My mom is suffering from advanced dementia and she is a sweet, loving person. My heart is broken as I have been close to her my whole life.

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For the past approx. 2 weeks she has been nauseous and not feeling very well. The past few times we took her out for drs. appts., etc. she has vomited when we returned home. We have some stairs to go up as we live in split level home and she has to have much assistance getting up the stairs and it seems like after getting up the stairs she is more nauseous and then has to vomit. We have looked into getting a stairlift and were seriously considering this but the physical therapist who has recently been coming over since mom was in the hospital for 3 nights in March after having a TIA. Usually vna comes over after a hospital stay. Physical therapist thought her climbing the stairs would be good exercise and seemed to not think a chair lift would be the answer. But lately mom is nauseous even when staying home and not going out. We just took her to a hospital yesterday to get her checked out and were there for quite a long time as we had to wait and then they did some blood work and a cat scan. Well, everything was normal. Past 2 weeks have taken her to her drs. to be examined and found a UTI but was treated for this with antibiotics and now off of them. All other blood work normal. Mom seems to have no will to do anything much now and only wants to lay down most all of the time. Her appetite is rapidly decreasing. I am afraid this may be the start to the end. She is 89 and will be 90 this year if she makes it to that. Does anyone know if these symtons sound anything like her last days? I am so sad over this whole thing but at the same time can't stand to see her suffering. She hates to take her meds but has usually been cooperating and taking them. It's so sad to see this once full of so much life person just laying on the couch and sleeping so much as we try to keep her awake so she will be able to get a good night's sleep. Any suggestions on how to make her life somewhat better and if anyone knows is this could be the start of the end? I'm sick of this whole thing and very very sad. Thanks to all.

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Talked to the Dr. about what care you receive before hospice. Told her the visiting nurse wanted to know where dr. thought my mom was in the stages of her dementia. Dr. didn't give us any answers but said she would get in touch with the vn to see what else they can get for care. Haven't heard anything yet. Thanks
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Karyll, do you have a "nurse line" from mom's insurance that you can call?

Can you call the doctor who prescribed the laxative?

Have you talked to her primary care physician about Palliative care or hospice?
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I don't know if she could have any intestinal blockage. Does anyone know how to find out and what this could make her act like? Took her for a stomach x-ray and she was a little filled up so Dr. prescribed a laxative in liquid form and it seemed to help a couple of days but didn't do anything after that. Was only prescribed for 4 days. She hasn't gone to bathroom for that for a couple of days so don't know if should consult the dr. Her appetite hasn't been too huge but she is eating kind of regular meals. Thanks to all
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I hate to vomit and I can understand that if you vomit every time you do much of anything you would not want to do anything! Is she a Type 2 diabetic? Does she regularly check her blood sugar? Does there seem to be any link between her throwing up and eating? I'm wondering if she might have some kind of intestinal blockage. In reading about Metformin, it says it can cause vomiting in the elderly. I'd ask if mom absolutely has to be on that medication. What would happen if she quit it? My dad had Metformin prescribed for his borderline diabetes. He took it for a short time and then basically said, "Nope, not taking it." He lived until he was 92 and did very well up until the last couple of months of his life. He had lung cancer at the end. I think sometimes in the elderly the negatives from medications can outweigh the positives.

It's very hard to accept that our parents are winding down. At her age, I'd tend to let her do what she wanted to do once you've checked out all possible causes other than just her body winding down.
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Just went to drs. again today. Dr. said metformin can cause nausea and wants her to take 500 mg 2 times/day at different times. She is diabetic.
She hates old age and always took such good care of herself. I was told years ago that she is a very smart woman and is suffering from depression. She seems to hate to get out of her bed in the late morning. Once in the bathroom she only wants to get back in bed. We don't want her spending all of her time in the bed so we try to let her stay on the couch in the living room and put the tv on for her so she will still be in with us during the day. She only wants to keep lying down most of the time when home. She doesn't have as much of an appetite when at the table lately but if she is lying on the couch and asked if she wants something to eat most of the time she will want something if she can eat it on the couch. Don't know if she is suffering from depression. Recently she was put back on her anti-depressant and hoping she will be feeling better. Again have to realize she is 89 and soon will be 90, so she doesn't have all of the energy she had when much younger. She did vomit again today before going to the drs. and this was when I had to take her from the couch to help get her ready. She hated for me to uncover her and she hated to get up. She only wanted to rest on the couch. I don't know if this is something emotional (her vomiting) as she hates to get up. But I had to get her ready for her drs. appt.
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Is your mother taking Fentanyl, or any other opioid?

If so, it can cause he symptoms you describe.

Also, can you have her checked for an ulcer or bowel issues?
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I'm so sorry, Karyll. Both that your mother is feeling so ill and that you're going through this. I hope there will be helpful answers very soon.
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Thanks for the comments. Mom was seen at the ER and was given IV in case of dehydration. As soon as we returned home she vomited. She does have a reg. dr. who has been following things as also with her the blood work was all normal and nothing to look for except she said to take her to an eye dr. as my mom complained about her eyes hurting. Took her to an eye dr. and again, everything normal. She hates to get up every day even though we talk throughout the morning and let her stay in bed for quite a while so she gets up in the later part of the morning. Today as soon as she sat on the toilet, she had to vomit. She didn't do anything strenuous as had been resting and sleeping in bed. Her dr. put her back on her antidepressant and we are waiting to see if any improvement with this. Have an appt. with her reg. dr. for next week to follow up. Just so sad to see her when she isn't feeling well. I cried today as I sat in the living room with her. Doesn't seem like too much more that can be checked. The eye dr. said only one more thing he could think of and it was some kind of blood work we will take to the reg. dr. next week as the one at the ER didn't want to do it as he didn't know what for. Thanks to all.
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Karyll, time to see what is causing the nausea, it could be that your Mom is dizzy and that is why she is lying down so much. Have her doctor try some motion sickness pills, such as Anti-vert, that helped my Mom with the unsteadiness. Also Spring pollen doesn't help.

Or it could be like Barb mentioned above, being dehydrated. That has happened to me couple of times.

Oh, regarding a chairlift, it is best to find a place where Mom can test drive the chairlift to see if she likes it. Nothing worse then installing one and Mom is scared silly of it.
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Karyll, you have many hugs and much understanding from me. I am an only child and in our little family, Mom was The Boss. She did it ALL. Dad came home on Fridays, handed her his paycheck and she took it from there. When she hit 85, I started to see some “differences” in her behavior, but she was still able to care for herself. I always counted on her to be the “maker of sense” in my life even after I became a grandma! It was a UTI that finally brought her down. We had to place her in skilled nursing because I also care for my disabled, bedridden husband.

Once there, but not because of being there, she went down hill rapidly. She had no real physical symptoms, but her mind was gone. It was so hard for me to visit and listen to the outlandish things she spewed. She also became combative; this lady who would catch houseflies and release them outside.

I had to develop a talent for putting my shock and horror, and yes fear and sadness too, into a locked box in my mind, at least until I got in the car and could bawl my eyes out in the parking lot. Is there any way to fix a place for Mom downstairs so she doesn’t have to go upstairs? My husband’s hospital bed is smack in the middle of our family room. Have they given her anything for the vomiting? Is it truly sick type vomiting or just “overflow” if she’s just had something to drink? I do know there are certain antibiotics that can make one feel like total c**p. I might also check to see if you can get her doctor to make house calls, or find one that will and work in conjunction with her doctor. Even home health care sends out an RN who reports to the doctor.

Sending you peace and blessings. Come back often and let us know how you’re doing.
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