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Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Nordholm, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. Nordholm

    Nordholm Registered User

    Jun 23, 2008
    14
    St Helens
    Hi,I care for Julia, 66, who has AD.
    She has trouble swallowing.
    The GP is sending her to a speech therapist - what is that all about? Anyone know?
    Best wishes Nordholm
     
  2. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Nordholm, welcome to TP.

    It's quite normal for someone who has swallowing problems to be referred to a speech therapist, they are after all fully trained in mouth and throat problems.

    I have't any experience of that yet, though I think my husband John is getting to that stage.

    I hope the speech therapist finds a solution for you and Julia.

    Best wishes,
     
  3. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    836
    Australia
    #3 jc141265, Jun 26, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2008
    Hi Nordholm,

    Hazel is correct, the speech therapist or here in Australia they sometimes call them speech pathologists assess the reasons behind why a person is having trouble swallowing and whether it is time to consider alternative foods for the sufferer.
    Having trouble swallowing can lead to problems because sometimes the food goes down the sufferer's windpipe and when it gets in the lungs it can cause pneumonia or other infections. Often when swallowing becomes a problem that is when a sufferer's diet is changed to soft foods, so you may have to start using a blender for a lot of your wife's (?) meals. You can also get a special thickener for her cups of tea or cordials/juices etc as the same problems occur with liquids that are too watery.
    Dad had a grave infection in his chest last year because of swallowing problems and the doctors were considering a stomach tube for him but eventually they decided against it and he has been doing very well ever since. The doctor recommended we ensure as much as possible that we brushed his teeth/mouth well (which can be a problem because he tends to bite down on the brush at times) and to get him to rinse his mouth with anti-bacterial mouthwash (which he often tends to swallow a bit of more than spit it out, but apparently thats not a major problem). They gave him a month to live (not because of the swallowing problems so don't panic about that) but because of the infections he was getting, but since we have taken over his care and are making sure his mouth remains very clean after meals and we monitor his temperature on a daily basis to make sure we notice if he gets any kind of infection so we can get antibiotics into him straight away and now its been 9 months and he hasn't been sick once.
    Probably more information than you needed but I thought I'd give you are heads up on trying to avoid infections because of the swallowing problems now.
    Best of luck and welcome to TP.
    Regards,
     
  4. Nordholm

    Nordholm Registered User

    Jun 23, 2008
    14
    St Helens
    Thankyou Nat and Hazel

    Nat, your comprehensive information has given me confidence. Hazel, aren't Westies great?! My aunt had one which only had one eye - but no problem to Snowy! The GP seems to be rushing the appointment through for Julia at Whiston Hospital. Nat, thanks again, how do I save these messages?
    Your Friend
    Peter
     
  5. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Peter

    The messages will stay for ever!:eek:

    You can find them again by clicking your own user name, and then 'Find all threads by'.

    You can print them out by clicking the Thread Tools box on the third green line and then clicking 'Printable version'.

    Glad Julia's getting an appointment, hope they come up with some answers.

    Cheers,
     
  6. Nordholm

    Nordholm Registered User

    Jun 23, 2008
    14
    St Helens
    I try not to feel sorry for myself too often.

    When I am really down (usually in the morning as a result of a bad night etc..) I think about the Jews in Auschwitz and how they were at the mercy of institutional murderers.
    Once, in the 60's I was hitchhiking in the middle east when I came to a town called Jaffa in Israel. I stayed in a pension there and at breakfast a lady served me.
    As she put the plate down I saw a set of numbers tattooed on the inside of her right arm.
    She must have been only a child when she was in the death camp. She was perfectly natural and pleasant yet I knew she carried terrible burdens. So then I remember I have no right to be too sad.
    Best Wishes
    Peter
     
  7. Nordholm

    Nordholm Registered User

    Jun 23, 2008
    14
    St Helens
    Thankyou Nat in Oz

    I realise now that Julia has been having trouble with her food for quite a long time - so it was not just my cooking! I would buy expensiv She had soup for lunch today from a tin but I will make carrot and coriander soup this weekend for her. Does anyone know any wholesome soups that are easy to make? The worry about food going the wrong way is choking and then the infection. What do you do? No doubt the speech therapist at Whiston Hospital will tell me about that. I hope your Dad continues to be ok under your kind care - how old is he - and how old are you? I am 66 but look about 40 (ha ha) My main hobby is cycling and I am a member of the quiz team at the Colliers' Arms in King's Moss in the Ormskirk league. Julia is a honey and nice looking too. The only person I ever met who did not like her was my mother!! We are closer than ever now - but I don't suppose she knows that! Thanks again Nat hope you are all well. Best Wishes, Peter.
     
  8. gigi

    gigi Registered User

    Nov 16, 2007
    7,788
    East Midlands
    Hello Peter!

    Wishing you and Julia luck when you see the Speech Therapist..am sure she /he will assesss and offer you lots of advice..

    You can make soup out of almost anything..to "bulk it out" for easier swallowing try adding potato/lentils/barley.

