any advice on caring at home?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by icandoit, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. icandoit

    icandoit Registered User

    Feb 20, 2007
    5
    Hi everyone.Thank you all for your kind words and advice in my previous posts.
    We have since taken my Gran out of the hospital she was in:) but i am really a beginner with caring for her. Me and a relative care for her and she is much happier now thankfully.
    But please could anyone give me any advice because i cannot get her to bathe, dress or any day to day duties. She had fell a few months ago and fractured her spine but the doctors didnt notice this because they thought she was complaning of pain because of the alzheimers, but unfortunatley she was genuineley in pain:(
    abd because of this injury she uses it as an excuse not to get out of bed etc, she is also cutting down what she eats so i am going to stay with her at meal times, can anyone give me advice as to what i could give her that is a small meal or meal replacement because she is very small and very frail.
    Also she has a bump on the top of her head where a babies soft spot is, i asked her if she had bumped it and she says no but im not sure, or is it something to do with alzheimers why its swollen?:confused:
    sorry for so many questions lol but i am really greatful for all the advice you all give me.
    Thank you so much everyone, xxx
     
  2. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    1,342
    Meals, depends what she likes, soup, scrambled eggs, bread-and-milk, yogurt, jelly and custard, ice cream, sponge fingers?

    Whatever you're having, chopped up small?
     
  3. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi icandoit

    I had such problems with Jan when she was at home, feeding her. We both ended up losing quite a lot of weight because we always shared our food 50/50 and as she reduced the amount she had [and therefore that I cooked], so my intake dropped as well.

    At the care home they use Ensure as a food substitute when residents can't/won't eat any normal food.

    There are other products too, see: http://www.christie.nhs.uk/patientinfo/booklets/TextBooklets/Nutritional/Nutritional.htm

    Good luck.
     
  4. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    I've never heard of head swelling as being a symton of AD. Is it possible she's been bumping it against the head board of the bed? As regards to food: I think the mantra little and often is a good one. At this stage you should be concerned with calories rather than nutrition as we normally think of it. So whatever she fancies , bumped up with extra fat (e.g. cream) is a probably a good idea. You can get liquid meal substitutes on prescription:you might want to try those, although there are only a very few that my mother finds palatable.

    Incidentally, when my mother fell they x-rayed her and didn't find a hip fracture, so they said she was ok. It turns out she actually had a pubic bone fracture, and they didn't x-ray that, so I'm afraid to say it happens.

    Jennifer
     
  5. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,884
    Kent
    Good luck icandoit, nursing your gran at home.

    For the food, anything that`s high calories but light and easy to digest. The old fashioned standard was home made egg custard. I`m sure there`ll be recipes on line. It`s just eggs and whole milk and sugar, baked in the oven till it sets, it`s light, tasty and nourishing.

    As for the swelling on her head, if it doesn`t go down within the next couple of days, I`d ask the GP to visit.
     
  6. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    1,170
    Australia



    Incidentally, when my mother fell they x-rayed her and didn't find a hip fracture, so they said she was ok. It turns out she actually had a pubic bone fracture, and they didn't x-ray that, so I'm afraid to say it happens.

    I'm wondering if you can arrange for a visiting nurse to assist with the bathing and dressing? Don't know what the guidelines are in the UK but here in Australia I think it can be arranged for people in care at home.

    If your Gran is in pain I should think a trained nurse would be able to assess it and refer her for further investigation or treatment.

    On a practical level, Gran might be more cooperative about getting bathed and dressed if a third person (a "professional") is there to see she does it. . . . . ?? Only you could say whether this might be helpful.

    Thinking of you and wishing you all the best. You are very courageous and caring to take on this journey. Nell
     
  7. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    3,511
    It may be that your Gran is too frightened to do these things after her fall, although she may not remember the fall itself or alternatively is not able to tell you how she feels or why.

    It is also possible that she is aware that she needs help to do what are intimate things, but feels to embarassed to ask for the help because of the loss of dignity and independence. It is possible that Gran will accept help from a "nurse" where she wouldn't from a grand-daughter/son.

    I would say that you should ask for a visit from an Occupational Therapist. They are experts in determining what someone can and can't do without some help, and can suggest ways of doing things safely. They can also supply various bits of equipment to make life easier (we have a rail that surrounds the loo which is a wonderful help).

    If your Gran is not eating, them ask for a visit from a dietician. Also, it could be worth checking to see (if you can) as to whether she is having problems with her teeth/dentures or finds swallowing difficult.

    With someone very elderly and frail, who is not eating, I think the usual advice as to what they should eat is "calories"! The drikns you can get for people who need building up but who can't manage solid food are a good way of getting a lot of "food" into a "drink".

    As to the bump on her head, I don't think that AD ever causes anything like that - so it should be referred to a doctor. Blows to the head should IMHO always be checkout out. Your Gran probably fell or knocked her head but has forgotten doing it.
     
  8. Lonestray

    Lonestray Registered User

    Aug 3, 2006
    236
    Hereford
    Food

    I'll admit to not having a clue about quality of food, but I had to learn over the past four years. When I removed Jean from the NH she was about five stone and it was diffcult to feed her. Some meals were taking up to two hours. Now breakfast takes about 12mins. Lunch half an hour to 40mins, tea same. I have posted on another tread about her sleeping with her mouth open and how I remedied it which lead the start of her recovery health wise.

    Breakfast: Weatabix in warm milk with a little sugar. A short wide glass to make
    build-up mixed in boiling water with a teaspoon of honey, a dash of
    cold to cool.

    Lunch: Fresh broccoli, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, (today corned beef) all mashed
    up adding half cupful of Cup a Soup (Batchelors pack of five different soup)
    A baby bottle of orange juice with a dash of Lactulose plus a chocolate
    wafer coated biscuit bar.
    Tea: Banana mashed with a dolop of honey placed in a microwave for 30sec.
    followed by chocolate mousse, bottle of Ribena blackcurrant with a dash
    Lactulose and a different biscuit bar.
    Note: the meat in the stew differs each day. If it is too late to cook I give her
    Oates so Simple in milk. It took me some time to discover she preferred
    mouse much better to yogurt.
    She is now near nine stone, a stone more then her normal weight, but she enjoys her food.
    Using a beaker like they used in the NH I found to be usless, think about it they are for babies, small faces. The glass I use allows me to see her drink, to notice her slight move to reach, helps me know when to tilt the glass. The whole glass of Build-up she mostly drinks in one go then reaches for the last dregs!
    I hope the forgoing is of help to others. The best of luck in your endevours.
    Padraig
     

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