I'm the caregiver for my grandmother (91) with Alzheimer's and Pulmonary Fibrosis. How can I help her be more comfortable?

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I'm the caregiver for my 91 year old Grandmother with Alzheimer's and Pulmonary Fibrosis. Christmas time we had family here and she was doing better than she had in a year. As soon as they left, it seems like she thought that she could stop trying so hard and began to rapidly decline. She started hardly eating. I can get her to drink 1 ensure and maybe eat a piece of toast all day. She has trouble swallowing and chocked on her meds every day. She was sleeping around 20 hours a day, and now she's up and down all night and day. It's dangerous for her to wander, because even with her walker she has very little balance, and gets out of breath very easily. She will fall asleep at night, and a couple times a week she will wake up saying that someone (who I know is dead) is taking her somewhere. I would walk into her room to find her attempting to get herself dressed. It seems like the daily "normal Grandma" to "Alzheimers Grandma" is becoming shorter, and she's "Alzheimers Grandma" more and more. I don't know what I can do to help make her more comfortable. I try to be there, hold her hand, read the her etc, but she either ignores me or gets angry and agitated and pushes me away. I'm out of ideas :(

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I would also have a pharmacist review her meds. I'm no doctor, but 15 is waaaay too many in my opinion. I know some elder medication pharmacists start looking if a senior is on more than five meds. She may be having cross-reactions between meds. That's what I'd do right away. If she's got a number of different doctors all prescribing things, they're probably not paying attention to interactions. Only a pharmacist will take the time to look at how they all work together and if she needs them all. I know as my dad came nearer the end of his life (he had lung cancer) he stopped all meds and lived another year. That amazed me.

Good luck, she's lucky to have you. It sounds like she's in a difficult place and you've been trying your best to help her.
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Call hospice. They will help you, educate you, provide resources and medical equipment as well as provide medicine for you to administer during the really bad times. My grandmother is constantly yelling out. I tell her that if she keeps yelling I will have to close her bedroom door. She stops usually and if not, then I give her a haldol to help relax her
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Such a great answer Sunnygirl.
The only thing I can add is also check in with her pulmonary dr. Check her oxygen with the finger oximeter.
My friend who had pulmonary fibrosis would become very agitated at times as her fibrosis advanced. Not being able to breath is frightening. Your GM might need oxygen.
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@Sunnygirl1 I have talked to her doctor about it. She's on Quitiapine and Domeprezol for the hallucinating and memories, and the did the normal tests such as for a UTI and the came back negative.

We're going in for the swollow test next month. We are doing everything we can not to put her on more meds. With all her health issues, she's already taking 15 pills a day.

I will check out that book and youth channel though. Thank you
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It's good to give her love and support, but, I would also do a lot of reading about Alzheimers and dementia. I've read that the 36 Hour Day is a good book as well as viewing Teepa Snow videos on dementia on You tube. They are quite informative as she gives demonstrations on how to work work with and understand dementia behavior. She demonstrates how to calm people who are having delusions or hallucinations.

I might discuss her behavior with her doctor. I'd report any change in mental status. I'd ask they check her for a UTI or some other condition. I'd ask to review her medications and explore meds to help her sleep through the night.

If she's choking on food, I'd request a Swallowing assessment. She may need to have her liquid thickened. I'd read about how in the later stages, a dementia patient may stop eating or eat little. Of course, I'd rule out some other explanation, like reflux or even a dental problem. Pain in the mouth may cause her to refuse food. Sometimes they cannot verbally report the pain.

I might work on ruling out things like pain, depression, anxiety, etc. Eventually, it could just be the dementia. Sometimes the patient is not able to accept care and they may even be resistant to it. Do you have someone helping you with the care? I'd get some support, so you can get respite time.
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My Dad was like that at the end. The finally three months were a bit tough. He would be up all night.

I think you can only try to offer her some comfort...this will not likely go on for much longer
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