    It's interesting that you make reference to the Jews in Auschwitz..when I'm down and have a tough day ahead of me I think of the prisoners of the war on the Burma
    Railway..somehow it gets me through....:)

    Love gigi xx
     
  9. Cliff

    Cliff Registered User

    Jun 29, 2007
    777
    North Wales
    Hello Peter,

    Welcome to TP.

    Not sure if this is helpful but Dee, my wife has been a problem eater for about six months now. She often chokes but she has lost the ability to feed herself and is unwilling to open her mouth to accept food given by others. But she will drink juices if she likes them.

    All sorts of people are trying to help.

    So, do hope Julia's problem is resolved soon.

    Best wishes,
     
  10. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    1,213
    south lanarkshire
    Hi Peter

    Could you blitz all food, that is, put it in a blender or liquidiser?
    Or you could mash and cream potatoes and carrot and turnip (swede in England) or indeed any other veg. Then your wife will still have all the nutritious value of normal home cooked food, or at least, nearly all

    Take care, welcome
    Alfjess

    Take care
    Alfjess
     
  11. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,583
    Kent
  12. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    836
    Australia
    Hi Peter,
    Nat from Oz here. In response to your questions:
    I am 33 and Dad is just turned 64 (he got dementia young - age 53ish)so I've been dealing with this for quite a long time. But don't feel to sorry for me either, as Mum does the care generally, I just had a lot of involvement in it when Dad was in a care home for 3 years just 700metres from my house! He's now back home with Mum and me I'm living far away now, trying to re-capture the 20s that I lost....however I am in constant contact and still worry and care a lot about Dad's welfare.
    As for the foods that can be eaten and are nutritious for people having swallowing problems...I may have trouble giving you advice there as Dad's dementia seems to have caused him not to care about taste. However, you could try doing what my Mum does, by yourself a food blender (there's another name for them but I can't remember it at the moment, Mum calls it her Oscar which is the brand name of her machine here in Oz) and make your normal meals, and then put your partners portions of everything into that before serving them to her, reheat in the microwave if necessary. Mum reckons she's tried the meals and they taste fine (but then she's not much of a food connoisseur either) but I think the trick to it tasting okay is to not mix everything into one big pile of mush, i.e. have a pile of mashed potatoes, a pile of mashed carrots, pile of mashed meat and gravy, etc all separately displayed on the plate. You can even make it prettier to look at by using an ice-cream scoop!
    However as Dad's swallowing problems come and go he can still handle some solid foods, don't just follow my advice as perhaps what is okay for him is not okay for Julia...rely instead on the speech therapist's advice (though I am wary of speech therapists as one told us last year that the best thing for Dad was to stop feeding him and let him die over a few days in hospital! :eek: Thank god a sensible doctor gave us a second opinion!! I'm planning to send that speech therapist a photo of Dad all healthy and smiling in a xmas card come December! ;)). I also found this website that may be useful (its based on Huntington's disease swallowing problems but will no doubt be useful nonetheless): http://huntingtondisease.tripod.com/swallowing/id10.html
    Hope that helps, and feel free to private message me if you want quicker responses to your questions next time.
     
  13. Nordholm

    Nordholm Registered User

    Jun 23, 2008
    14
    St Helens
    What to do when the choking comes..

    I have been trying to find out what to do if Julia cannot breathe. It is not just food that can cause a problem, apparently we swallow saliva continually and this is just as much a hazard.
    A doctor said 'Just call the ambulance.' I said 'I need to know what to do until the ambulance arrives.'
    He finally told me to put her in the recovery position and make sure her head is up so that the airway is not restricted. Lightly tapping on the back can help also.
    Another person who ran a place where AD sufferers were cared for told me that there is nothing you can do to alleviate choking. You can only pray. She is a very good adviser but that was her view. Very depressing it is to think that you might have to see your lovely wife suffocate before your eyes.
    Sorry to be so blunt and stark but I need to say it and to get as much help and support as I can.
    Many good wishes
    From Peter
     
  14. lesmisralbles

    lesmisralbles Account Closed

    Nov 23, 2007
    5,543
    Dear Nordhome
    Ron chokes from time to time. It is very frightening.
    He has Parkinson's, so his swollowing is difficult with siliva. It bulid's up in the night when he is sleeping. I just have to shake him, he cough's and all is well. For how long this will go on, I do not know.:(
    During the day, he dribbles, and sometimes he chokes. So I wake him.
    Sorry, not much help:(

    Barb & Ron X
     
  15. Nordholm

    Nordholm Registered User

    Jun 23, 2008
    14
    St Helens
    Thanks, Barb, the information is most welcome. I think I shall start a new thread on choking. I have been told that in AD this is the end time but Julia is otherwise well and has successfully just had a hip replacement. She is the most lovable woman now whereas one time she thought only about the kids and the house - I am pleased I can help her but when my help fails I don't know how I will deal with it.:eek:
    Best wishes, Peter
     
  16. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,583
    Kent
    Dear Peter

    Perhaps for as long as you can help your wife, she needs to be helped. Perhaps when your help fails it is meant to fail.

    With love xx
     
  17. Nordholm

    Nordholm Registered User

    Jun 23, 2008
    14
    St Helens
    Thankyou Granny G

    Thank you Sylvia,
    Your message was wise help indeed.
    Best Wishes
    Peter
    XXXX
     

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