Follow
Share

My mother lives next to me in a large cottage with her own private garden. She is not at the incapable stage yet, but she recently had two falls within about a month of each other. She fainted and both times & hit her head pretty hard. Both times I took her to the ER, they ran the tests to make sure she was OK, then sent her back home with me. She does not like to drink liquid even though I and many doctors have stressed the importance of staying well hydrated. I cannot force her but guess who has to deal with the aftermath of her accidents when this is something so easily avoided. It is hard not to get upset when she wants to argue that she doesn't like drinking except for coffee in the morning, and wine at night. I have explained that wine will dehydrate her further but again she argues that she only has a tiny glass. I have bought all kinds of good liquids to entice her including electrolytes that can be added to any drink to get the most value out of it. I am running out of patience telling her to drink and she lies to me telling me she is. The doctors are of little help as well, I requested they test her for Orthostatic Hypotension and all they did was take her blood pressure from a lying, sitting and standing position. It happens when she moves too quickly and not all the time. Could this all be due to dehydration?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
She likes coffee and wine, run with that. If she will drink ice coffee, you can take a small amount of coffee and make a smoothie or milkshake out of it, the same with wine, like above add ice, juice whatever you can to get her to drink. Staying hydrated is so important, but don't 'hound' her for she may become more resistant. Keep trying, find out if there is anything else she enjoys.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank you everyone for your insight and suggestions. Mom was checked for a UTI and it was negative. She does hava a benign cyst in her brain and who knows how that could be affecting her. The doctors have been watching it to make sure it isn't changing or getting bigger but they have never told me how this could impact her daily life. Mom was an RN that worked in convelecent hospitals her whole life and is the worst patient. She has lymphedema in one leg pretty bad that because she did not take care of it, she went septic 3 times very nearly ending her life and each time she did not properly vocalize that she was feeling badly. She is wonderful but she is stubborn and does not
Ike to be a bother to her own detriment. When she started doing poorly at work and was getting in fender benders more frequently, I took her to be tested and she was diagnosed with that general word "dementia." I had to be the one to get her to retire before they told her she had to leave, I had to be the one to tell her she can't drive anymore, and I was the only one to take the responsibility to care for her. My brothers who live locally have done nothing. Sometimes I feel like I am going through this all alone, even the doctors are of little value. Mom is very particular ,she doesn't eat a lot, doesn't drink a lot, does not have good judgement anymore so I have to monitor her all the time. I tried getting her into an adult day care specializing in dementia but she refuses to go anywhere without me. That was so frustrating to me as I felt it important for her to get out and socialize. She say's she is too embarrassed with her dementia. Believe me folks, I have tried so many things and she will not cooperate. I am so glad I found this site and am grateful for all the input. She is on a heart monitor now so that is one more test but they had her on one last year and everything was fine. Thanks for listening to me vent!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Falling earlier in life, the possible cause was revealed by a brain MRI:
The diagnosis was transient ischemic attacks. TIA's are like a miniature stroke and do not have all the symptoms of stroke, they may be missed.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Im in midlife,, falling is not fun...It gets harder to heal when I get older....Hit by a puppy, slipped and fell in a pool, woke up in pool under the pool cover...The biggest bruise on my leg lasted quite a few months. Thank God leg got it first before my head. My friend said I was pretty loopy for a few hours....That was last year, think I am still feeling that sense of drowning.....
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

who knows exactly waht, UTI,, check that, have a healthly cocktail with her if you can,,, milkshakes with added ice cubes, social life at adult day care possibly,,,, popsicles. vitamin, koolaid drops in water. fizzy water with mio drops.. Or if she likes wine so much, make her arrowhead sparkling water with a bit of wine to taste... and a slice of lemon wedge or strawberry.....86 the wine and make the afternoon snacks fun without the wine,, add fresh fruit and veggies with hummus, crackers, and some music and neighbors if you can...afternoon social hour with mom and your neighbors or friends, "JUST BECAUSE" Life can get boring sometimes if you can't air out.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I'm not medically qualified so I'm only offering experience here. I DO think it could be from orthostatic hypotension, as that occurred with my father. If you have a blood pressure monitor, check BP while sitting then after she gets up, especially if she's dizzy.

My father experienced these "syncope" episodes, had cardiac, neurologic and probably other evaluations which I've now forgotten. No direct cause was ever found. It was especially unsetting because they occurred each time he fell and fractured his hip. So dangerous, yet the medical teams couldn't find a specific cause for the black-outs.

I tried myself to find causative factors and suspected it was liked to inadequate levels of protein at meals, sometimes too much sugar in foods consumed (I think elderly people enjoy sweets as much as the rest of us do, perhaps more so because they are mood elevators).

As to dehydration being a cause, I believe it is possible because of the electrolyte imbalances created by insufficient fluid intake. Check out some of these hits on that subject:

google dehydration+and+dizziness
Jeanne offered some good suggestions to add liquids to your mother's diet, especially the soups in the wintertime. We use milk shakes and sometimes dairy queen treats. I don't like the high sugar content, but I do like the liquid content.

There's also the various nutrient supplements such as Boost, Ensure, etc.

Still, sometimes older folks just won't drink more water. I don't understand it, but it certainly happens and is a problem.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thanks, Pam.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Yes. Put your hand on a flat surface. Gently pinch up a fold of skin and notice it goes back down quickly. Now compare mom's skin, does it respond quickly, slowly or does the fold just stay there. If it does not go back down at all, call the MD.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Is that a quick test, Pam, pinch the back of the hand?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thin the wine with water or orange juice. I make emergency electrolyte by taking a shotglass of water, add a pinch of salt, a pinch of sugar and a pinch of baking soda. One every half hour until the skin on the back of the hand no longer stays up when pinched. Use orange juice instead of water if her potassium is low.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My husband fell several times a day when he first developed dementia and he was well hydrated. So obviously there are other causes besides dehydration. Do the doctors think it is dehydration in her case?

What is your Mom's diet like? Many of us get a large part of our hydration needs met through our food. Does she eat juicy fruits? Watermelon? Soup? Celery? Tomatoes? If you can encourage her to include high-water-content foods (without mentioning anything about the reason) that may be more effective than harping on liquid consumption. "Mom, I brought this gorgeous watermelon today, but I can't fit the whole thing in my fridge. I cut some up to share with you!" "I'm trying out a new soup recipe tonight, Mom, and I'll bring you some for lunch if it turns out good!" How about ice cream, pudding, or frozen treats?

If she really only has a little glass of wine, I don't think I'd worry about it. You have to pick your battles, and the less you have to nag, ehr, encourage her about the more likely your message will get through.

Try to avoid getting into a situation where she feels attacked, feels you are inpatient with her, and feels she has to lie to you to protect herself. That's not good for either of you. She doesn't like to drink much. You know she needs to avoid dehydration. See that she gets her fluids in ways that respect her aversion to to drinking.

I empathize with you in how helpless we feel when we see our loved ones doing things that aren't good for them! But you are right, we can't force them. So we need to get sneaky, ehr, creative.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.