Refusing food and drink

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by hannahb, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. hannahb

    hannahb Registered User

    Mar 1, 2007
    2
    Northumberland
    My granddad is 87 and has suffered from dementia/Alzheimer's for more than seven years. His condition has got steadily worse and he has been in a care home for the last three years.

    Last week he was taken into hospital after collapsing at his home. It was found that he had become dehydrated and constipated after he stopped drinking/eating enough.

    Since being in hospital he has been on an IV drip, although because he kept pulling it out, he is not any more. The staff have been giving him water from a cup with a spout and he has eaten some soft food.

    We would be very grateful if anyone who has had a similar experience with a relative could let us know what happened to them. Do people with Alzheimer's start eating or drinking again once they have reached this stage, or is this the end? If so, how long might we expect him to suffer potentially? Is there anything we can do?

    Is it worth insisting that he is placed back on a drip, despite the fact it was giving him some discomfort?

    Many thanks and best wishes to everyone.
     
  2. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Hannah

    Welcome to TP.

    You must be so worried about your granddad. But it's good news that he is able to eat and drink again.

    I agree with Nada, I think you should speak to the charge nurse and ask if he is getting sufficient hydration without the drip. Drips are often used when they need to get other medication, e.g. antibiotics, into the patient. Perhaps your granddad doesn't need anything at the moment. But it doesn't do any harm to ask. At least they will know you're concerned.

    I hope all goes well with your granddad.

    Love,
     
  3. hannahb

    hannahb Registered User

    Mar 1, 2007
    2
    Northumberland
    #3 hannahb, Mar 2, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2007
    Thank you Nada and Hazel. There has been a big improvement in the last couple of days and the staff are expecting Grandad to be fit enough to go back to his care home on Monday.

    Yesterday evening I helped him drink juice from a beaker and today when I visited he managed chocolate and grapes. He seemed so hungry and thirsty, but it was still difficult for him to manage. The nurses were able to get him dressed and into his chair for a while too.

    But he is not now able to feed himself properly, as he cannot seem to find his mouth with the food or cup. I had a long chat with his named nurse and she says that the care home will be given instructions that he is to be given full assistance at mealtimes so he does not become dehydrated again.

    Now we are just hoping that the staff back at the home can take time to sit with him at mealtimes and help him eat and drink enough.

    We want to have him back home but feel it would not be fair to him because of stairs and the level of care he now needs.

    Thank you again for your messages and the best with your loved-ones. It is great to see so much support on this forum.
     
  4. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Hannah

    Great news about your granddad. I think you're wise not to have him home, he's obviously going to nee a great deal of care and supervision if he can't eat or drink himself.

    I would suggest that you speak to the manager of the care home yourself, and make sure it is put on his notes that he needs help. Also monitor the situation for a while to make sure this is happening. I'm sure the staff will not deliberately neglect him, but it may take a while for everyone to get the message.

    Thank you for letting us know. Keep in touch.
     

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