1. Laylabud

    Laylabud Registered User

    Sep 7, 2007
    111
    Kent
    Hi to everyone.

    My Mum who is in a nursing home and has been for 4.1/2 years is going through a stage on being sleepy most of the time and not eating very much either. It started about 2.1/2 months ago i first noticed the change in her during my regular visits.
    Her sleeping tablets were stopped several months ago along with most of the residents because of the side affects through long term use and at first i didn't notice any changes at all. But more recently she has been asleep during the day and at times awake at night, with this information i asked for her to go back on the sleeping pills as and when required, this is about her 4th week. As time goes on she is still sleepy during the day and not eating very much because of it and hence starting to lose the weight. I met with the dietician who has now out her on fortified drinks which she has with no problems, she just will not open her mouth for food when she is awake. Do you think that maybe she is starting to give up and is in the last stages of the illness.
    She has been checked for UTI's and chest infections etc but all is ok there.
    I am very worried as you can imagine and don't know if it was the right thing to do about the sleeping pills. Any advice will help.
    Thanks
     
  2. FifiMo

    FifiMo Registered User

    Feb 10, 2010
    4,710
    Wiltshire
    Hiya Laylabud,

    If it was me, I would ask for a Speech and Linguistic Therapist to visit your mum because they have all sorts of tips about how to get people to eat. They can also check things like swallowing to make sure the problem doesn't lie there. Have you checked her mouth? When my mother wasn't eating or drinking we found that she had oral thrush and because no one had noticed it had gone down her throat too. Has her gums shrunk too perhaps - are her dentures rubbing and causing sores on the gums? This could be why she is ok drinking because it will cool her mouth and throat but refusing food because it is painful for her.

    Another thing I would ask just out of curiosity is how many of the fortified drinks is she having a day. They are extremely high in calories and if she is having a few of them then perhaps she is just not hungry. This doesn't explain the not eating that was happening before does it?

    If she is more responsive to drinks then lots of calories can be disguised in them. She could have ice cream and whiz it up with a banana in. You can add a little milk (or cream has more calories) to yoghurt or custard to make it into a drink. Maybe trying something like this could be the route back to getting her eating again by gradually stopping thinning things so much over time.

    How is your mum's communication? Could you do the "if you could have anything in the world to eat right now what would you have" game and keep it lighthearted? The thing that got my mother to respond was when I used to tell her I had brought her in her favourite things and that we were going to have a sneaky picnic. She seemed to respond to thinks that she wasn't supposed to do.

    Anyway, just a few suggestions from me. It is so difficult when someone has problems eating but all we can do is just trying to find that little morsel that they will enjoy.

    As always, just my views based on my own experiences...


    Fiona
     
  3. Pheath

    Pheath Registered User

    Dec 31, 2009
    1,096
    UK
    Am sorry you're going through such a worrying time at present. Wish I could offer some helpful advice and do hope if her sleeping problem is sorted out this might be key to her generally feeling better. I wonder whether the home should have stopped her sleeping pills in the first instance, I wasn't aware of any long-term side effects other than dependence usually. We always try to take dad for walks most days to ensure he exercises and is sufficiently tired by the evening, realise it's not always so easy if someone isn't mobile. He also takes a pill (Zopiclone) each night to ensure he sleeps through. There have been many posts here about eating problems and strategies around this, if you're able to do a search otherwise hopefully others will come by with further advice. Wishing you all the very best.
     
  4. Laylabud

    Laylabud Registered User

    Sep 7, 2007
    111
    Kent
    Thank you for the comments, i must admit i hadn't thought of thrush that could be a problem thank you for pointing that out, i take you you would have to ask the GP for a Speech and Linguistic Therapist or would the home sort that out?
    I have just got home after another visit and she is a little more with it tonight and i have managed to get something into her, mainly sweet stuff but then she has always had a very sweet tooth :) The unit manager informed me that she had a goodnight sleep last night without having a pill and he fed her lunch time and got everything down her albeit a slow process, tomorrow is another day. I will look into this a bit further so thank you.
     
  5. Laylabud

    Laylabud Registered User

    Sep 7, 2007
    111
    Kent
    Hi Guys

    Just an update on Mum's condition, she has improved ever so slightly she has some good days and some not so good. I have been to see her tonight after work and she has eaten everything, she is still losing a bit of weight but is under review with the dietician , she was a little sleepy as well. I am just taking one small step at a time that is all i can do apart from being there as much as i can and being her voice as and when i can. It is so difficult when you work full time i just want to win the the lotto, pack up work and spend as much time as i can with her and get her home to care for her myself. She has a pressure sore now :(as well on top of everything else, the home are doing all they can to get it healed as quickly as possible.
    This illness is so hard to witness at times, i just wish they could find a cure so i can have my lovely mum back to how she was:(
     

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