Years back, my dad came out of the hospital with severe, irreversible dementia. True, he’d had brain surgery. The surgery was meant to correct the effects aging was having on scar tissue from his WWII brain injury. Still, the change in my dad post-surgery was dramatic, to put it lightly. At the time, medical people were not aware – or were not acknowledging – the risks of surgery and hospitalization for elders.
Through the years, I’ve answered anguished questions from readers telling their personal tale of a mother or father coming home from the hospital dramatically changed. I could empathize and tell them I understood their pain. But until the last couple of years, there’s been little scientific evidence to back up what many family members have witnessed firsthand.