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My mother is in the advanced stage of alzheimers. She has recently developed a cough for no reason. Check x-ray reveals the lungs are clear, no runny nose, no fever, no allergies ever. They put her on some acid reflux medicine because they thought she might be having some problem with acid reflux, but she still has the cough. Could she be aspirating a little after eating? Could this be as simple as a new habit?

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Often, the elderly will hold food and drink in their mouth and "forget" to swallow. It's a good idea to make sure they have swallowed a bite before giving them another one to avoid choking.
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My mother has trouble swallowing at age 103. She has swallow therapy.
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You might consider getting a "swallow study" done. This will help determine what the problem is. It may be as simple as needing to add a thickening agent to liquids. It is not uncommon for elderly people to have trouble swallowing thin liquids and they may do better with something that has been thickened a bit.
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Hi, i just happened to talk to a social worker on Sun, June 15th, she told me to watch & see if my 92 yr mother coughs after drinking WATER, she said it's because the water is not THICK enough, therefore the throat muscles don't automatically contract to push the water down her throat as they do when eating solid food. She said you can buy an additive to put in the water to make it thicker so the throat muscles work properly! Hope this helps :o)
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Keeping her hydrated and off dairy should help.
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Make sure it is not signs of a small TIA. Mom stared the cough and ended up with a stroke. Have a neurologist check for sure. Just watch for things like sudden drooling and any weakness. Look for changes?
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keep her hydrated to thin mucus. consider warm tea (lemon zinger is very good). Let her doctor know about the cough.
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Not sure 'nothing to do with milk' is a good answer. My husband also started to cough. I stopped the dairy products, and the cough stopped. Like anything in life, try ANYthing, and go from there. And milk also makes me cough, gives me a thick-coating-feeling in my throat.
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Yes to all the comments above... and sometimes they just develop quirky little things as time passes.... just as their brain gets in a thought loop, so do certain behaviors..... I once worked for a lady that when she got anxious she would scratch her face.... sometimes until it bled..... I could not get the family to take her to the dr to adjust her anxiety meds...... so she suffered.... needlessly in my opinion....but they also start to have swallowing difficulties as others have shared.... let us know what you find out...
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My grandmother's problem with swallowing and her spitting, she would do it anywhere. Her walker was so gross that it was discarded when she passed.
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My mom too has a chronic cough, constantly spitting into whatever is handy. GROSS! It is caused by her difficulty swallowing. The end of the day is worse. She has trouble on occasion swallowing pills and dinner. I have gone to foods that are easier to swallow. The danger could be getting food particles into the lungs and potentially causing pneumonia.
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Nothing to do with milk. Most people in last Alzheimer's stages can have an anxiety which bring rigid muscles. Yes, it can bring spasm in the throat which leads to problems to swallow and coughing (for no reason!)
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At the end stage the patient will cough and it's usually a sign they are no longer swallowing their saliva properly. I hope you have Hospice to help you.
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