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Discussion in 'Recently diagnosed and early stages of dementia' started by Mrnkar, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Mrnkar

    Mrnkar Registered User

    Oct 28, 2017
    To say I am absolutely disgusted is an understatement,
    My father had been in hospital since the end of August after being admitted from a care home suffering from dehydration, delium and a chest infection. It was then discovered he had a fractured hip.
    He was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia in September although for a few years there was a question mark regarding Lewy Body Dementia.
    7 weeks ago he was assessed for CHC but turned down and it was stated that he has capacity and had agreed to go to a 24hr Nursing home., which is questionable as he told me and other staff he was going to no f***ing home and the fact also that 4 days previously a DoLS had to be put in place to rehydrate him, because he went on hunger strike in protest, which he does alot and why he ended up up in the hospital.
    For the past few weeks I have been having meetings and visiting trying to persuade him, along with social workers, discharge staff etc that he can't stay in hospital and needs to go to a Nursing home.
    He has had a persistent cough for weeks which i questioning and was told, it's not a chest infection and we are keeping an eye on it. He is also back on thickened fluids.
    I attended a meeting again last Tuesday and was informed that the Dr had asked for a psychiatrist to assess him. Saw my father with a Social Worker and Discharge Lead to again try and persuade him that he needs to go to a Nursing Home and even the Discharge Lead mentioned his cough and said she would see what was been done. We had a full conversion with him.
    To cut a long story short, psychiatrist visited on Wednesday and decided he has lost capacity but kept repeating he was tired. I spoke to her and she agreed she would reassess him, sometime this week.
    My brother was speaking to my father on Friday and noticed he was slurring his words and not his normal self and he actually said, i think he is becoming dehyradated again and also a friend visited him yesterday morning and was concerned but couldn't find any nurses and was basically ignored by an axillary nurse.
    Imagine my surprise when yesterday afternoon getting a phone call to say they thought I should go to the hospital as my father was deteriorating rapidly and a Dr wanted to speak to me. I was unable to go and said I would go this morning but if he got worse to let me know and I would go.
    Phoned the hospital this morning and told he was the same as in the past few weeks, when I explained the phone call i had received yesterday she said i will get the doctor to phone you.
    Spoke with the Dr, who had been to see him yesterday and this morning and I explained that both my brother and i thought he was just dehyradrated as we have witnessed this, with the same systoms many times before and he now also said my dad had a chest infection, to which I said that i had been querying that for weeks. He agreed it might be dehydration and would put my father on a drip for fluids and antibiotics.
    I have just phoned the hospital and guess what, he is back to normal, eating and drinking and keeps asking for milk.
    The whole point of this is had we as family, not realized that his symptoms were all related to dehydration, they were slowly letting him die and pretending this is what normally happens to old and frail people as we were told.
    I would also like to say, that this is not the first time this has happened to my father but twice in another hospital and only for my brother intervening the same was happening.
    It is digusting that the people that are suppose to care for our loved ones don't and what about the hypocritical oath that Dr's take.
    So remember if someone you know becomes confused, slurring speech and basically almost losing consciousness. This can also be the symptoms of dehydration.
    Sorry for the long post but I am both physically and mentally exhausted at the moment.
  2. Soobee

    Soobee Volunteer Host

    Aug 22, 2009
    I understand your frustration and anger. My mum was admitted to hospital with severe dehydration and not given any fluids for another 9 hours after admission (when the doctor finally saw her). They assumed she was always like that (just lying there with her eyes closed and mouth open), the GP had assumed she was dying and told my dad to prepare himself. She lived another 3 years after this episode.

    I think the key thing here is that hospitals are incredibly under pressure these days so assumptions do get made and things do get missed. It's utterly wrong but it happens.

    What I found worked was to say "she's not normally like this, she's normally bright, able to hold a conversation..." otherwise they do make the assumption that the behaviour is normal for that person. The difference in my mum the following day once she had been rehydrated was astounding.

    I didn't have the energy to complain about mum's treatment at the time. It looks like it would not have achieved anything anyway.
  3. Mrnkar

    Mrnkar Registered User

    Oct 28, 2017
    I understand what your saying but he has been in this ward for weeks. They knew he wasn't eating & drinking much, especially as he is on thickened fluids, which he doesn't like, as he says it tastes like wallpaper paste and also doesn't like the fortified drinks. All this was documented and I was constantly told, he wasn't eating and drinking. Now we all know what happens when we don't drink enough fluids. Normal people even know, never mind nurses and doctors, what happens and this is what annoys me. They saw him going downhill and still nothing was done about it.
    I visited him today, they didn't know I was coming, and great to see that he is more or less back to his normal self but guess what, the fluids drip bag was empty so when a nurse came in, i enquired about it and asked was that all he was getting. She went away and came back and said he's due more at 4pm. This was about 2.30pm. Guess what about 15 minutes later another nurse came with a new fluids bag and put it up. Dad said to her how long has the other one finished and she said, oh about an hour.
    My main worry is, if I had not visited, how long would it have been until they replaced it, or maybe not at all.
    They now say he has pneumonia as well.
  4. mrjelly

    mrjelly Registered User

    Jul 23, 2012
    West Sussex
    We were in a similar but different situation with my Dad who had a mix of Alzheimer's and vascular dementia. He was taken to hospital several times after losing consciousness due to dehydration. When he returned to the care home he would continue his routine of sleeping most of the time with short periods of alertness when his pad needed changing or he could be cajoled into eating or drinking half a mouthful. Being bedbound all he wanted was warmth, peace and quiet and to sleep. He had no interest in conversation or tv or music, and most questions about whether he wanted anything would be answered by a shake of the head. We were lucky in one way by knowing his wish to refuse some medical treatments if his quality of life dropped below a certain level or if he suffered from dementia, as he had set down his wishes in an advance declaration and had been a member of the voluntary euthanasia society. He might not have voiced his wish to be gone at that point but we knew he hated the state he was in and had just had enough of it all. The family all agreed to keep sending him to hospital every three or four weeks wasn't in his best interests or what he would have wanted. Everyone is different of course, but eventually I think we have to let them go when they've had enough.

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