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Pauline, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 8631
Experience:  Medical Doctor & Registered Pharmacist. Worked as Community pharmacist for 17 years.
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My mother is 94. Although she has some health problems

Resolved Question:

My mother is 94. Although she has some health problems (chronic arthritis, a stroke 5 years ago) she has no dementia and is frail, but reasonably healthy, mobility problems excepted. She has no appetite really and eats very little. Over the last 4 days she has suddenly appeared to decline. She is not eating, forgets to take her tablets unless reminded, forgets to feed her cat (the love of her life), and has started talking about people who are dead as if they are still here. Even my Dad, who died 8 years ago - yesterday she told me he was at work. She seems exceptionally tired and seems to have lost the will to live.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Pauline replied 8 years ago.

Sudden onset deterioration in an otherwise stable person may be an acute infection such as chest infection or urinary tract infection. I would ring NHS24/NHS Direct for an appointment with an out of hours doctor to ensure that she does not need immediate treatment. Other possible causes can be side effect from her medication eg furosemide or painkillers/antidepressants

If there is no infection, and she seems otherwise healthy then she will need a longer assessment to establish the state of the confusion and she will need blood tests to look for vitamin B12 or thiamine deficiency, metabolic disturbance and electrolyte disturbance.

I appreciate that this is worrying, however I have seen patients with this pattern respond very well to treatment so do get her checked over.

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