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Not drinking enough to keep a sparrow alive

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by CWR, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. CWR

    CWR Registered User

    Mar 17, 2019
    51
    Since her cold and subsequent falls, mum hasn't been great at eating or drinking, not to mention mobility. I know hospitals are in dire need of beds, but do they need to send vulnerable, frail patients home when they are clearly not well?
    She is hardly drinking at all; her incontinence pants are dry from yesterday, so no urine passed at all in the last day. I struggle to give her sips in between the four carers' visits, but after one or two sips, she says: thats enough. I just feel so helpless, watching her. It breaks my heart. I am going to see about care next week, but keeping her from getting dehydrated is a big big worry till then.Even raspberries, she eats one and spits the rest out. I am at my wits' end.
     
  2. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,899
    Female
    Sorry to hear this, it must be very worrying for you. You are right your mother needs professional care, but unfortunately IME hospitals are a very bad environment for people with dementia and the staff are no good at providing the sort of care she needs. The hospital could put her on a drip, but when they did that for my mother she just kept ripping it out, and she got no other help with eating or drinking. Your mother needs carers who specialise in dementia and have the time and skills to help her, if you are intending to look for a care home that could be a good solution.

    In the meantime have you tried giving her sweet drinks like smoothies and fruit juices? My mother would drink those even when she refused other drinks.

    Has she seen the GP recently? I wonder if she is still in pain, which is making her unwilling to eat.
     
  3. BryanG2001

    BryanG2001 Registered User

    Mar 2, 2014
    60
    Following a skin infection and then UTI Mum got dehydrated. We managed to get her in to Ambulatory Care at the local hospital and with constant supervision she kept a drip in for 5 hours. We were supposed to go back the next day but it was a definite refusal. Once we got her home getting her to drink was a major problem. I went to the supermarket and got a lot of different things to try then went through them one at a time. For Mum hot chocolate was the thing that got her drinking again. Cranberry juice used to be her thing, but failed until we got Cranberry and Raspberry. Then I bought some Ensure from Amazon. Over a week she started drinking better but the first few days were a big worry. Now home made smoothies with added Complan are going down well.

    I think dehydration is a key word for Doctors, once we said that they got some help going.
     
  4. CWR

    CWR Registered User

    Mar 17, 2019
    51
    I called the discharge team and they said to call the doc, which I did. I am waiting for her to come at present.If she does go in, she will need to go into a home afterwards. I am worn out and frazzled and can hardly think straight anymore.I recognise too late that there are limits to what one person can do.
     
  5. CWR

    CWR Registered User

    Mar 17, 2019
    51
     
  6. CWR

    CWR Registered User

    Mar 17, 2019
    51
    I decided, after chatting to the doc, to have her taken to hospital over the weekend, since I cant cope any more. I recognise that I have reached the end of my tether. After that, we will see about a care home.
     
  7. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,899
    Female
    That sounds a good plan, I hope you can find a good care home placement for her. Let us know how it goes.
     
  8. Splashing About

    Splashing About Registered User

    Oct 20, 2019
    184
    CWR I have just been through this with mum. She went from hospital to Nursing home.

    Challenges:
    Seeing her in hospital
    Occupational therapist not finding out enough about her before trying to discharge her within hours of admission
    Being told she didn’t have advanced dementia against what we knew (she does)
    Trooping around totally unsuitable homes because we were told she didn’t have advanced dementia or need nursing homes
    Being told she was end of life dementia a day later... (She was on admission but assumptions about her recovering had been made before finding out what her baseline was to recover to!)

    Good things:
    It’s easier to go to a NH from hospital than from home I think
    3 weeks in hospital helped us all adjust to her not being at home,
    We saw her cope in another environment
    Dad has slept, eaten properly, showered, rested and can think straight, get on with jobs and visit her fully rested
    A hospital team helped coordinate her needs assessment and also organised CHC application
    She left with a funded end of life fast tracked CHC package.

    I think their need for the bed focuses them on getting a nursing home so it does become easier.
     
  9. CWR

    CWR Registered User

    Mar 17, 2019
    51
    She has been in the hospital for a week now, and she is drinking a little but eating little.She chews a bit but takes it out. I mentioned the possibility of fortified drinks like Ensure, but surely the hospital should have been thinking of this? I am not paid to do their job, so I am a bit annoyed.
     
  10. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    1,357
    Unfortunately from personal experience communication in hospital is bad and you have to keep speaking up to get anything done. Who did you mention the possibility of fortified drinks to? If it was the care/nursing staff then the message may not have been passed on. Speak to your Mum's consultant and mention the reduction in eating/drinking and ask if they have made a referral to the dietician - the dietician arranged for my Mum to have fortified drinks when she was in hospital, not the medical team. Hopefully your Mum will be discharged soon as hospitals are really not good places for those with dementia.
     
  11. CWR

    CWR Registered User

    Mar 17, 2019
    51
    They are keeping her in until they find a place in a care/nursing home.I am a bit worried because I am going away from Wednesday to Monday for a much-needed break, and just hope she will be ok. You never stop worrying.
     
  12. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    1,357
    I know what you mean. I had a 3 day break during one of Mum's hospital admissions and although you don't stop worrying I was able to relax for some of the time so try to make the most of your break if you can.
     
  13. CWR

    CWR Registered User

    Mar 17, 2019
    51
    The woman who does her hair visited her yesterday, found her well. I hope to have others visit her while I am away. Also, they have started her on fortified drinks at last. I feel a bit more relaxed.
     
  14. CWR

    CWR Registered User

    Mar 17, 2019
    51
    I came back today, and visited mum, but it was heart-breaking. She is hardly eating or drinking at all. I went through this with my aunt. I am still in shock to be honest, since it all happened so quickly. I fear she won't have long in her nursing home at this rate.
     
  15. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    10,343
    Merseyside
    Thinking of you @CWR.
     

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