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Alzheimer`s Disease/mom, age 62 suffering from dementia for the last 7-8 years


i am from New Delhi, India and my mom has dementia for the last 7-8 years and she right now is around 62-63 years.  she lost her ability to converse quite some times ago. a year and half ago she lost her ability to walk, she had difficulty swollowing for quite some time especially her water intake was almost nil. this winter she had a very bad cold. now, for around week and half its getting almost impossible to feed her because she just wont swallow anything.  

she has become extrememly weak and we have no idea what to do to feed her and what more can go wrong with her in this disease.

kindly advise and guide me so that i could keep her well.

new delhi, india

Hello Manoj:
It's very heartbreaking to hear of your mother's decline and your suffering as well.  It sounds to me that she has early onset Alzheimer's since she's so young.  Sometimes it progresses fairly quickly and the problems you will see will depend on which areas of the brain are being affected at that time.  Losing the ability to swallow can often come near the end of the disease and when that happens, the families must make a very hard decision.  You could decide to have a feeding tube placed in her stomach where she would get all her nourishment that way.  It's not a given that she will live longer with a feeding tube since they can cause other problems, so you should talk this over with her doctor, and your family and take into account how your mother would have felt about this.  Would she wish to simply fade away with an infection, or by dehydration--or would she have preferred to have her life extended a bit even though she's not very aware of people and events?  Unfortunately, she will likely continue to choke on her saliva or any food or fluids you attempt to give her and that will probably give her an aspiration pneumonia, which could end her life. I know how hard it is to watch them when they are choking on something, and aside from thickening the liquids, pureeing the solids and being sure she's sitting up when eating or drinking, I believe the only other options would be a feeding tube, or to just let nature take it's course and allow her to pass on.  She's probably not in distress unless she's choking, so be sure to keep her comfortable and do things for her that she enjoys such as massage, music or animals to pet.  Frequent swabbing out of her mouth with a damp swab with lemon water could help make her feel more comfortable as well.  I wish you much luck Manoj as you and your family make this very difficult decision.  

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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