normal and bloods and urine were clear. Mum is refusing meds and obs,oral or canular. They have moved her to her own room and her wandering and aggression has reduced and she has a dedicated nurse. She did however agree to an injection which was to calm her down so they are trying again to do the MRI. Is there any other physical things they need to rule out? Elaine x

SORRELHIPPO profile image
SORRELHIPPOReading Rabbits

I agree with previous comment, a sudden UTI or chest infection, in the very elderly can result in a sudden increase in confusion and aggression. She should have a Mental Health Social Worker allocated to her, if she does not have one already, to liaise between ward and the family over possible treatment and discharge (as to when and where.) The type of consultant can also make a difference a Psycho-geriatrician might have the best knowledge, if there is no obvious physical cause for the change.

If your mum isn't usually aggressive it sounds like she might have a urine infection. If so, she will get better once treated. Best wishes. x

What I can tell you, she better off there, and you. My grandmother got like that, she took a butcher knife, and tried to stab my aunt who was living with her at the time, because no one else would . They have to calm her down with something to take the test, but I really doubt she has a brain tumor, dementia was my grandmothers problem. You have to take care yourself now. If she knew what she was doing, she won’t want anything to happen to you❤️

Sending you my best wishes at this very difficult time. As you dont have a POA I would definately contact social services. She has the right to be represented and they can help you to ensure this happens. Its also really important that you apply to the courts asap to get guardianship, especially if the urine test does not show an infection. Hopefully this will turn out to be an urine infection and your Mums symptoms have been much exacerbated by it.

Hello ElaineB29

I’m so sorry to hear this! I went through the same with my father. It’s v distressing but there are ways to help your Mum. The challenging behavior is her fear. She’s lashing out because she doesn’t know what’s going on. Her cognitive processing will be v slow now and she will be v afraid of new situations and environments/new people.

These things helped my Dad (who had Alzheimer’s and was deaf). Clear Communication of what was going on helped him so much

1) saying his name and getting his attention first

2)speaking slowly in simple sentences (as language processing decreases)

3) repeating what was said so he could take it in

4) explaining what was going to happen next - we had visual cards of photos of his bed to show it was time to go to bed, a picture of him eating lunch so he knew it was lunch time. You can buy visual communication cards but we made our own - some with Dad in them.

5) we found non verbal communication very important (as verbal language becomes more difficult) - lots of reassuring facial expression such as smiles, gently stroking his arm - tactile communication calmed him so much

6) taking things slow - when he was in hospital if staff rushed in , said stuff to him quickly then started to pull up his sleeve to take a blood sample, for example, he would start lashing out, shouting, and become v difficult/impossible to manage. I showed the Dr how she could communicate to my Dad so he knew what was going on and was not frightened. First say his name, a big smile, point to his arm, thumbs up, all v slow and reassuring so my Dad could understand what was going on and give consent. With this we managed loads, including an MRI. I went with him for most it . We showed him the machine, I smiled a lot and reassured him rubbing his arm.

Too much language and speed and unfamiliar people in unfamiliar place is terrifying for them. Slowing down and lots of reassurance and checking they know at their level what’s going on step by step helped SO MUCH! Remember the behavior is a communication of fear.

I’m starting to feel v tearful about my Dad now. He was a lovely man.. I miss him so much. He passed away 3 years ago. I hated it when some carers/staff said he was ‘aggressive’. He absolutely wasn’t - the challenging behavior (as it should be called) was linked to his Alszheimers dementia and understandable fear, and he was absolutely perfect when communication was right. Carers and hospital staff did take on this approach and they were amazed at the difference.

I highly recommend laminating A4 photo cards for day to day communication. These helped a lot. Also letting hospital staff know what sets your Mum off and how best to communicate with her. They should ask you anyway.

All the best. It’s a difficult time.

Iguvup profile image
Iguvup in reply to Iguvup

I would add that if you can be with your mum in hospital that might help her to calm. I was called to the hospital as my Dad had been lashing out and uncooperative.

