Mr mum was diagnosed with Alzheimers around 6 yrs ago. She is still at home with my Dad, they are both 68 now. He has 2 weeks respite care and has her at home for 4 weeks in between. She has gradually become less and less mentally active, she is now incontinent, hasn`t spoken for around 18 months, understands nothing and reckonises no-one. Up until very recently, (the last month or so) has eaten and drunk fairly well, although needs feeding. The last time she went away for respite she showed signs of having a flu type bug - high temperature, cough etc. She then stopped eating solids. Because she was poorly her stay was extended as she wasn`t well enough to come home. Anyway. now at home she is still refusing to eat solids. My dad does manage to get meal replacement drinks down her but drinking these makes her cough and quite often she bring it back up or spits it out. I know that in the later stages the ability to swallow is lost but is it normal for it to happen so suddenly? My dad has reached the point that he can longer cope and feels it would be best if she were taken into a home on a permanent basis. She is now so week that she has trouble with mobility. He can`t hold her up and wash her down etc etc. During the last respite she lost a stone in weight in just over two weeks!!