Mom seems to sometimes forget she has food in her mouth for a long time and will start to choke and cough. Its only happened a few times, but is this the next step in Alzheimer's disease?

My Mom now needs Thick-IT in her drinks. I tried several times to make sure but, she does chok without it so we use 1 T in each drink. She seems to sometimes forget she has food in her mouth for a long time and will start to choke/cough. Its only happened a few times but is this the next step on the disease? I am moving onto soft foods now, what next. so sad. Anyone been thru this? WE still have great laughs even thou she hardly knows or can see who I am. Her walking is unsteady now and cant walk alone, we hold her hands. This is farily new also. Is it lack of walking enough or just the disease build up in her brain? Any ideas, thanks.

Answers 1 to 6 of 6
It sounds to me like a progression in the disease. I haved taken care of many people who were like you described. God bless you for taking such good care of her. You are a wonderful person:)
The same as the girl above I have been take care of elderly as well. So, make the consistency pf the thickner is nectar like. Also, she may get to the point where you need to puree the food in the blender. Make sure is very creamy like. small bites and later on ice chips in the food.
Sometimes they have UTI, pneumonia due to food, fluids going to their lungs and affects their behavior. Most of the time they don't run temperature, maybe sleeping little more than usual. You can check with her doctor to run some lab tests.
Every time you feed her she needs to be in 90 degrees and don't rush her. At one point meal times go 1hr or more.
She has a walker? May help her. It is one with 4 wheels and seat. She will feel better about herself when she could walk on her own instead of you holding her hands.
My mom had the same thing. Everything was thickened; even water. The facility where she eventually lived (until she died) had an amazing cook who would puree, then re-form, her food. Her meatloaf LOOKED like meatloaf, but was pureed. Everything tasted so good. There is still pleasure even when it comes to this. I wish you well - this is probably the hardest thing you've gone through. Just love your mom; it's what means the most to her.
Hi, my mom has been on the ticket for about two weeks. I haven't been pureeing her food yet, but making sure she takes one bite and swallows it before going on to the next (usually). It's hard to make the switch and, as lovmomsaid, really sad. I also hold her hands to walk or she will fall backwards. And she sleeps a lot more. Some times I end up feeding her, like with yogurt, spoon by spoon, or she will just "play with the food". The nurse advised me not to try to force her to eat or drink, just offer it and if she is hungry or thirsty she will have it. She seems to be more with it at the evening meal and she can chew better, but morning is harder. I'm about to make scrambled eggs. wish I had pancake mix, I'd make that.
My mother had lost so much weight, that her doctor ordered her to have a feeding tube, first the nasal one, then one permanently installed. She did not suffer. It was the best thing for her. She gained weight back. She was on a feeding tube for 1 1/2 yrs.
Thank you all for writing. MY Mom had a walker before but pushed it out of the way, not knowing what it was so I am not sure if she could use one, I will try again, thanks. I guess I have to learn puree. She ate a soft grilled cheeze sandwich and a pnut butter and jelly one for me, I definately use thick it in all her drinks now. I will make she she is always upright too, thanks. Mom is on amox daily to prevent UTI's because she used to test negative but amox always stopped her symptoms.
My Mom has a living will and she wants no feeding tubes ever so thats not going to be an option, I dont know what will happen but she loves the Ensures and ice creams so I think we will be ok as long as she eats soft things. I notice she doesnt get out of bed anymore about a month ago, unless I go in to get her, now I miss her gettting up when it used to drive me crazy at night, lol. Oh poor Mom, we still get lots of daily laughs in thou, its not all doom and gloom. Thanks to all of you so much, write anytime, love ideas and suggestions and to know I am not alone in this battle. PS what really scared me is reading that "Stress" article this site just sent out saying we caregivers have a 63% higher chance of a heart attack than others ! I heard 70% one time at an Alz group meeting but I didnt believe it, is this right, we die before our siblings that do nothing? lol just a thought...

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