Not Eating or Drinking

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Glad, May 20, 2007.

  1. Glad

    Glad Registered User

    Jan 13, 2007
    13
    Surrey
    Since I last posted a message to the site in January, Dad has tried to care for Mum at home, but finally gave in after five years of round-the-clock caring and Mum went into a nursing home two weeks ago. We found the most wonderful home and were all so happy that there seemed to be a future, for both Mum and Dad. Initially the stay was for respite, so that Dad could go on a very well needed holiday. Unfortunately, Mum was very violent with the staff (kicking, biting, hitting), as well as hurting one other resident. She sometimes refused her medication and would only eat or drink spasmodically. After seven days she was admitted to hospital and sectioned under the mental health act.
    This was devastating to all of us, but Mum had been violent in the recent past, with my Dad (it drove him to his wit's end just trying to gently stop her from hurting him) and with the care workers that came in to help Dad get her washed and dressed (They had to be dismissed after a week because they were just making Mum more violent).
    She is being "observed" in hospital. They are having trouble getting her to eat or drink and can't get near her to wash her, so she is wandering round with faeces on her hands most of the time. When I visited yesterday, there were three nurses on the ward and they could not possibly cope with the 20 or so highly dependent patients.
    My question to anyone out there is this. Mum's violence is a result of acute anxiety, yet I am told that tranquilisers will be of no use to her as they will make her sleep all the time. Is that really true? Do they have a duty to encourage her to eat and drink? What happens if she just stops eating and drinking? How can the anxiety be treated?
    You have all been so supportive and helpful in the past, I am hoping someone out there may have some suggestions for me now.
    :(
     
  2. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    1,170
    Australia
    Dear Glad,
    What an awful situation for all of you - you, your Dad and your Mum. I'm so sorry - I haven't got any experience or knowledge of these things, so I can't offer any suggestions. Like you, I would have thought tranquilisers might help, even if they DO make your Mum groggy. But as I have no medical training, I have no idea why they'd be considered unsuitable.

    It does sound like a crisis though. Are you able to talk daily to your Mum's doctors? Can you ask for special consultations to help you and your Dad understand what treatment is being given (or withheld) and why??

    I'm sure someone with more knowledge of this area will come along soon. Meanwhile, sending you the most caring of wishes.
     
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,863
    Kent
    Dear Glad, what a sad and upsetting situation.

    I don`t know how this form of medication is supposed to work. From a layperson`s point of view, I think I would prefer her to be groggy than violent, but that`s only my opinion. Even so, I would ask more questions.

    I used to work with a young boy with ADHD, [Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder] . He was prescribed a widely used drug which is a stimulant, rather than a sedative. We couldn`t understand why, but it did work eventually.

    So I suppose we can only ask, and hope for an answer we are able to understand.

    Take care
     
  4. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    639
    West Sussex
    My Mum was prescribed a drug for her anxiety and it worked really well, she didn't get violent, but was hallucinating and absolutely terrified of Dad from time to time.

    I would ask the doctor in charge of her case if there is a way of controlling the symptoms she has to make life more bearable for her.

    It is awful to think of someone you love going through torment if medication can help.

    See if you can get time to speak to whoever is in charge.

    Kathleen
    x
     
  5. Glad

    Glad Registered User

    Jan 13, 2007
    13
    Surrey
    Thanks for your helpful suggestions. I have written a letter to the consultant in charge and I have also discussed the problem with the Staff Nurse when I visited. She seemed very vague (or is it me not being able to take in what she says?). One of the biggest problems is that Mum's paranoia makes her think that the nurses are trying to kill her, so that is why she is refusing to eat and drink or take her medication. I am sure that Mum is not the first paranoid dementia patient they have seen, so I have asked the consultant what their strategy is. When I asked the nurse, she said she didn't know what could be done. Has anyone had any experience of a dementia patient with paranoia, anxiety and depression and what was done please? I really am grateful for the support everyone out there has given so far. Many thanks to you all.
    Gladys xx
     
  6. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Glad

    I'm afraid I've no answers for you. I think you've done the right thing in writing to the consultant. I'm sure he must have treated cases like your mum before, and they should have a strategy.

    For one thing, not cleaning your mum properly goes against all guidelines for the prevention of MRSA & C Diff.

    I hope you get a positive answer. In the meantime, lots of love and hugs,
     
  7. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #7 Margarita, May 21, 2007
    Last edited: May 21, 2007
    Do you not have a CPN that you can talk to rather then the nurse , what type of Nurse is she / he ? as a CPN should no the policy in what medication can been given to your mother to control the systems she showing



    that would depend on the doss (sp) they give her .
     
