Hip replacement and delirium


Oh yes! I had dreadful times with my husband with delirium. He was saying similar things, that he had been left in a cellar with rats, I had left him in a boat, lots of horrible things. Broke my heart. Eventually he had to have medication, as he was a danger to himself and others. He was diagnosed with vascular dementia a few weeks later. He never came home to me again, was placed in a nursing home. The delirium went on for about 3 weeks, the medication calmed him. The consultant told my daughter and me that if delirium doesn’t decline in 6 weeks there is chance it’s dementia.
I feel so much for you Amy
I had to turn my phone off and not engage with the accusations. If he started I would say bye bye. We had a happy marriage, so it was hard to do that, but I nearly broke myself with it. Other calls and visits were good.

Hi Amy

Reading your post took me back a number of years ! There was a time when I could have written it !

Back in the late in the early 2000’s my Mum had a knee replacement; after the op she was on morphine (totally usual and expected). She started to behave irrationally - seeing things that weren’t there and accusing all and sundry of all sorts. We put it down to the morphine and thought no more about it. She eventually came home after the op and all seemed to go back to normal until a couple of years later when she had to have the other knee done - we warned the hospital that she’d had a bad reaction to the morphine previously so they used Fentenol instead. However her reaction was just as bad plus she decided to sit up in bed one night and have a cigarette (!!) as well as get up to go to the loo ! Again she eventually came home and we thought things would settle down as they had done before.

But after the second op she didn’t go back to “normal” and soon after was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s :frowning: From then on things were very different. I regularly got phone calls at all times of the day and night telling me she didn’t know where she was; she was stranded in an empty railway station; she was locked in the building where her Senior Citizens club met etc, etc. Eventually, after she’d had a bad fall at home and broken some ribs, I decided that I’d have to move in with her so in 2007 I packed my bags, gathered up my cat and moved in with Mum.

As her Alzheimer’s progressed things went from bad to worse - she was always wanting to go “home” saying things like “My Mum & Dad will be wondering where I am” (her Dad died in 1945 and her Mum passed away in 1954); was always asking after her sisters “Why don’t they come and see me ?” (they also had died many years previously) she didn’t recognise me or my sister - I was always being told you’ll have to leave now as my Daughter is due home anytime". I could give many more instances of how dementia affected her.

Eventually the time came when it was necessary for Mum to be cared for in a Care Home - unfortunately she contracted Noro Virus in the home (no-one’s fault) and had to be admitted to hospital where, after a 3 week stay she sadly passed away.

One thing I would suggest is asking the hospital to run tests for a UTI - urine infections are well known as a cause of delirium in the elderly.


Try to think about this differently. You are now “parenting” your mum. Your role has to be that of Manager for mum’s care, not hands on Provider. Your focus is getting her what she Needs, not what you want, no one wants to watch a parent decline.