Hospitalization May Be ‘Tipping Point’ for Alzheimer’s Decline

To me, this headline is frightening. As I write this, my father who has Alzheimer’s is on day 3 in the hospital because of an infection. My family is with him, and there are no signs of the delirium mentioned in the news article. Also, he is supposed to go home today.  But I can’t help wondering what happens when family can’t be there or there is no family. Would a familiar caregiver fill the same role?

Maryann Hanson’s suggestion is (if possible) to avoid the hospital in the first place. She mentioned a physician who advised her to evaluate what the hospital would do for an elderly person that can’t be done at home, and ask how a hospital stay would affect the quality of life.

An experienced caregiver at home can watch for early signs of an infection so that an antibiotic can be started before the infection becomes an emergency. Good care at home also mean s the patient will likely be eating well and taking in enough fluids.