Background information- mom has had a history of gastritis over the years prior to her diagnosis of dementia. However this past year when we became primary caregivers occasional vomiting episodes would be reported by caregivers in their home. She had medications to treat the occasional episodes that would resolve the episodes (Zofran and Reglan). Note: She is on PPI (actual 2), and carafate. We are changing GI doctors as I have disagreed with assessment so we are seeing new GI in 2 weeks. Mom has also lost over 20 lbs in the last year. She complains of severe stomach pain- refusing to eat or drink. She doesn't like to eat because she says it hurts. However - is her pain in her stomach because she is hungry? Offering protein shakes, gatorade, easy foods on the stomach to no avail. No carbonated beverages. What is also noted is that if she does not eat a good meal - she will start throwing up within an hour after the meal. Heaving. Zofran relieves it. Again, the last endoscopy a few months ago was non impressive- not revealing anything. Mom has had A LOT of trauma this past 12 months - loss of one of her sons due to massive heart attack. Almost lost my husband 6 weeks later due to heart issue - he survived -received a quadruple CABG. Deceased son's widow was trying to financially exploit mom and dad (meth addict - been in prison). We have blocked her from all contact to mom and dad as she constantly made mom cry as she preyed upon her emotions. Deceased son we believe was also mom's surrogate spouse as dad is physically ( broken hip and unmanageable chronic back pain) incapable of going places so son would spend all day with mom, taking mom wherever she wanted leaving dad at home at times alone. So when he passed away unexpectedly she not only lost her son but lost a spouse so to speak. A double whammy. Then 8 months later we moved them to CCRC - Independent Living facility which they were reluctant but did do. However they deteriorated and we moved them to the Assisted Living part last month. They have been there one month so there is a good record of medications. She has had to receive Zofran every day. So something is going on. My question is - is this part of dementia that anyone has seen? Or do you think it is because of her trauma that she might have something else brewing in addition to dementia? Advice please. I have probably left out stuff.

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What do you know about your mom's history as a child/teenager?
Did she do this as a teen or young adult? With dementia she might be "at that age" again and is just continuing what she did then.

A visit to a psychologist or therapist might help but it depends on how much she can verbalize what is going on. In any case probably medications for anxiety might be in order.
A consult as well with the Gastro or GI is a good plan.
The very difficult thing with dementia is it is very difficult to discuss with the patient what is going on. Often pain symptoms are different, the reaction to pain is different and trying to explain what tests need to be done and why is hard. And for many light or full sedation might be necessary and that can make the dementia worse for a while until all the drugs are out of the system and even then they may not return to where they were pre test cognitively.
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I think your mom needs an evaluation by a geriatric psychiatrist even if she originally had one to diagnose her dementia. If she never had a formal evaluation for the dementia, she needs one. What mom has been through would break a person with their mental health intact. I can’t even imagine the effect it’s had on her. She must be so very fragile.

Unfortunately, there is no instruction manual for dementia symptoms. No list or roadmap of symptoms and no timeline of what will happen and when. It manifests itself in as many ways as there are people who suffer with it. From what you’ve written, I have the feeling Mom’s issues are not physical. Can you call a Care Conference and ask to meet with a dietician and a psychiatrist?

Good luck. I hope you find a workable solution. Come back and let us know.
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Bumping up.
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