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Has anyone had any experience with swollen hands? My grandmother (advanced dementia) has been spending a lot more time in bed lately and she's down with a cold at the moment. I've noticed that her hands are a lot more swollen today. She is turned every four hours and she has not moved her fingers and hands much lately as well. Would it be ok just to massage her hands or should I be careful and take her straight to the doctors?

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Trenur, at least get a visiting nurse ordered by grandma's MD.
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Yes I stupidly forgot that she has arthritis in her hands! Her ankles and feet are not swollen at all so maybe its the arthritis. Her hands are not as swollen today but I can see that she is barely moving her fingers. I know she is getting a lot closer to the end and in a way I'm more scared than anything to call hospice as it wasn't to long ago that I dealt with hospice for my late mother in April of this year. I know its selfish but I can't bare to hear to them say that she's on her way out. Hopefully I'll find the courage to call soon.
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Does your grandmother have hospice coming in? If not, she sounds like a very good candidate for their assistance.

The swelling of the hands could be caused by a couple of things. You mentioned that she has advanced dementia and stays mostly in bed. It may be that her circulation is not so efficient at returning fluids now or her organs are not maintaining the right osmotic balance for her blood. Gentle massages wouldn't hurt. Keeping her hands on top of her when possible wouldn't hurt, either, though I know it would be hard to do.

When someone is near the end of life, it can be hard to know which symptoms to be concerned with and which ones to let pass. It is the reason I think hospice is so good. Their specialty is providing comfort, instead of trying to fix things. This can save much stress on the patient and the families.
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Does she have arthritis in her hands? Is she retaining fluid in her ankles or feet? If OT was ordered by her doctor would she be able to do exercises.?
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