Follow
Share

My had a stroke in July, developed vascular dementia, probably Alzheimer's also, according to her docs. She has trouble with speech and her swallowing has gotten pretty bad; we think she is probably having more TIAs or strokes. She was on chopped food for a while, but they've had to switch her to pureed food and thickened liquids, although the speech therapist has recently upgraded her to slightly less thickened liquids and is introducing some soft foods. Mom has become convinced that if only she had better dentures, she would be able to eat "real" food. She spent half an hour the other day explaining to me that there were no teeth on her bridge. I brought it out and showed it to her, it has teeth, believe me. She keeps badgering my poor sister in law about going to the dentist; the rehab place will have her seen by the dentist, but her teeth aren't the problem, her swallow reflex is. She's not buying our explanation that not giving her solid food is for her safety and that we have to follow the speech therapist's advice. Any thoughts?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
I understand perfectly. The speech therapist is the one that saw my MIL after her stroke. But my MIL was able to understand why she couldn't have solid foods. I think I would just keep putting her off, when she asks and say "talk to your doctor," and things like that. I know it is maddening when the person gets on one subject and won't give it up.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I try to put myself in other's shoes. Food has always been very important to me and it sounds like it is to your Mother. I would hate a liquid diet. I tried it once, to lose weight, and decided I would just have to die rather than continue. Half an hour explaining a situation to you means it is a big issue for her. Her time is clearly limited. I wonder why she has a speech therapist instead of hospice. The view of her life needs to change from restoration of abilities to making her last days (weeks, months or whatever) more comfortable and happy. I know that is not the popular view, and it is difficult to accept. I would let her have 'real' food and be prepared for that to shorten her life. Her quality of life will improve immediately even if she dies quicker. Extending life is not always what the patient would choose if they had all their marbles and could make that decision. Sorry, baBalou, it is difficult to be in your shoes. I know from personal experience.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

So many times we think that if only someone understood the explanation for a situation they'd be fine with the situation itself. Well, that does help sometimes but even for people who can reason it doesn't always resolve the unhappiness with the situation, does it! And if someone can't reason then it's really besides the point. She's trying to come up with a solution (even though she's barking up the wrong tree) because the situation bothers her.... and why wouldn't it!? So, just be sympathetic. "Of course you'd rather have solid food, mom, you'll have some just as soon as it's safe." Let's face it, the real reason we want explanations to work is so that then the person will accept it and THEN we don't have to deal with their unhappiness or feel bad for them! In a situation like this we have to be strong enough to accept the situation ourselves, and to be sympathetic but not dragged down, for as long as it lasts.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I had that problwm with my dad. He had to hae thickened liquids too and begged for plain ice water.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

A number of years ago I saw a woman who had this problem. She was around 60 and had apparently had a stroke. She couldn't talk very well and couldn't swallow very well. Something was paralyzed. Her son and daughter tried in vain to explain to her she could not have liquids, but she kept insisting. Eventually they let her have something to drink, but she choked on it. She coughed and coughed and coughed. It wasn't pretty. She still wouldn't eat though. She was mad.

I can only imagine what that would be like with memory problems on top of it, but aspirating liquid can't be pleasant either. It's also my understanding that food in ones lungs can lead to infections. You probably know all of that.

Lucky for me, if a doctor tells mom it is so, then she believes them, so the one thing I would recommend to you is to get a doctor to tell her, maybe even get him or her to write a note on official paper so that you all have something to refer to that states she has to have thickened liquids and why.

Maybe, just maybe that will help.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

A person with dementia looses the ability to reason, and reasonable explanations often just don't penetrate. Each time she asks about why she can't have "real" food, keep your explanation very short, and try to change the subject.

Does she eat the pureed food? Is she happy when she gets a "real" soft food? Did she like the chopped food better? Is she likely to be able to go back to chopped food at some point?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

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