The elderly disorder(s)

The elderly disorder(s)

Charlie as a 61 year-old man who, over the past 6 months, has begun to notice that his memory is “not quite what it used to be.” He misplaces his wallet and car keys at least twice a week, and will spend hours looking for them. At his wife’s insistence, he has begun to make lists of chores and other appointments, so he does not forget about them. His wife has also noticed that he tends to repeat questions that she has previously answered.

One day, Charlie lost his balance on the stairs and fell. He was taken to the emergency room and examined. All of Charlie’s test results came back normal. He did not have any head injuries or other serious bodily harm. However, his right arm and hip were badly bruised. As a result, the doctors gave him a painkiller and kept him for observation for the next few hours. About an hour after the painkillers were given to Charlie, he began acting very unusual. He struggled to answer questions for doctors, nurses, and his wife. His attention seemed to shift and fade in and out rapidly. A little while later, he began to wonder where he was, and called his wife of 30 years a different name. She told doctors that it was as if, “he just didn’t recognize her.”

What disorder(s) might Charlie be struggling with? How do you know? What could the doctors and Charlie’s wife do to help him?
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