Re: Dementia and when the end is close..
Thank you so much for your posting. I am new to this but found this website last month. My mother has been in a nursing home for 3 l/2 years. She fell 4 l/2 years ago, had a slight stroke, cracked 3 ribs, and broke her hip. My sister and I cared for her for a year sharing her a month at a time. She also lost the muscle ability to urinate and it was backing up into her kidneys therefore she was permanently catherized. We have seen periods of decline, periods of stabilization, etc. She recently was hospitalized after a respiratory infection went through the NH. Mom was the only one that did not bounce back. After 4-5 rounds of antibiotics she has slipped into the sleeping and hard to wake stage. She was on an appetitle enhancer that worked very well. My sister and I would leave her on it for a while and then take her off for a few weeks until the appetite dropped and repeat but the NH left her on too long and she developed some bad side effects the alternative did not work. So she rarely eats solids and has been refusing ensure and most fluids. Her stomach seemed very upset after all the antibiotics and the Dr. put her on an Acid Reducer but we were not notified. Her stomach has continued to get worse and she is complaining of some pain, breath smells sour, and rubs her tummy. I just found out about the new medication and looked up the side affects which include flu like systems, nausea, and abdominal pain. It is so hard trying to second guess symptoms when they cannot tell you or explain how they feel anymore. I have requested the med. discontinued and hope that this at least helps her pain. I know her appetite most likely will not increase but it is very hard watching her in pain. She has swelling in her legs & feet from being bed bound so long and recently her legs began to weep or seep fluid much like tears. They are giving her something for fluid but it is risky for her kidneys. It has been about 6 weeks since this began and I pray that she does not suffer for a long period of time. We have gone through the infections, halucinations, previously I spent 2 nights by her bed at the home giving water to the little boy she was imaging at the end of her bed only to go home and cry myself to sleep. It is very difficult to watch such a strong and independent woman become a shell of the person she was. But then, she will look at me with those kind eyes and smile and I can still she my mother, so it is hard. The Dr. indicated about 2 months ago he believes we are looking at less than a year and that Dementia is like waves. The peaks will continue to get lower and the valleys as well until the end. I think that is one of the hardes things, the peaks give you hope of improvement and then the lows dash that hope only for it to repeat all over again.
My great grandmother, grandmother, aunt, mother, and an uncle have all had this in their 80's. I pray for a breakthrough.