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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board
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Old 03-14-2009, 04:39 PM   #1
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Need some of your advise...please!

Hi! Haven't been on here for 5 months as my mom was doing wonderful (or as wonderful as possible w/ this terrible disease). She had fractured her left hip and then just after coming out of rehab, fell and complained of pain and fractured her pelvis. She didn't have to return to rehab, but could heal the pelvis at home. She gained 15 lbs., was going out to eat every night, was happy for the past 5 months, going to day care 3 days a week and my dad and I were getting to feel almost sane.

Two weeks ago, My mom came down with a cold. Then she fell at the house. Her perception seemed off and went to move from a chair to the couch and just sat down in the middle of the move and rolled onto the floor and banged her head on the tv stand. Six hours in the ER and they sent her home. They said she was fine....no complications except for a bruise. Amen. Since then, she will not take her swallow her medication, but has gotten in this new habit of biting each pill. She takes about 20 pills. (She has many medical problems besides Alz). Question one.....any idea besides crushing the pills in applesauce because some of the capsules should not be crushed and also, she just eats the applesauce and then bites the pills.
Second question, now when she changes from rug to tile or has to go over a slight molding on the floor, she just "collapses her legs and goes to sit". She can walk (with assistance by us holding her arm), but when she just goes into this sitting mood it really puts a strain on us and it becomes very dangerous to her (and us also). Any ideas? My dad is even afraid now to take her out (which they used to go out every night and she still asks to go) because she pulls this sitting thing and it is scary.

Thanks for listening and if anyone has ideas or gone thru this....we are up for any suggestions. A walker or cane is out since she can not comprehend how to get it to work. Thanks again.

 
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:08 PM   #2
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Re: Need some of your advise...please!

I wish I had answers for you, some medications come in liquid form, you could check and see if any of hers are available in liquid? Her or your pharmacist should be well informed and perhaps give you some ideas on what can be done to make the medicine go down easier.

How about hiding the medicine in meat or cheese or are those things too solid for her? I hope your mom has a speedy recovery.

 
Old 03-14-2009, 09:02 PM   #3
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Re: Need some of your advise...please!

If your mother is falling (suddenly sitting down) that regularly, the only answer might be a wheel chair. I know she won't like it, but maybe only temporarily until she can walk again without this phenomenon? You may have to get her knees x-rayed. Sometimes the knee muscles just suddenly give way and the person is on the floor. Outside of another person jumping up and helping her everywhere she has to go, I can't think of another solution except the wheelchair... and that of course also involves another person all day long. Maybe she needs full time care at this point? I'm happy for you that things went well for almost half a year .. and sorry that it's going downhill again. Speak to her doctor and tell him or her exactly what is happening...

Love,
Martha

 
Old 03-14-2009, 09:05 PM   #4
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Re: Need some of your advise...please!

If she would agree to a wheelchair, then you and your father may still be able to get her out to do what she enjoys. I agree with Martha, speak to her doctor to find out why this is happening.

Last edited by dorri; 03-14-2009 at 09:06 PM.

 
Old 03-14-2009, 10:25 PM   #5
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Re: Need some of your advise...please!

Some dementia patients do not deal with changes in the floor. Rugs, threshholds, and other color changes confuse them. But I would definitely check with the doctor on this change in behavior, because it could be a medical condition such as a knee problem or a problem with her hip since you said she has had hip surgery and fractures. Something from the waist down could just be collapsing on her. Until then a wheel chair might be your best option to keep her safe. At least then you could continue to take her out.

As for the meds, you are right that some should not be crushed. Some are time released or coated and you don't want to crush those. Yes, when you put a whole pill in apple sauce or pudding they will find that pill and chew it or spit it out. I would check with my pharmacist for another form of the meds that could not be crushed. Some meds come in injectibles, patches, or liquid form that is much easier to give than pills. you could also discuss this with her physician to find alternative that she can take.

I am glad that things have been going so well and sorry for the sudden turn of events for your Mom. I do hope you find solutions to these two problems. Hope they are only temporary but we all know there is a slow progression downwards. Check with your pharmacist and doctor and see what they say.

Love, deb

 
Old 03-15-2009, 01:24 PM   #6
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Re: Need some of your advise...please!

Thanks for all your suggestions. I was down there today and her walking seemed a bit better, but we are still not comfortable, so we have put her physical therapy belt around her so we can hold onto that to give us stability when she starts to sit (which she didn't do the whole time I was there this morning). I believe the wheel chair has to be the option out in public...at least for a while.
Re. the pills, I never gave it a thought that some of the pills may come in liquid form. Hmmm...that would certainly help. She is still eating solid food cut in small pieces, but I think she would just work the pill out of that and bite into it. Today she was complaining that her tongue was burning after she took her pills. No Kidding...what does she think after she bites into all those powerful meds. It makes me sick just to watch her do that. We will call the dr. tomorrow and see what she can suggest. Great idea. Thanks.

 
Old 03-15-2009, 05:23 PM   #7
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Re: Need some of your advise...please!

The gait (PT) belt is a good idea. you might want to talk to her physical therapist about techniques for using it. There are a few tricks of the trade that make it a lot easier such as always grab it from the bottom up with the palm of your hand up. Makes it easier to hang on if they go down.

Love, deb

 
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