Alzheimer`s Disease/dementia

Advertisement


Question
Hi there, my mum is in the very late stage of dementia and is a lovely nursing home in the u.k.  eight days  ago we were told she had hours to live as she had double pneumonia. She survived and every other night we are being called in as she either has very racing pulse or barely a pulse. She has not eaten for 10 days or had any fluids for 10 days. One minute she is making horendous noises next she has her eyes open staring into space. I have spoken to the nurses and they do not understand what is happening. The doctors have put her on continuous diamorphine and another medication to help with adjitation. Can you help me understand what is going on and how long will she be like this as it is horrible to see

Answer
Hello Donna:  I'm so sorry to hear of your dear mother's decline.  It's amazing that she survived the pneumonia, but since she has not been able to have food or fluids for such a long time, I can't believe it will be much longer until she passes.  I'm hoping she is on hospice since they are good about making one comfortable during the dying process, as well as helping out the family members.  They would be able to give you a much better estimate of how long they think she can continue on.  The labored and then quiet breathing is one sign of impending death (and quite common), but again, it's difficult to say with any accuracy how long it will take.  My heart goes out to you and your family Donna as you are there to help your mother through this final transition. If your mother is still lingering when you receive this answer, I would suggest you ask the doctor to put her on hospice so you can all get some answers.  I wish I could be more specific, but unfortunately I cannot.  Cindy

Alzheimer`s Disease

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Cindy Keith, RN, BS, Certified Dementia Practitioner

Expertise

As a nurse and dementia consultant, I can answer most questions on all types of dementia. If I cannot answer your question, I will attempt to find someone who can. My passion is to help caregivers of people with dementia, which in turn helps all those wonderful elders with dementia live better lives. When caregivers are better educated, they are able to better care for themselves and their loved ones, so education is key to decreased stress levels and healthier, happier families.

Experience

I have worked as a nurse in various disciplines of nursing for over 20 years, most of which was with the elderly. I was a health care coordinator in a dementia dedicated assisted living facility for 4 years before I started my own business (M.I.N.D. in Memory Care) as a dementia consultant six years ago. As a dementia consultant, I help families nationwide through phone conference calls as they struggle to care for their loved ones with dementia.

Organizations
Alzheimer's Foundation of America Geriatric Interest Network Sigma Theta Tau International

Publications
Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem - Caregiver Survival Manual For Living With A Person With Dementia" which is a collection of stories about people with dementia I have known, loved and worked with. Every story has a lesson to teach and this book gently teaches family caregivers lessons about how to better care for their loved one, as well as themselves during their caregiving journey. Published "Love, Laughter, & Mayhem In Eldercare Facilities: The Master Key For Dementia Training" Created "Bringing Nurturing To Memory Care" staff dementia training video Created Ebook: "Hair Stylist's Helpful Tips For Working With People With Alzheimer's & Other Dementias"

Education/Credentials
Registered Nurse with Bachelor's degree in Nursing; Certified Dementia Practitioner; Author of 2 books and an ebook

Awards and Honors
Sigma Theta Tau National Honor Society of Nursing

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.