Does anyone know anything about pneumonia?

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Ok so some of you might know I care for my 87 year old grandma. She lives with me and I'm her sole caregiver (along with a helper who comes 3 hours a day to give me a break). She was diagnosed with viral pneumonia and congestive heart failure a few weeks ago. Does anyone know anything about pneumonia? I know ask your doctor but I have and its always so vague. Just claim tiredness and needing of liquids and rest. The doctor also told me the congestive heart failure was normal aging process and that it's mostly reverseable or at least treatable so she wouldn't have any symptoms at this time. Now I'm dealing with a severe dementia grandma who is walking, talking and quite fiesty at times. She is also quite strong but lately so tired. I'm talking very tired and falling asleep all day long. I expect that with pneumonia. The real problem comes in with food. She's holding food in her mouth and falling asleep. She's forgetting to swallow. i remind her to swallow and she doesn't do anything. Sometimes she nods but doesn't swallow. I have tried massaging her throat like you do in dogs. I have tried tipping back her head slightly but sometimes that makes her angry. I have tried massaging her cheeks, holding her hand, reminding her, faking a bit or a drink. Is there anything I'm missing to help? Can a person get so tired they forget to swallow when they eat and seem not to be able to until they choke? Can a person get so tired they refuse food? Is there anything I can do to help because she's a diabetic and I can't just not have her eating or she'd die from low sugar. Any advice on this issue I'd love to hear.

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I would call her doctor and describe her swallowing problems. My first thought was final stages of dementia as well, but it's possible that she needs a swallow study.

Sometimes folks have "silent" strokes that go unnoticed except for something "small" like swallowing. happened to my FIL, who was in renal failure years ago. He was in the hospital, and kept telling people "I can't eat". People brought all sorts of tempting stuff; he just kept repeating "I can't eat".

Finally, a speech therapist checked him out; he'd lost his ability to swallow; it was the speech therapist who diagnosed the stroke.
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I was just using her regular primary care doctor and didn't realize it was time for hospice as she's still walking and talking. I always assumed talking and walking and understanding me would be gone before she could be in the final stages of the disease. She's still talking and answering me and still walking herself, with me using a gait belt but she's doing the walking, to the bathroom. She's not even really incontinent yet. I know these things don't go in order but shouldn't those things be gone before hospice gets involved even if she has pneumonia?

She can swallow and does great when the timing is right just I can't tell when that is. When the timing is all wrong, she just does this swishing in her mouth and tries to spit it out. I keep thinking a month ago in rehab she had thrush due to the treating of UTIs she had there. I keep wondering if that's something to do with it.

If it's end stages I'll definitely get hospice involved but I just didn't want to go that route if she's not there yet.
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Have you had her oxygen checked?Maybe she's not getting enough and that is making her Very tired.
And is she able to drink Ensure or Boost?They are loaded with vitamins.Custard goes down pretty easy too.I hope you find something that works soon.Take care~
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Gladimhere said a lot of what I am thinking. It sounds like your grandmother is in the final stages of the disease. I also think hospice would help her and you through this. Talk to your doctor to see if he will call in a hospice team for you. What you described is not unusual for someone in the final stages of dementia. Big hugs!
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Has she been evaluated for hospice? Dementia will eventually lead to them forgetting how to swallow. Has she been checked for a UTI? It may very well be time for a higher level of care.
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