Feeling Disappointed and concerned

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by flower1, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. flower1

    flower1 Registered User

    Apr 12, 2013
    124
    On the past few visits to see my Mum at the nursing home who is in late/severe stage of Vascular Dementia I have noticed that after giving her thickened drink she seems to be coughing badly also uncomfortable with very chesty breathing. When I mentioned to the nurse about my concern again about this I got the usual kind of answer "oh is she" in other words this is the norm and as long as we can still feed her etc..... After feeling so frustrated with this kind of feedback and lack of compassion for me as her daughter I decided to contact her doctor direct at his surgery. I am very disappointed to say that after 3 calls and being promised 3 call backs to discuss my concerns and also the prognosis of her illness at this late stage I have still not managed to speak with her doctor. I know they are very busy but once your relative is in a nursing home are we pushed aside? There is no doctor at my mum's nursing home and surely if she was in hospital I would be updated. If my mum had cancer or another terminal illness would communication be different? I would appreciate any feedback. Thank you x
     
  2. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,975
    Toronto, Canada
    Drinks are normally thickened because the person has developed swallowing problems. My mother is currently on 'honey thick' fluids and it has helped her a great deal. I also find it useful to give her the fluids with a spoon, instead of trying to give her them straight from the glass. My mother also tries to eat too quickly and chokes from that also.

    What about speaking to the SALT (Speech and language therapist, I believe) to find out what problems your mother may have been having with swallowing?
     
  3. chris53

    chris53 Registered User

    Nov 9, 2009
    2,930
    London
    #3 chris53, Jan 22, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
    Hello flower1, so sorry you sound so down and have concerns on how mum seems to be at the moment, go by your gut feeling! this attitude does not seem at all right and the nursing home should have their ladies and gentlemen registered with a doctors practice which may not be mums usual regular doctor now she is in care,may I suggest, and sorry if i speak out of turn,that you request that a doctor comes to see mum to see what is causing the problem or at least be given the information on which doctors practice is looking after these ladies and gentlemen's physical health so you may speak to them mum can then have an assessment by a speech and language therapist to see what is making it so difficult for her to swallow, i trust the home has put on record the problems mum is having trying to eat and drink?
    I wish you the very best and hope the home will be able to provide answers to you.
    Chris x
     
  4. VickyG

    VickyG Registered User

    Feb 6, 2013
    327
    Birmingham
    Good evening flower1,

    The problem you're referring to is called Dysphagia. This is almost the norm ( unfortunately ) in very late stages of Dementia. As Canadian Joanne said, you need to get a referral to the SALT team straight away.
    Your Mum should of had an assessment in order to be given any form of thickener. If she hasn't, any nursing home or residential home, should not be giving her the thickener. Yes, it's tempting to, as we don't want to see someone choking on fluids or food, and no, we can't see someone going without food / fluids. BUT, If the fluids are not thickened to the right consistency, the problem will continue. If your Mum isn't on a pureed diet yet, then it seems she should be. The coughing and spluttering, and choking can lead to aspiration, and can cause endless infections of the respiratory tract.
    This needs to be addressed right away and the SALT team can go in, once contacted ( you can actually contact them yourself ), it doesn't take long for them to go out and see the person.

    Good luck and hope you get your Mum sorted out soon.
    Vicky
     
  5. flower1

    flower1 Registered User

    Apr 12, 2013
    124
    #5 flower1, Jan 23, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
    Hi VickyG. thank you for taking the time to respond and with very helpful advice about the SALT test. I am going to speak to the home about it. x
     
  6. flower1

    flower1 Registered User

    Apr 12, 2013
    124
    Hi Chris53, thank you for your kind feedback, much appreciated x
     
  7. flower1

    flower1 Registered User

    Apr 12, 2013
    124
    Hi Canadian Joanne, thank you for your kind feedback, I will be speaking to the home about the SALT test. x
     

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