1. Melseybub

    Melseybub Registered User

    Dec 26, 2015
    6
    Hello, my Mum is 73 and was diagnosed with vascular dementia about 4 years ago. She appears to be in the advanced stages of the disease and has very little communication skills, often just a yes or no answer if she is asked something with an option. She had been living with my brother with a care package in place and although wasn't always eating much during the day she would always eat dinner in the evenings.
    Just over a month ago she fell and broke a bone in her pelvis, prior to this she was continent, able to dress herself, climb stairs and walk unaided. Following the break she spent 4 weeks in hospital, during which time she has become bed bound and incontinent, the hospital said they couldn't get her to engage in physio attempts (she was on a surgical ward and there seemed to be little understanding of dementia, despite posters advertising their dementia champion). On admission I completed a form called "All about Me" and expressed my Mum needed lots of encouragement to eat and drink but could use cutlery to feed herself. During her time on the ward I repeatedly asked staff to ensure she was encouraged and be offered a feeding buddy. Other patients on the ward reported to us that Mum was regularly left her meals, usually covered and that they were simply left then removed later on with no staff involvement to encourage her eating. Eventually I asked that she be given protein shakes as she had lost do much weight. The staff agreed that it was probably a good idea, one which they had not considered!!
    Following discharge from the ward Mum has gone to a care home for about 6 weeks, it is a lovely place dedicated to people suffering with dementia and the staff are very nurturing.

    The reason for my post is that since being in the home every time they try to feed or get my Mum to eat she is sick. They frequently tell us that she has taken little or no nutrition whatsoever. We have asked for a doctor to intervene and been told as she is out of her normal living area they would only come in an emergency. I cannot understand what would be regarded as an emergency if this situation does not fall into that category. They weighed her today and she has a BMI of 19.3, I'm told this is still considered a "healthy weight" she is skeletal in appearance and has lost all muscle tone, unable to support her weight even with help just from transfer of chair to wheelchair.

    I am deeply concerned, 2 years ago I watched my Father waste away after a real overly short illness in dementia terms. He was diagnosed with Lewy Bodies in January and by the July he had passed away following his decision to stop eating. He was in a mental health unit at the time and we were told if we could not get him to eat he was going to die. It was an incredibly traumatic experience, one which I do not wish to repeat with my Mum.

    Has anyone else has a similar experience with the vomiting issue? Is this the beginning of the end? I would be grateful for any response. I think the care home are going to try and get a doctor to visit Mum but I do not know how they will be able to help.

    Feeling helpless! Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

    Melseybub
     
  2. pony-mad

    pony-mad Registered User

    May 23, 2014
    1,073
    Mid-Wales
    I am so sorry to read of your Mum's plight. It must be terrible to watch especially as it seems to be history repeating itself. My only suggestion is to ask the GP to look at her medication. In my experience they can clash and sometimes be the cause of nausea and loss of appetite.


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  3. Melseybub

    Melseybub Registered User

    Dec 26, 2015
    6
    Thank you we will try that. It was suggested that her body was rejecting food as she had eaten so little whilst in hospital but we hoped that would be rectified as she began eating again at the care home.

    Melseybub
     
  4. MrsTerryN

    MrsTerryN Registered User

    Dec 17, 2012
    773
    Mum had/has nausea she doesnt eat much except treat food. She is now 48 kilos.
    I think also to a degree mum has lost interest in food. Mum also had a broken hip and it took a while for her to remember to eat after it. I hope things work out for you and your mum
     
  5. Melseybub

    Melseybub Registered User

    Dec 26, 2015
    6
    Thankyou. I hope your Mum is doing as OK as possible in the circumstances.

    Melseybub
     
  6. missmarple

    missmarple Registered User

    Jan 14, 2013
    206
    The vomiting would concern me it could be stomach shrinkage or it could be other things ranging from a gastro intestinal virus to a malignancy. If it continues she definitely needs to be seen by a doctor.
     
  7. CeliaThePoet

    CeliaThePoet Registered User

    Dec 7, 2013
    614
    Buffalo, NY, USA
    Is she choking at all when fed? This could result in expelling food. If so, perhaps her swallow could be evaluated by the SALT team.
     
  8. Melseybub

    Melseybub Registered User

    Dec 26, 2015
    6
    Thank you for your responses. Mum was seen by the SALT team in hospital and they raised no concerns with her eating. The staff at the home are concerned about her vomiting, she tends to eat small mouthfuls but vomits after swallowing not during swallowing. She slept throughout our whole visit today. I'm hoping the GP will visit and we will get some answers.
    Thank you for your support.
    Melseybub
     
  9. Gigglemore

    Gigglemore Registered User

    Oct 18, 2013
    526
    British Isles
    A doctor might be able to prescribe anti-nausea medication to be taken before mealtimes.

    Is she able to drink milky coffee or high energy milkshakes without vomiting? If she can manage this between mealtimes it could be less challenging and upsetting for her and still get some nutrition into her while you wait for a medical assessment. Liquids are of course very important anyway.
     
  10. Melseybub

    Melseybub Registered User

    Dec 26, 2015
    6
    I'm hoping the doctor will come and assess her tomorrow. Her fluid intake is well documented in her notes at the care home and they say she does drink plenty, although we struggle to get her to drink when we are there. Hopefully a doctor will be able to give us a clearer picture of what the problem is.

    Thank you for your advice and support.

    Melseybub
     
  11. Melseybub

    Melseybub Registered User

    Dec 26, 2015
    6
    Just a quick update. Mum has seen a doctor, no idea of the problem but he has prescribed high protein energy drinks then aims for her to be progressed to solids then up and walking again when her strength has returned. The last few days she has stayed in bed sleeping and has glycerin swab sticks in her room. My Dad had these during his last few weeks once he'd stopped eating and drinking. I'm hoping things will pick up!

    Melseybub
     

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