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Recently my mother has started spitting. Thankfully, she does not do it in public, at least not that I know of. When I'm with her, she will spit in the sink, toilet (especially before I get her into the shower). I'm thinking this is just part of the progression, right? It's very disturbing and unpleasant to watch. My mom lives in AL. Should I be concerned and seek a medical evaluation? Many thanks.

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My Luz went thru that. She once spit on the floor at the credit union while we were in line. I ask a young lady to watch her while I got paper towels to clean up the mess. She said she would clean it up and she did. Luz would spit on anything and everything. Later when she was refusing to swallow she would spit the dissolved meds or food out the same way.
With her it never stopped but did become less frequent. Nothing worked.
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Reply to OldSailor
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This is disgusting. I know it sure is not normal and it has got to be stopped - how? I wish I knew but something has to be done to stop it. I would not have her in my home if she was doing this. Please seek medical and psychological help how to force her to stop this ugly habit. It must not be tolerated.
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Reply to Riley2166
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gladimhere May 4, 2019
Yes, it is disgusting, but you cannot teach or even force Alzheimer's. Just learn to deal with it.
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Her broken brain s causing these involuntary actions.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Keep or Put an empty cup with a label “spit cup” in front of him.
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Reply to Ricky6
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Be glad she spits in the sink. My Husband spit anywhere and anytime. I think it was just food that was still in his mouth. I know he had bad teeth and he did some pocketing so I know there was food even though I would use a swab to clear his mouth after eating.
I doubt there is much you can do about it. You might try giving her a handkerchief and see if she will "spit" into that.
But like all "quirks" of Alzheimer's or Dementia in general...this too shall pass and it will be another thing that will be unpleasant, irritating, frustrating, provoking or any other descriptive you may think of. But they will also change as she changes.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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My Alzheimer’s patient does this too. I interpreted as a thing he did as much younger person since his current memories seem to reflect the same.
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Reply to Ricky6
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My Mom does it, it's common with Alzheimer's. She also farts, growing up I never heard that out of Mom either. The part of the brain that keeps us from doing such things doesn't work anymore.
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Reply to momdoesntknowme
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I beleive that everybody needs to spit now and again ...no need to worry too much about. My aunt was gonna spit on the floor!! just because she is a little SPITFIRE!!! But she does spit an awful lot I figure its all dementia or Alzheimer's no need to get too upset ,old people do some Gross stuff like take their teeth out in public ...spit out chewed food leave snot rags everywhere she even throws her snot rags at people when shes mad and leaves them laying all over !! She spits in a tissue and leaves it on table yucky yep they always are doing yucky stuff like spitting
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Reply to Lorraine12
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MelanieC May 21, 2019
Mine wipes her nose, which she says is just water, and then wipes the counter or the vanity with the tissue. Thank God for disinfecting wipes!
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Spitting of saliva can and does occur in dementia. A dear loving friend began spitting access saliva regularly. When asked about it the reply was always I would never do that and yes normally he would not. He did not know or quickly forgot he was spitting. We started keeping lined waste baskets in each room nearby for easy access to spit in especially by the bed and recliner. It worked 90% of the time. Use the liner so you can easily throw it away. It’s something you nor they can control. Please use patience and empathy. Normally these sweet people would not be doing such a thing. Frustrating yes sad too.
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Reply to Sjcjuly
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If she has Alzheimer's disease she will get much, much worse; she will eventually end up in a nursing home or under your care because once they become bowel and bladder incontinence it is beyond the scope of assisted living. If she is on Medicaid it's all good. If not, see an eldercare attorney for estate planning.
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Reply to cetude
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My mom has dementia and started doing this and I could not figure out why. A medical checkup turned out fine. My mom does not speak anymore so could not tell me why. I thought maybe she was thirsty or her throat was dry. I started giving her more liquids, juice, water. This has helped to minimize the spitting.
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Reply to Brie718
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The spitting that I heard of is a manifestation of cognitive decline or mental illness.
It would not be the kind of hacking it back to clear one's throat of phlegm, or spitting into a sink or toilet.

Instead, it could be like spitting in someone's face, or into the air, or on the ground in an expression of a dispute, objection, disdain, or disagreement.
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Reply to Sendhelp
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I'll choose a simpler route: have you asked her why she has started doing this? She just might offer a logical answer in spite of her dementia.
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Reply to jacobsonbob
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A medical or dental evaluation is a good idea for the reasons mentioned by other members, and also an evaluation by an OT might be useful. Swallowing becomes an issue with Alzheimer's. Excessive saliva might be building up because of swallowing problems.
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Reply to onlychild22
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Ahhh, my mom was a spitter, she always was. Yes it drove me nuts but had to learn to just let it go. At least mom always carried tissue, many times stuffed up her sleeve. A tissue collector she was.

I then had to remember to check her clothing for tissue before washing. What a mess there was a few times. One time, I found the missing hearing aids wrapped in a tissue stuffed up her sleeve. Aids could have been easily washed of thrown away.
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Reply to gladimhere
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Get her checked out. Could be she's developed a tooth abscess, picked up a little fungal infection, even has something stuck between her teeth - so she's uncomfortable or has a nasty taste or odd feeling in her mouth.

Could still be part of the dementia! But it can never hurt to check.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Yuk. I understand how you feel. When I was growing up we called it ”hockering” and it was fairly common with boys, old men and even old women. When my teacher would catch a boy doing that on the playground, she’d make them get a tissue and clean it up. But, it was common, like boys carrying pocketknives. Someone brings a knife to school today and the police are called.

Take your mother to an ENT and make sure she doesn’t have sinus or throat problems that’s causing drainage issues. When you see her firing up to launch a loogie, hand her a tissue.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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