  8. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #8 Margarita, May 21, 2007
    Last edited: May 21, 2007

    I don't rally like typing about the that time , before my mother was put on Exbixa & I was alone with her in Gibraltar before I new she had AZ , but My mother was doing that while she lived with me .

    all I new is somehow I had to get her to see the consultant in Gibraltar , because when she was found wondering around gibraltar all the SW would say that they would section her they was no way I was having my mother section in Gibraltar .

    so I coved a lot of what my mother was doing & sorted it go alone till I got her to the consultant & brain scan
    So when your mother doing now my mother doing all that back then .
    the way your seeing her in the hospital and when you say
    That could happen your mind in shock and you can't retain the information they are telling you , I know as it happen to me I know my mind went blank from seeing my mother the way she was going . don't know if this of any help , but thought I would share .

    take time out to clear your mind , go back see if CPN if of any help , till you talk to consultant
     
  9. mel

    mel Registered User

    Apr 30, 2006
    1,656
    Sheffield
    Hi Glad

    I had the sameproblem with mum and it became worse when she was first of all in respite and then later in hospital

    After mums violent outbursts at the respite home they immediately summoned the on call doctor who prescribed haliperodol

    It didn't get rid of the violence altogether but the episodes were less frequent and easier to manage.....
    It's worth noting she was never "dopey" with the dose she was prescribed....just calmer....which was good.....

    Mums last stay in hospital she refused medication and often food and drink....fine if I visited because she would usually take it from me(not always though).....the nurses told me then they cannot force medication on someone or food and drink...they mark down "refused " in the notes...

    hope you get something sorted soon

    Love Wendy x
     
  10. PatH

    PatH Registered User

    Feb 14, 2005
    301
    N.Ireland
    Gladys,
    There are drugs that will help your mum and I feel that the staff should be reporting your mums condition to the consultants SHO so that medication can be reassessed.
    Dont worry, they will get her sorted and they do have to ensure that she gets her daily nutrition even if its fortified drinks. She will get thirsty and want to drink.
    I do understand your concern ,my husband was so violent in the early stages but now its a lifetime away.
    Take care
    Pat
     
  11. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,863
    Kent
    I am having problems now with my husband`s medication.

    He takes an anti-depressant and diabetic medication. If I take it to him, with a drink, he takes the tablets, but if I tell him it`s in the kitchen ready for him, he creeps outside, thinking I don`t notice, and throws it away behind bushes in the garden.

    This is because he has never liked taking tablets, and thinks they aren`t helping him. I`m not going to have a confrontation about it, I`ll just have to try to remember not to trust him to take them himself.

    Who knows what is in his mind. And Glad, who knows what`s in your mother`s mind.
     
  12. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    I have to hand John his meds now with a drink of water. My problem is that he has started chewing instead of swallowing. I don't think thet's a problem with tablets, (though I can't imagine they taste good!), but he has a delayed-release capsule at night, and I don't think chewing them is a good idea. But I can't stop him.

    He doesn't have problems swallowing normally, he eats well. It's just a new habit he's got into.
     
  13. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #13 Margarita, May 21, 2007
    Last edited: May 21, 2007
    A neurodegenerative disease , Sorry if I sound to clinical about it
     
  14. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,863
    Kent
    Hi Hazel,

    Dhiren was prescribed calcium tablets for his osteoporosis. The GP said they had to be chewed, not swallowed. Dhiren wouldn`t chew them, he didn`t like them, so he broke them up and swallowed them in bits.

    I wrote to the GP and he changed the prescription to a calcium drink.

    Do you think there is a chance John`s medication might come in a different form.

    Love xx
     
  15. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    Hazel, whilst Lionel is not on many medications now (only two I think), they have managed to change both of those to liquids. They put them in his fruit juice when he refuses to take them from a spoon.

    Incidently they told me that most, although not all meds, come in patch form these days. (All news to me). Just thought it might help to discuss this with John's doctor. Love,
     
  16. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Thanks Sylvia and Connie. I don't think liquid would be appropriate, as I can't see how they can do delayed-release in a liquid. The patch is a possibility, though. I'll see what the doc says.

    Love,
     
  17. PatH

    PatH Registered User

    Feb 14, 2005
    301
    N.Ireland
    Just a qiuck look in. I'm wondering have you tried putting medication in a spoonful of yogurt or ice cream. have to say it worked well for me.
    Like connie my husband is now on very little medication . Only asprin and statins as well as bowel meds. Alldrugs ,which were many, in relation to his AD and related symptons are now stopped.
    Pat
     
  18. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Thanks, Pat. I'll try that.

    Love,
     
  19. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    1,213
    south lanarkshire
    Hi

    With Mum we had to give pills one at a time. ie. Is your head sore? Yes, was always the answer. Well this will help What about your sore back? etc. While all the time introducing subjects (Her Mum or her Dad) to distract her and she would put the pills in her mouth without thinking
    On the other hand Dad would take his meds without problem, as long as he was told to put them in his mouth. Otherwise he played with them or they ended up in his pocket. He is also chewing, rather than swallowing, must taste horrible.

    Sorry don't know anything about time release pills.

    Alfjess
     
  20. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    Chewing time release/extended release meds can be a very bad idea. In effect , at the very least, he's getting a double dose of meds at one time. Depending on the med, he might be better with an older form of the drug (many of these extended release formulations were designed to take the place of 2 or more doses, and coincidentally extend the drug companies patent (hollow laughter)). Some though will have a coating designed to ensure that the drug doesn't dissolve before it hits the stomach, and that's often because of the damage they can do to the esophagus: asprin for example, although not strickly time release can be better for you if they have an enteric coating which stops them potentially sticking elsewhere and casuing a bleed.

    So Hazel, if you can't stop him chewing these tablets, the GP is going to HAVE to find another form of delivery.

    Love

    Jennifer
    (I hope this all made sense: I'm still well and truly anaethetised)
     

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