Occasionally you read about people with dementia who have died from malnutrition or dehydration, even when being cared for in a nursing home, hospital, or by caregivers. You cannot believe that such a situation has occurred, that it must be an obvious case of abuse. However, dehydration and malnutrition can develop insidiously, especially where people are confused, unable to recognize the usual signals of hunger or thirst, or unable to communicate their needs. People with dementia are particularly at risk.
Often the causes of dehydration are complex. Confusion may be central but there are often other causes, some of which are easy to remedy or institute. Drinks being placed out of easy reach can be moved closer. Fluid charts can indicate the amount of fluid needed and then can be filled in whenever a drink is given.
Medical investigations into the cause of dehydration may be required. Someone may be taking medication that causes excessive fluid los...
As we come to terms with Mom’s failing lungs, my family soon may face decisions about procedures that could prolong her life. Many of these medical procedures, which were not available to generations before, leave me wondering whether I will know when the time will be right for Mom to die. Resources on End-of-Life Decisions As I try to think ahead to prepare for these decisions, I find myself seeking information from a variety of sources, ranging from friends who have experience in caregiving, books on end-of-life and spiritual issues, magazine articles, radio programs, and a wide variety of information available on the Internet. I recently read an essay from New Yorker staff writer Atul Gawande's new book Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance , which was published earlier in April. Dr. Gawande is a surgeon and professor at Harvard Medical School. In his essay “On Fighting,” Dr. Gawande discusses the medical and ethical dilemmas that doctors encounter in relation to ...
How does the brain work? What happens to the brain of a person
with Alzheimer's disease? Visit
Inside the Brain: An Interactive Tour
on the Alzheimer's Association Web site that uses interactive
images and text to help you understand how the brain functions.
The Alzheimers Association, the world leader in Alzheimer
research, care and support, is dedicated to finding prevention
methods, treatments and an eventual cure for Alzheimers. Our
mission is to eliminate Alzheimers disease through the
advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support
for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the
promotion of brain health. Our nationwide organization of more than
300 local offices provides reliable information, referral, and
supportive programs and services to families.
Call us anytime at 1.800.272.3900 or visit
You should knowAnswers to your question are meant to provide general health information but should not replace medical advice you receive from a doctor. No answers should be viewed as a diagnosis or recommended treatment for a condition. Content posted by community members does not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media, which also reserves the right to remove material deemed inappropriate.