Alzheimer`s Disease/C-defecile


Cindy,my mother is 86,has been treated for alzeiheimers for 4 years,however I think she likely had symptoms for several years prior.She has been at home with 24 hr caregivers for about 2 years.I am limited to what information I can get as my sister changed the POA last year and we are in litigation.
6 weeks ago mother was admitted to hospital with C-deficits,she refuses all solid food. dr. Ins insists that she can exist on Ensure. she takes some liquids,not much.
now she has aurinary tract infection.
she cannot get up ,even with likely is it that she will recover and be able to return home?
other caregivers have recommended that she be in a nursing home,but sister doesn't want to hear about it.
could the dr. Insist that she go in a home?
how likely that she recovers or could she be giving up will to live?
thank you

Hello Helmut:  I'm very sorry to hear of your mother's increasing medical issues as well as the estrangement between you and your sister.  
C. difficile is a very nasty bacterial infection in the bowel.  When an elderly person gets it, it's more serious because of all the other issues going on and if left untreated, they can die from it.  There has to be a good balance between nutrition, medication, hygiene and hydration so it's good she's in the hospital now.  I have seen people exist pretty much solely on Ensure for over a year, so I'm sure your doctor is correct about that.  The urinary tract infection will increase her confusion, so it's important she get the correct antibiotic to clear that up and be kept very clean since the diarrhea will always make her more prone to re-infection.  It's not possible for me to say if she will recover from this--you would need to speak with her doctor about that since all of her other issues play a large role in this.  Doctors can strongly advise she go to a nursing home, but if the family can provide in-home care 24/7, I don't think there is much anyone can do about it.  Her dementia is likely progressing due to the infections, so it's probably not likely that she has the ability to sit and think about giving up the will to live--she's probably living moment to moment.  
This is a really hard place for you to be in Helmut, and I hope you and your family can come to some understanding soon so you can spend some time with your mother.  Cindy

Alzheimer`s Disease

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Cindy Keith, RN, BS, Certified Dementia Practitioner


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.


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.

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

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"

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

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