FROM OUR EXPERTS
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...
In the spring of 2007, a friend loaned me the book, Life of Pi . To tell you the truth, it took awhile to get into the book, but author Yann Martel’s premise stays with me to this day: What story do you tell about circumstances in your life? And does that story match up with what really happened? And are there any consequences if the story you select story and actual happenings don’t mesh?
Why write about this in a sharepost for this site? I guess that two people flash in my mind – Gloria and Lorraine. I met Gloria, another resident in the nursing home locked unit where Mom waived for awhile. Mom and Gloria hit it off pretty quickly, chatting about different things and often dining together. And I really liked Gloria, a petite woman who was always very sweet to me and who had enough presence that many thought she was a visitor to the locked unit (and would help her get out the locked doors).
So it surprised me when the nursing staff shared with me that Gloria’s ...
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 ...
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