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My Grandad and I - Carers UK Forum

My Grandad and I

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Hi all,
Firstly i want to apologise if i am posting in the wrong place. Let me tell you a bit about myself as well.. My name is Gemma, I turned 31 two weeks ago (not that i remembered my birthday, too much going on) I'm getting married in August, my dad works abroad and my mum lives in Cyprus (still together), and I'm meant to be training for the London Marathon. Plus I adore my grandparents with all my heart; my favourite part of my week is on a Thursday when i go to theirs for dinner and a good old chat. Recently i have been helping more and more with little bits and pieces as mum and dad aren't in the country (dad's parents) and i enjoy doing everything i can for them.

3 weeks ago my Grandad (86), my funny, intelligent, loving and 'perfectly with it' Grandad was taken into hospital as he suddenly went a bit 'loopy' (his words not mine) and it turned out he had a urine infection and cellulitis. I reassured my Granny that urine infections can cause a great deal of confusion and he would be back to normal soon. His infections have completely cleared up and he has been off antibiotics for about a week now. But... Grandad isn't getting better. He has good days where we don't understand why he's still in hospital, he's walking totally fine, having a shower and shaving himself, and then we get a few bad days in a row where he can't even feed himself, doesn't know where he is and keeps seeing things, let alone know who we are.

I have been going to the hospital every day but it's difficult to find out what's going on. I have told every single nurse and doctor that the way Grandad is at the moment is so far away from his baseline it's laughable. The day before he was admitted he was doing the gardening and walking his and my dog (which he kindly usually does every day for me).

At first they said it was just the urine infection, then they gave him an MRI and that came back normal with a little bit of shadowing that could be put down to his high blood pressure, and now they have said it's delirium. I had already done some research and thought it could be this, but they weren't keen to confirm.

I don't know whether anyone can help me understand how long this could carry on for, whether Grandad will regain his 'normal state' and what I can do to help him because at the moment I feel totally helpless and it's breaking my heart. I want to be with him any time i'm not at work, but sometimes when he's getting so distressed and wants to come home, it just upsets me so much and i hate crying in front of him. My grandparents and I are so very close and I love them more than anything.

If anyone has any help/tips/advice about this I would truly appreciate it.
Hi Gemma,
My brother, who died last year, suddenly had delirium in 2012. It got somewhat better, but not totally better. I find people are reluctant to believe in it. It may come from a psychological shock of being in hospital. I hope other forum members can contribute too. It was helpful to my brother for it to be explained to him, which the new GP did about six months after it started. As far as I gather, you just have to see how it goes with your grandfather. It may greatly improve or not. I wish you the best of luck with it.
Hi Gemma
Old age and delirium are not my areas of expertise but I just wanted to say what a touching post and I wish I had a granddaughter like you. Hope it all works out.
MrsAverage wrote:Hi Gemma
Old age and delirium are not my areas of expertise but I just wanted to say what a touching post and I wish I had a granddaughter like you. Hope it all works out.

Thank you so much, that's very sweet. He's seeming much better this weekend so I really hope he can come home soon and then I hope he will settle. My grandparents live just down the road so I can be on hand all the time which will be much better than going to the hospital. He's so excited about our wedding in August and dancing with me that I'm positive we can get him fit for it.
I will say much of the same, it's great to see someone (of our age - I am 31) that has the bond that you do with your grandparents I would also be exactly the same. (And am in many cases with my own gran)

I don't know enough about delirium to say either way about how it effects. But the small amount of experience I have had caring for those with it, they do indeed have good days and bad much like any other illnesses. It is hard to detect the reasoning behind some of the behaviour and as it has been said many doctors simply do not believe in it.

The main thing is to keep an eye on him, and where his behaviour is particularly odd, always make sure there's no underlying issue such as infections coming back or other complications. In the experience that I have had, there can be times that there are a few months that pass where they are relatively normal. Keep up his usual routines this may help? If it is indeed linked to trauma of some kind, the normality factor can help fend off some of the symptoms for a while?

I truly hope that you can get the advice you need on this I'm sorry I dont have the knowledge to provide a solution, only my own observations.