Mom is refusing fluids and becoming dehydrated, any advice?

Follow
Share

Both my mother's primary doctor and 2 nurses in the past 2 days have told my mom she is getting dehydrated & needs to drink more fluids (she is getting over some sort of virus). My mother has NEVER been one to drink a lot of water. This morning she was complaining of not being able to squeeze enough blood out of her fingertip to test her sugar, so I said "It's probably because you're getting dehydrated - maybe you should drink more water - that would probably help...." For the first time since I've been caring for her, she snapped at me and said "WOULD YOU STOP TRYING TO MAKE ME DRINK WATER???? I DON'T LIKE IT, AND I AM NOT GOING TO DRINK IT!!! I'm NOT a fluids person!!" It honestly left me speechless & I didn't know how to respond to such a ridiculous statement! My husband - who was in the other room, and heard everything - said "If you want to cause your kidneys to shut down for lack of fluids, then go ahead and ignore your doctors, but you don't need to snap at your daughter who's only trying to help you get better!" Boy was he ticked off!!

Mind you, I offer all sorts of drinks - from gatorade, crystal light, diet sodas, etc. etc. - they're always refused except on very rare occasions. If they're cold, they make her cold..if they're hot, they make her hot or she doesn't want another cup. If they're room temperature it doesn't taste right - I CAN NOT PLEASE THIS WOMAN! The only thing she will drink is a cup of decaf coffee in the mornings with breakfast, and then a cup of hot herbal tea with lunch and dinner...beyond enough water to swallow her pills with, that's it. I've been pushing soups and sugarfree jello, etc. which she is now complaining about having had enough of. I am honestly getting concerned that this is turning into more than just being about water/fluids. My husband said it seems anytime anyone suggests she does something, she digs in her heels and wont do it or does the opposite - almost like a toddler. It does seem to be a battle of wills or about her retaining as much control as she can, regardless of what the subject is about. I am really wondering if there's some cognitive changes going on here now that is causing that...or is that normal behavior when there is so much that is already out of her control healthwise??? She does the same thing with her food - she eats what she wants to eat and damn the consequences. No matter how much I try to stick to healthier alternatives for her, it's met with disgust or she's "not satisfied with that." (she is diabetic & wants nothing but macaroni/pasta, potatoes, bread..etc...all carbs, which cause her sugars to go crazy, so I try and control them & she gets pissed) Advice???

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
28

Answers

Show:
1 2 3
Her health and "scares" ARE affecting you and your family so now that does cross the line and you need to have the frank conversation with her and tell her that you are just trying to help and want some cooperation so she doesn't end up in the hospital or worse.

Ask her "since you don't want water, what do you want to drink?" "Mom, how can we keep you healthy and hydrated?". Maybe a diabetic shake or celery sticks, etc. that are high in water would be more to her liking. Maybe smaller snacks more frequently thru the day; beverage sips thru the day might be helpful.
Agree with maybe having a nutritiionist consultation through her doctor or the hospital is warrented. You may have to change how you and hubby eat as well if you are sharing meals. You prepare and serve and she eats or doesn't; but thats all that is available other than healthy snacks.
Maybe dr willing to have frank discussion and tell her if she doensn't take care of herself and ends up in hospital again, that she might end up in rehab or having to go to a facility where she will be forced to be taken care of -- since she herself isn't managing and she isn't listening to her current caregiver (you!).
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Purple, I've been thinking about you and this problem. Does Mom have a before bed snack? Some diabetics swear by a scoop of ice cream every night.

Has Mom had a few sessions with a certified diabetes educator lately? Doctors tend to address issues with drugs, with adjusting insulin, adding or adjusting doses, etc. That is suitable. But CEDs also come up with eating suggestions, like be sure to have about 15 grams of carbs with protein mid-afternoon, etc. They aren't all about restrictions. If Mom hasn't seen one in the last couple of years I think it would be worthwhile for both of you to go.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mom isn't fond of drinking either. To help keep her hydrated I make sure that she gets foods that have lots of fluids in them. For breakfast she gets a big bowl of mellon or oranges. For desert everyone has icecream, pudding, or jello. We have soup for dinner once a week. We have soup for lunch whenever it seems that she needs more help with fluids than usual. For a snack she has grapes. Since everyone in the family is able to enjoy these foods she doesn't feel singled out.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

@Jessie - Years ago, her endocrinologist had her take Lantus 1/2 dose in the evening & 1/2 in the morning because her readings were so low in the early morning it was scary. Since being removed from her heart pills (after getting a pacemaker) that made a HUGE difference in her sugar readings (who'dathunk?) so she resumed nightly Lantus injections & it's been fine for the most part, but every once in awhile (usually when she's fighting off a virus or some sort of infection) she is insulin resistant & the sugars will be super high for a few days, followed by super lows once her system gets back into the swing of things. This morning was the lowest it's been in a week - it was 69 upon waking (it's been running over 300+) I "suggested" she resume the 10 unit dose, instead of the 12 that her doctor suggested on Friday, since she said she is feeling a little better. To top it all off, we got a letter in the mail today saying that her new insurance company no longer covers Lantus in their formulary, so she may be getting switched to Levemir if the insurance company doesn't accept our request to cover Lantus. I swear, if it's not one thing...ugh.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

purple, I know that Lantus is a 24-hour release thing, but I wonder if the release is slightly higher in the hours after the injection. When my mother has hypoglycemia, it usually occurs at night. Because of this, I had her start taking her insulin at lunchtime. We haven't had trouble with nighttime hypoglycemia since the change. Of course, it may be that she is snacking... never can tell with my secretive mother.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Yeah - he had her increase her Lantus (evening) insulin, and adjusted her sliding scale. It makes me nervous because if the Lantus is increased too much she goes hypoglycemic when whatever is causing the rise in levels is resolved. Will be watching that one closely. She did say her throat wasn't as sore today as it has been, so here's hoping she's on the mend.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

If she is incontinent bowel wise, just the bacteria from that can cause an infection. If any gets into her urinary tract, she could have a form of strep and would definitely need an antibiotic for that. They may have to do a "swab" for that. She would not have a fever or show any major signs other than a bit of discomfort when urinating and that doesn't always get noticed.
It's always good to have these things ruled out so that you know what you are working with. Mom have a vasovagal response at daycare on Monday and they called the ambulance for her. When I got to the ER she was a bit shaky from being late with her sinamet, but otherwise pretty much the usual. They had already cathed her for urine just in case. I grabbed her meds on the way out the door as I knew she would not get them on time in the hospital. Luckily the nurse let me give them to her, otherwise she would have been a mess! The PA who examined her asked if I wanted them to keep her overnight or sent to rehab. I said no to both, even though respite would be very welcome. What I didn't need was for her to catch something at the hospital and there really is no point to rehab at this stage of dementia. But at least I know she does not have a UTI! Oh and it was full moon last Monday! That always gets Mom going!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

And by the way, good for you for giving her ginger ale without comment!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Yup, a virus or any illness can sure play havoc with blood sugar levels! Did the doctor make any adjustments to her diabetes meds in the interim?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

elderly people can be challeniging at times..good luck purple, im sure ur mom will be fine
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

1 2 3
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.