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Is confusion normal at night for stroke survivors, and will my father get better in a skilled nursing facility?

1 answer | Last updated: Mar 03, 2014
An anonymous caregiver asked...

Caring.com User - James Castle, M.D.
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James Castle, M.D. is a neurologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem (affiliated with The University of Chicago) and an expert on strokes.
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Sorry to hear of your predicament.

It is hard to know how much of his confusion is due to a new stroke versus how much is "delerium". "Delerium" is common See also:
What Causes Delirium

See all 551 questions about Stroke
in elderly hospitalized patients, and is often made worse if he had any pre-existing memory trouble. As a standard work-up for this, I recommend MRI of the brain, urinalysis, and blood for vitamin B12 level, thyroid levels, complete blood count, and electrolyte panel. This should help make sure that there is no reversible cause that requires urgent treatment.

"Delerium" usually resolves with time - several weeks being my experience. Particularly helpful is if he is in familiar surroundings with people he knows. If the confusion persits longer than a few weeks, consider getting a memory evaluation from a Neurologist to see if he needs to go on "cognitive enhancing" medications such as donepezil.

As for help at home, I would ask the hospital social worker or case manager if you can have assistance either in the form of a home nurse or temporary placement in a nursing home until he is improved.

I hope that helps, and good luck!!