I promise you, these things I mentioned above, although simple really helped my Dad. He needed to feel safe. I think his medication had side effects leading to paranoia too, which didn’t help. But it was amazing how calm, slow reassuring communication helped. This had to be used too when he wandered off early on in his Alszheimers. If we tried to physically stop/restrain him he would get physically v difficult. So I would have to follow him and say something like ‘we better go home now it’s cold’ or let’s go back now, lunch is ready’ He likes his food so this worked and he’d turn back. We had a few different carers at home. Those who stuck to the calm clear communication had no problems with him at all. Eventually he had to go into a care home. But again, there, with calm communication from staff who were dementia trained he was absolutely fine. He’d only be difficult if the communication was wrong, if he didn’t feel safe and know what was going on. If he wasn’t given the chance to give his consent to something.

It’s all coming back.... I miss him. He loved nature and was always happy and smiling before Alszheimers and even after when content. So it was upsetting to see him distressed and lashing out. But these simple things above REALLY helped.

ElaineB29 profile image
ElaineB29 in reply to Iguvup

I'm afraid there is no visiting allowed due to coronavirus so I can't be there to reassure her

Hello

I am so sorry this has happened to you and your mum.

The paramedics have to make a judgement of what's in your mums best interests they may have felt she may not have had complete capacity to make a conscious judgement. This would have been very upsetting for her as she would have felt confused and felt she had no control of the situation..

You could apply for power of attorney meaning you would make the decisions on her behalf your permission and involvement would have to be included in any care decisions and management

Age UK and the citizens advice bureau are a good starting point for advice..

I wish you and your mum all the best for the future

Emily

ElaineB29 profile image
ElaineB29 in reply to emily62

Thanks to everyone for their helpful advice and good wishes, I have rang the hospital this morning and was told again to call back later. I still dont know if the MRI they planned to do yesterday afternoon took place. I think I must just be patient and trust that they will contact me when there is any information. Your kind words and thoughts are greatly appreciated by me xxx

You need to take care here. I am no expert but my mother in law went through a similar scenario some years ago after a series of falls. The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (Dols) apply in these cases. It is too late for LPA's or similar UNLESS she regains her capacity. A social worker threatened us with a DOLS if we attempted to take my mother in law home unless she was given 24 hour care. That meant a live-in nursing service, which neither she nor we could afford. She was also a heavy smoker and that would have been an issue for live-in staff, and was a fire risk in itself. She was effectively forced into a nursing home and she had to pay for that from her limited estate. During UTI's she was much worse, as other comments have reinforced. She recovered enough, was sound of mind as it were, sufficient for my wife to take out an LPA to cover her finances. That helped a lot.

My wife and I have taken out LPA's for each other to cover finances and health simply because of our experience with my mother in law.

I know how frightening and upsetting is is to see your loved one acting so out of character. My mum has dementia and had some episodes with bipolar over many years.

Get them to check for a simple urinary infection as this can cause all kinds of chaos in the elderly.

Have her assessed by a geriatric psychiatrist who will have the expertise to prescribe medication to relax her.

It's a horrible thing to watch but they will get to grips with it in the hospital.

Best wishes to you and your mum.

With dementia, if a patient develops a urinary infection it can really change their behaviour until antibiotics kick in. I’ve seen this happen. Make sure they test for this. Good luck - very difficult situation .

Good Morning Elaine,

I did read the comments last night and thought I would wait until today to see if you had any further info. There is not a lot that I can add to what has been advised already.

My mother had dementia and I really feel for you at this time. She went into a home when my father felt that he could no longer cope. Throughout it all we were supported by a super Social Worker (they do exist) who guided and advised us. She kept us fully informed at all times and acted as an intermediary between the medical team and ourselves. Also, she was a great help when we were trying to find a suitable home with good facilities.

If you have not yet been in touch with your local social services then now is the time to call them. Tell them that you are calling on behalf of your mother, explain the situation and they should allocate you a S.W. who will be able to help you navigate the next few weeks.

