You are here:

Geriatric Medicine/Dementia in 82yr old Mother


Gary wrote at 2012-12-06 00:24:53
I experienced something extremely similar with my mother 4 years ago when she was over 80 yrs old. She had dementia - not acute - but was getting confused, very bad short term memory loss and was getting progressively worse. After being diagnosed with a form of cancer she was admitted to a care home as she could not take care of herself. Shortly afterwards she was admitted to hospital after being unwell and a low cell blood count. After a couple of days she was given a blood transfusion. I visited her in hospital the following day and the only way I can describe it is to compare it to a scene from the the film Awakenings with Robert de Niro and Robin Williams. In the movie a doctor awakes comatosed patients by non approved methods. They "re-emerged" from their comas for a length of time to be "normal" before eventually returning to a coma state. My mother was alert, attentive, asked questions, retained knowledge, remembered facts after reading a newspaper. I couldnt stop laughing as i couldnt believe what i witnessing. Her face was different, looked 10 years younger - indeed "this" was my mother 10 years ago! I didn't say anything to my sister who I knew was visiting her in the afternoon and waited for her to speak to me with her thoughts. She too could not believe it! It was as if a miracle had taken place. The following day I visited my mother and she was had regressed to her state of dementia before the blood transfusion. She never progressed again and passed away shortly afterwards because of the cancer. I did ask a doctor at the hospital about this episode but he just shrugged his shoulders. All i know is that for a 24 hour period I had my mother back - as though she had awakened. The only significant thing that had happened before was that she had a blood transfusion. I am amazed that someone has experienced something similar. I'd like to have a logical explanation but so far no success. I understand that dementia cannot be reversed but I witnessed it even if it was for a very short period. Instincts tell me there was a link between whatever the blood transfusion did to my mother and that incredible 24 hour period.  

Geriatric Medicine

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Margot RN BScN GNC


GERONTOLOGY (NURSING ISSUES RELATED TO THE ELDERLY) I have 25+ years experience working with the elderly. I would be pleased to offer any assistance I can. My areas of expertise include: Gerontology / Geriatrics, Long Term Care, Community Nursing, Palliative Care, Private Nursing Services, Intermediate / Extended Care. I also have a personal interest in Homeopathic and Eastern Medicine. If I can not answer your question I`ll do my best to direct you to an appropriate resource. Thank you.


27 years of Long Term Care and Community Nursing, specialising in Geriatrics, Gerontology and Palliative Care.

Registered Nurse , Certified Gerontological Nurse, Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

©2016 All rights reserved.