1. Whocares

    Whocares Registered User

    Mar 18, 2006
    27
    i Hve just joined this forum tonight and would really appreciate some advise on my lovely mum who is in a care home with Dementia. Mum was taken in to hospital for a 6 week assessment last May. While she was in there my "Fit as a fiddle" Dad had a massive stroke and after 5 weeks in ihospital he died .

    Mums decline has been so rapid since she went into that care home and now is a shell of the lovely woman she was. We are a close family and she gets lots of visits and so far seems to recognise us all.

    In the last month or so Mums head has been down, with her chin almost resting on her chest. She does not seem to be able to put it up and eating and drinking is very difficult for her. I sit on the floor when I visit so that I can see her. She can hold a cup and drink from it as long as its full but can't put her head back to empty the cup.

    I have asked the staff at the home, who are lovely patient and kind, They dont know why this is happening and say its part of the illness. Mum also stores food in her mouth and sometimes struggles to swallow it. I know that none of this is "Normal" but would like to ask if anyone has ever heard on this happening and what can I do about it?
     
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hello Whocares, and welcome to TP.

    I hope you will get some helpful comments from the great folks on here.

    Some of your points are familiar to me. My wife has been in a care home for nearly 5 years now - she is a younger person with Alzheimer's and is still only 65.
    You don't say what her condition was - and for how long it had been developing - before she went on her assessment. With my wife, it was 5-6 years before the first assessment.

    Certainly people do tend to go downhill, both on assessment, and in care homes, compared to their norm at their own home before.

    I think they manage to put up a front in many cases, and then a change of location knocks that down. also, according to their type of dementia - Alzheimer's is only one of them - their condition can slip quite quickly. Death of a spouse can knock things further of course. these are very vulnerable people.
    Yes, the neck does seem to get affected by a sort of rigidity. My wife is the other way, her head is held way back, and swallowing is also difficult for her. That is when she is in a chair. Most of the time we crawl on a padded floor as she can't walk, and then her neck relaxes to a normal position.

    Try having her drink through straws - that works for Jan.

    Make a relationship both with the home manager, and with Mum's GP. Always tell of any change in her condition - the neck - as you as a relative will notice things the staff and medics don't.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hiya Whocares,
    My mum's head is OK (at the moment) but she does pouch her food. She is on a soft diet, which has made things better, but any food that requires chewing does tend to go into the side of her mouth for a while. The NH has some swabs (like big cotton buds) which they use to clean her mouth with if they think that there is anything left in.
    Amy
     

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