My sister thinks the specialist wrote in his report..dementia vs vascular arteriosclerotic dementia. It was hard to make out his writing. I'm not sure what he means by the vs? Whether this is his final report or if he still investigating I need to find out more from my sister. Which one does she have, or is it both?
Mom is still in the hospital. She's not eating or drinking as she should be, that is a concern to us because she ends up dehydrated and her sodium/pottasium levels end up out of balance. We don't know when they plan on releasing her but mom will need round the clock care when she gets out, she's too confused and forgetful to be left on her own. Mom can still go to the washroom and feed herself if she wanted, problem is, she doesn't want to, a nurse had to feed her yesterday because she wouldn't eat.
Vascular Dementia is not always caused by strokes. It can be caused by blocked blood flow or ischemic attacks that don't show up as strokes. Dad has never had a stroke but he does have Vascular Dementia. "vs" means versus. It means that he is unsure which it is. It could be one or the other or a combination of both.
I seriously doubt that Mom just doesn't want to feed herself. Even if she can do it one day she might not be able to accomplish the task the next. If she didn't "want" to eat she wouldn't eat when somebody else fed her either. I have watched Dad not be able to pick up a glass and figure out how to drink from it. I have seen him refuse to try but I am sure it was because he didn't know how. Then I hae seen him pick it up and drink. Yes, sometimes it seems to us that they are being stubborn but they don't have the cognitive ability to intentionally decide not to do something just because they don't want to. The disease has taken control of what we consider free will.
I agree with your assessment of what Mom needs when she is released. You should be looking for the necessary placement when she is released. Neither you nor your sister will be able to handle all of her needs.
I will keep you, your sister, and your Mom in my thoughts and prayers that you find a solution to this complex problem and the answer you want.
When we down to visit mom, I noticed that mom and her roommate both grab for the desert on the tray first. I think they do this because it is the first thing they could see on the tray. The actual dinner has a lid on it to keep it warm. They may not be processing that there is food under that lid. I think desserts should be held behind until they can eat their meal first. Too, I notice the both of them would not lift the lid off the meal plate by themselves. To us it appeared mom had no appetite and couldn't be bothered to eat. When we would try to coax her she then would have a few bites. I don't believe that someone is around everymeal to assist her so her tray probably goes back without being touched.
My sister works and can't be there for all her meals so this is a difficult situation.
I am not surprised she won't life the lid. To her it is just a silver disk. The food is hidden and in her mind it is not there. As for the desserts, I am not sure if other's have had this experience but Mom and Dad both developed a major sweet tooth when dementia set in. Dad is hooked on pepperment candy and ice cream and Mom is a chocoholic. If given a choice between a sandwich and a piece of pie, both will grab the piece of pie first. When Mom was at home she used to say that you shouldn't save the best for when you were full. She would eat her Key Lime pie (her favorite) before her meal. Then have another piece after she ate.
In the AL they do use covers but they are clear plastic so you can see through them. Not only that they remove the lids for the resident when they set down the meal. They don't bring out dessert until AFTER the meal is eaten. This seems to eliminate the problem you are talking about.
From what you say I do believe that your mom needs meal assistance. This is something the hospital should provide and something you need to insist upon. They should be recording her meal intake, especially with her sodium potassium imbalance. There is no way they should take a full tray back to the kitchen without at least attempting to get her to eat something... whether you or your sister are there are not. It is their responsibility, not yours, to feed your mom while she is there. It may be that your Mom has just lost the desire/ability to eat but that doesn't mean she should not be offered food in a way that she could eat it if she would... even if that mean trying to feed her.
Keep us up to date on her progress and know we are holding on to the other end of the towels
I'm so sorry your having these problems with your Mom. I'm sure its terrible to wonder if she is hungry and no one is helping her eat. Thats just wrong and cruel. The hospital is responsible for assisting her with her meals. Have you spoke to anyone on staff about your concerns? My friends Grandmother had this same experience at a local hospital and her family had no idea she wasn't being fed until they watched an aide taking her meal out and she hadn't touched it. Long story short.........she was hungry but couldn't speak. It had only been one day thank goodness. Good luck and please let us know how you both are doing.
I have noticed at Moms AL facility when someone picks at their food they will always eat the desert. Its not brought out until after the meal is eaten but this doesn't always work. Some of the ladies, including Mom, will ask at the beginning of the meal "Whats for desert"? Some will push back their meal right then and say "I'll wait for desert I don't have room for everything". The kitchen staff will sometimes say they are not sure because if they tell them they are serving pie or cake its all over. Mom gets so aggravated and everyone complains when they are served FRUIT!! Its funny everyone rolls their eyes and says "Who wants fruit? We want desert! I had to laugh one time when Mom said "I'm 82 years old and I have little to look forward to so I really enjoy something sweet. I don't think thats too much to ask? Do you Sis"? I told her fruit was good for her and she answered "I'm 82 how healthy can I be"? She had me laughing so hard that she forgot about the FRUIT!
You have a point Mom............Sorry but the peaches look good!
LOL, she has a good point..if she made it to 82 she should get dessert, lots of it...BUT EAT YOUR VEGETABLES FIRST MOM. My mom hates fruit and always has, especially bananas. She hates vegetables as well, the child is coming out in her.
She has been drinking a peach drink and she seems to love that.
It's confirmed now, mom has officially been diagnosed with dementia. The doctor may put her on a drug to treat it but my sis was told that it may not help if the dementia is too progressed.
I wonder if the Nursing Homes around here hold the dessert until after the meal and whether they have clear lids on the plates as you mention Deb? Maybe the hospitals do things differently?
I'm sorry about your Mom Dorri but at least you have an answer now. Mom didn't do very well on Aricept so we discontinued that drug. She has done well on zyprexa and she has been taking it for about 3 years. She was hallucinating and her cognitive abilities were really going down hill fast. It also helped with her anxiety and insomnia. What ever they try I sure hope it helps her and in turn you will feel better about her care.
Your in my thoughts dorri and my prayers. I have a long list these days.
Chris, I'm happy that your mom is doing well on zyprexia, I think even a little bit of help is better than no help at all.
Mom hasn't done well on any of the anti depressants prescribed. They just make her more confused. The heart problems she has doesn't help any. She has spells of unconsciousness and they can't put their finger on why she is having these spells?