1. CassElle

    CassElle Registered User

    Jun 7, 2005
    45
    Blackpool
    Hi again everyone,

    Dealing with yet further Urinary and Chest infections and the usual bombardment of Antibiotics! The professionals keep telling Mum she needs to drink more - but they don't tell me how to achieve this!

    I've tried coaxing, being firm all without success. Yesterday morning, I could not get her out of bed - laying in what looks like a semi-coma condition, but on past experience, I know that she basically 'blanks' me when she does not want to do what I am asking of her. Refusing to open her eyes, totalling blanking me. Yet I know she is able to understand me - if I ask her if she's ready for a meal there's no hesitation in her opening her eyes and responding! I was unable to get her to take the Antibiotics or a drink. I eventually (yet again) called for the Doctor to visit, because I was concerned about her hydration; she was soaked in perspiration (and I had changed her at 5.30am).

    As usual, when the Doctor entered the room - Mum's eyes immediately opened and she said 'Hello' to him! Making me look like a total idiot - yet again!!! I call this her 'trying to prove I'm all right mode', but the Doctors seem to fall for it. Upon his departure, I asked her what was wrong with her drinks - and she replied 'nothing, they're nice'! The Doctor told me to offer her the Antibiotic at the same time as I am offering her a drink - does he not think I've done that a million times already!!

    The rest of the day past with me continually trying and failing to get her to drink anything. I could see she was getting irate and I therefore chose to leave it and hope for the best! It's so frustrating when you know what the outcome will be if she doesn't drink more.

    Today she's been a lot brighter in herself but still an upward battle with the fluids. I'm tending to give her foods which are made up of a lot of liquids, i.e. large bowl of porridge made with milk in the morning, soups for lunch and jelly, ice creams etc. for sweets after her evening meal.

    I am hoping Mum will have improved even more by tomorrow and is able to resume attendance at the Day Centre - I think we both need a break from each other!

    As Mum isn't able to concentrate sufficiently to read or watch TV or mobile enough to potter around the house, it's difficult to find things for her to to with her hands (apart from folding things, which she will happily spend hours doing). However, I've come across a new object that she seems to enjoy messing with - bursting bubble wrap - and seems quite relaxed doing it. I just thought this may be useful information for someone else to try.

    Anyway, that's all for now - I'm off to make yet another cuppa for Mum - that will no doubt end up being poured away!

    Hope everyone else is coping ok - it certainly ain't easy!! :)
     
  2. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    824
    Hi CassElle.

    Not easy, but it sounds as if you're doing the very best anyone could ask. Bubble wrap sounds a great idea, I'll take some next time I go to see my Dad! Dad will sometimes sit and sort lego (duplo) bricks or fridge magnet letters into different colours. He still surprises me sometimes recognising words that I spell with them.

    Regarding the not drinking, (and sorry if you've thought of these before), but have you tried straws - perhaps those bendy ones that are fun to watch the liquid going through? What about different coloured /shaped cups and beakers? Porridge is a great idea along with all the other 'liquidy' meals. I hope all goes well tomorrow.

    All the best,
     
  3. Ruthie

    Ruthie Registered User

    Jul 9, 2003
    114
    South Coast
    Hello CassElle

    I read about some research (can't remember where it took place, Scandinavia I think) where studies had shown that some people with AD ate and drank better if the food/drink was presented on red plates or in red cups!

    When I visit my husband in hospital I usually take a little "picnic" - a bit of fruit and cake and a nice fruit drink, and I take a red plastic mug. He always makes a grab for the cup before I have finished filling it and drinks it down with gusto, and keeps looking for more when he has finished it. (It's just a cheap plastic picnic mug).

    He doesn't have a lot of problems with eating or drinking, but he seems to be especially drawn to the cup. Perhaps it would be worth trying just holding a red cup with a drink in it in front of your Mum, without asking her if she wants a drink. It might not work, but perhaps it will.

    Amazing how Doctors fall for the "I'm all right" mode - I know, I've been there too!

    All best wishes

    Ruthie
     
  4. CassElle

    CassElle Registered User

    Jun 7, 2005
    45
    Blackpool
    Getting Mum to Drink

    Many thanks to Hazel and Ruth for your prompt replies. No guessing where I'll be going as soon as Mum goes to Day Centre tomorrow - for a supply of bendy straws and a bright red mug! Please |God, let it work!

    Bye for now - Mum was tired so I have put her to bed and am now going to enjoy a nice relaxing read and re-charge my batteries ready for tomorrow. :)
     
  5. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    6,847
    Hi CassElle,

    Sounds like you're doing exactly the right thing in trying to get as much liquid as possible in the foods that she does like. Juicy fruits are another good source of fluid and so many are available at the moment.

    Does she drink anything with her meal? Sometimes alternating a drink with a bite or two of food can work.

    Also, Hazel's suggestion of bendy straws is a very good one. They sell some very nice colourful ones in Lakeland Plastics, if you have one of those in your area.

    Does your mother ever have problems with food going down "the wrong way"? Sometimes people with dementia develop swallowing problems which leads to a lot of coughing and spluttering when eating and drinking. This can lead to food or drink being inhaled into the respiratory system, making chest infections more likely.

    Hope you get a quiet night and are able to re-charge those batteries.

    Sandy
     
  6. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Casselle,

    There really insn't much more that you can do, apart from giving her very small amounts of water at 15 minute intervals in the new red mug/with straw. My mother is a horror for refusing to drink fluids, except cups of tea.

    However, to minimise UTI's and constipation, you might look at limiting heavy proteins and dry foods in her diet and swap them for more water based vegetables such as cucumber, marrow and tomato, with a lighter protein such as fish. Soups might be the go as well.

    Keep on to the GP because elderly people become dangerously dehyrated in the hot weather.

    That goes for everyone else of course! 2 litres water per day minimum in temperatures of around 30C is vital.

    Jude

    Good luck!

    Jude
     

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