Stay strong and do take care of yourself.

elaine, hard, but do not despair.mri is a great examination to detect any lesions on her brain, at least confirmation of your suspicion. as had one for ataxia, wld NEVER EVER GO FOR ONE, distressing enough if PRONE TO PANICKING KEEP HER EYES SHUT...THEY GIVE YOU EARPLUGS, BUT I CAN HEAR ROUND CORNER..., curious asking my neurologist, can ataxia be progressive? heCURED ME AT ONCE:) the mri scan can confirm it ONLY...a m ix of nuclear warning sound, total psychedellic sound, so if you wanna revisit youth:) be my guest, a woodpecker still drilling in to my skull. we had in family. my niece had to have my late hubbies PA SECTIONED, till they started investigating...just as well, as now 3 years diagnosed with dementia Lewy bodies present so can still recognise everybody...BUT SUICIDAL HE WAS/. ringing one xmas 2017 he'll topple himself. so spooked out we were...he is in a care home, facetime him. happy oblivious to it all covid 19...took a slight bad turn, but living IN HIS BUBBLE at least safe there, but a nightmare to get him diagnosed...BE STRONG AND INSIST.it is a bit harder corona now, but STAY FIRM and you get there,GOOD LUCK!

Urine infection 100% common with dementia . This was quite common for my Granny all the time so it is normal so try not to worry !! All the best

I found with my Mother many years ago that if I stayed with her she would stay calm and cooperative.

I don't think that a power of attorney is the first thing that should spring to mind! It is important to establish the reason for the changes in your Mum. It may be a temporary blip. Dementia is the saddest of illnesses but many other conditions are sometimes mistaken for it. How would any of us react to being dictated to by the people we love? Locked in, taken to hospital etc all of which hasn't been agreed to. Even done with the very best of motives it would be a terrifying scenario for anyone. My mother had dementia I know how terrible it is but hugs helped. Please wait for a diagnosis, it may well be a treatable condition. Even thirst can have a dramatically bad effect on the elderly including memory loss. There are a multitude of conditions, even the common cold virus and urinary tract infections, can cause a very different reaction from the elderly than they do for others. Geriatric medicine is a a very specialised field.

Sorry to hear of your trauma with your mum, I cannot add to the advice given including that about urine infections . Can only wish you a speedy few answers from the nurses. You have the right to know as next of kin. It is very sad that many patients when in emotional crises end up sectioned and this adds to the families suffering too. I hope you continue to see your mums admission to hospital as the swiftest way to get things sorted out. My thoughts go with you as you will need all your strength to deal with this.

As Next Of Kin, I am sure you have legal rights - especially a conversation with her consultant.

That’s my mom, she Does have dementia. She was in the hospital for therapy a few years ago and would physically attacked and curse the therapist. She lives with my sister and she says my mom has sometimes scratched her. There’s nothing that can be done, it’s Normal. All I can say is be patient with her. 🙏

I believe I'd do what I feel is best for my mothers health. If they feel it's best to keep her in the hospital, I'd have them explain it to me but have her GP involved.

Thanks to everyone who has offered advice and support regarding my post about my Mum having to go to hospital

Mia898 profile image
Mia898 in reply to ElaineB29

How is your Mum and is she any better ? Was it a uti?

ElaineB29 profile image
ElaineB29 in reply to Mia898

Mum is still in hospital, head CT scan, bloods and urine tests all clear. She is refusing meds and obs. They are attempting to do an MRI next. Thank you for asking xx

Mia898 profile image
Mia898 in reply to ElaineB29

Oh I got that wrong . Must be something else . Please keep me informed. Try not to worry they will get to the bottom . I hope your Mum soon gets better . All the best

So many people advised me that UTI was highly probable and I was hoping that would be the problem but clearly not. Just hoping that they can do MRI but as she is unco-operative to medical care there has many delays. They have moved her to a private room and has a dedicated nurse and this has calmed her down a little, they are trying everything they can to care/treat her.

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