Will Kate Fall Again?

Kate is an 84-year-old widow with mild Alzheimer’s Disease. She lives alone and in the past year she has lost 10 pounds. She has also fallen multiple times. This is serious. The last time she fell she was on the floor for at least 8 hours. Her daughter called and then came by when Kate didn’t answer the phone. She was hospitalized for a condition called rhabdomyolysis. Afterwards, she was in a skilled nursing facility before returning home. She regained weight and received physical therapy. The daughter has “decluttered” the apartment to decrease the risk […]

Why Won’t Mom Eat? The Doctor says nothing’s wrong

Mom isn’t eating well and she’s losing weight. She is down to 85 pounds. I’m completely frustrated. “Mom, please eat, you’re losing weight.” She just sits there and refuses. I feel like I’m forcing her. I took her to the doctor. He did a bunch of tests. He says there’s nothing wrong. Should I be worried? I’m sorry but the answer is yes. We all notice when a person has lost too much weight. It’s alarming. Poor appetite and weight loss in the elderly result in a downward spiral of weakness, impaired healing, and dependency. […]

Heart Rate in Frail Older Patients | Too slow, too fast, irregular, and just right

My Mom is 86 years old and “frail”. She has been in and out of the hospital for heart problems. I’ve been checking her oxygen levels, her blood pressure, and her heart rate. Her heart rate is usually around 55. Sometimes it dips as low as 48 then goes back up. That seems slow to me. Her PCP says that her slow heart rate is due to her medicines. Is her heart rate too slow? Is it making her weaker? Is she getting enough oxygen to her brain? In the above scenario, the patient’s heart […]