Dear fellow MSW, I am sorry to learn about your grandmother’s condition. From my perspective this is a medical issue. The bizarre behavior occurred immediately following a high fever in which she was almost comatose. The fever may have resulted in brain damage. It is also possible that her abnormal behavior is the result of an adverse medication side effect or medicine interactions. These are several possibilities that need to be explored.
If she had dementia before the fever incident occurred then it might be plausible that the event exacerbated the condition. But as you said there were no signs of dementia before the event. Because of this her current symptoms are more suggestive of brain damage than dementia. Full-onset dementia does not occur overnight.
If she has suffered brain damage please know that its effects may be reversible. But she’ll need to be assessed by a trained medical doctor to know what if any damage has occurred. People suffer strokes and parts of the brain are damaged but a good recovery is possible. That may be the outcome for your grandmother as well.
I would advise you to find a good, caring and competent physician to evaluate your grandmother’s condition. Inquire whether brain damage has occurred. If so ask whether it is reversible. Collect a list of her medications and bring it to the doctor’s appointment with you. Ask whether any of her medications could be causing her behavior. You could also call a pharmacy with a list of her medications and ask whether there are any known interactions. Also, don’t accept any physician who tells you that her condition is a result of age or dementia. Your grandmother was fine before this incident. As you said she was sharp and able to function independently. She showed no signs of dementia before this event and a rapid onset of the condition may not be possible.
I am not aware of any specific doctors to refer you to in your area. It’s best to either ask friends or family for the names of good physicians or to make appointments with several doctors and choose the one you like. You might want to also conduct a quick Internet search for a doctor referral service. Lastly, a call to her insurance company for a list of doctors may also help you locate a qualified physician.
I hope this helps you. I wish you and your grandmother luck. Please consider writing back to let me know how your grandmother is doing. Thanks for writing.