Do Antibiotics work in last stage vascular dementia?

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by flower1, May 23, 2015.

  1. flower1

    flower1 Registered User

    Apr 12, 2013
    124
    Hi, my mum is in fifth year and last/severe stage vascular dementia she has been up and down for a while but since beginning of Feb this year and every month including current keeps being prescribed antibiotics by the doctor when he is called to see her. She had a chest infection in Feb and March but the nurse at her Nursing home said that current antibiotics are prescribed as a pick me up as she is declining, mood very low, lost stone and half in weight since Jan (although still managing to swallow some thickened fluids and soft food). She coughs terribly after custard style thickened drinks and now I hear a horrible crackle noise from her chest and she looks frightened. Do these antibiotics help/work at this stage? SALT test done 2 wks ago. I would be grateful for any advice from anybody who has experienced this and feedback on antibiotics. Thank you for reading x
     
  2. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    18,972
    Derbyshire
    My husband went through the repeated infections, coughing and eating very little, although on thickened drinks. With almost continuous antibiotics I agreed with the doctors not to continue them. The Doctor did say that they were not longer effective. I have to say the coughing etc did not get any worse and eventually my husband died peacefully in his sleep.

    On reflection I still believe it was the right thing to discontinue antibiotics and only to ensure that his last stage was as comfortable and pain free as possible.
     
  3. flower1

    flower1 Registered User

    Apr 12, 2013
    124
    Thank you for your reply BeckyJan, this is very helpful because I may need to discuss this option with the nursing home and the doctor. Feel it is unfair to keep giving Mum antibiotics if they are not effective. This is why this website is so helpful with this kind of support from those who have been through it and understand. I am sorry for the loss of your husband. I also pray that my mum is taken peacefully in her sleep as I do not want to see her suffer. I try to be strong (over the past 5 years) but know it will break my heart to see this. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply x
     
  4. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,638
    Male
    North Manchester
    I think the antibiotic slowly become ineffective as the system can no longer absorb them correctly.

    There comes a stage where, in my opinion, the correct approach is to ask that the person is kept pain free and as comfortable as possible.

    I would talk to the GP about the 'cackle noise', it may be possible to control this with medication. Also ask if it is likely to be distressing/painful to the person, sometimes it isn't but never the less is distressing to the observer.

    Also ask about a syringe driver and anticipatory drugs (the just in case pack).
     

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