My grandmother has Alzheimer's

Discussion in 'General Health & Wellness' started by linnykay55, Apr 19, 2003.

  1. linnykay55

    linnykay55 New Member

    I'm new to the message board. My grandmother has Alzheimer's and has been in a nursing home for about 3 years. She will be 92 in about a month, if she makes it until then. She refuses to eat or drink and is losing weight and literally wasting away. This has been going on for months, especially since she broke her hip about 6 months ago and is no longer mobile. My mom has tried everything; the staff has tried everything; and I can't really help that much because I live far away. The only solution is to place a feeding tube in my grandmother's stomach and force feed her. Almost everything I read says this is not a good idea and that it rarely adds to the quality of life. My mom has refused this so far, but she's wavering and wondering if she's doing the right thing. The doctors and professional people suggest that families think about what the person talked about and said they wanted before they got demented. Well, my grandmother never talked of such things and didn't understand medical procedurs and the like. She always thought she could do as she pleased (she always was funny about eating), and that God would take care of her. She really doesn't like to be bothered now and has a fit and gets very upset if they bathe her, change her diaper, etc. A feeding tube requires a lot of care, and she would have to go to a skilled nursing home instead of the one she lives in now. Alzheimer's is such a dreadful disease. Well...I'm just rambling, but if anyone else out there is going through or has gone through something similar, please give me any insights you may have. I would be thankful for any information or discussion. I need some support.

    Thank you.

    Very distressed and losing hope
  2. jbaggett

    jbaggett New Member

    Reading your posting was like reading into my soul...My grandmother has just this week been moved to a nursing home. She has lost close to 60 lbs in 3 months. Although they are not saying she has alzheimer's they are telling us this is a "cousin" to it. I, too am here looking for support and hope. She beleives all the food brought to her is tainted unless brought in by a family member. So therefore will not eat. It is so distressing because she never remembers family members coming to visit and therefore breaks down and cries each time someone visits. ( my sister or I visit every day) I'm sorry to say I can't give you any insight, but i do want you to know you are not alone, I can not understand why this is happening to her. She will be 93 in July and has been a devoted christian women, I don't understand why this is happening. She would be so heartbroke, embarrased and distressed if she knew how poor her quality of life is. I feel so lost, and am losing hope and faith every day. I don't understand. I'm sorry for rambling so.....like I said I just understand your pain.
  3. Solstice

    Solstice New Member

    I feel for what you, your grandmother and your family are going through. My father died of alzheimers a few years ago. It is a horrible devastating disease. It robbs the person of everything.
    My father was a writer. Words were his life. He was brilliant and spoke eloquently, wisely. It was the saddest thing I have ever seen to have him not be able to remember a simple word. Although of course it got much sadder when he couldn't remember how to tie his shoes, or what his shoes were even for. And towards the end he could not even eat. It is part of the disease. It is the end stages of it. Their brain gets to the point that they do not know how to eat.

    I loved my father very much, and yet, I got to the point that I prayed for him to be released from this pain. I prayed for his death so that he could be free. It may sound horrible, but I even totally understood why people could believe that medical suicide can be a good thing. There was no reason I could see for him to continue, other than for the medical establishment to continue to get rich off of him and others in a similar situation.

    Who am I to say, but I can only imagine that your grandmother would not want to live with a feeding tube in her stomach. My father would not have wanted that, nor would I. The best thing for her is to let her body die naturally........not to try to keep her alive unnaturaly. As I said, the medical establishment would be the only one to benefit.

    Your mother will need support to make this decision. Sometimes people feel guilty and that is what might motivate them to approve of that for a loved one. But, assure her that she is doing the right thing for her mother to let her go with as much peace and dignity as she can.

    My heart goes out to you,

    Solstice
  4. Mrs. B

    Mrs. B New Member

    I am sorry for the difficult time you and your family are having. However, from what I read your grandmother did express her wishes... she said God would take care of her. I just lost my mother a few months ago and I understand that it can be very difficult to let a loved one go. I'm sorry if saying this hurts your feelings but, I think your grandmother is ready to go be with the Lord. My mother also stopped eating and was bothered by the nurses and doctors. She, fortunately had always told us what she wanted; to go to a hospice. Although it was the most difficult thing I've ever gone through I know I made the right decision. She was much more relaxed there and had people that were there only to make her more comfortable until the Lord was ready to take her home. My grandmother had alzheimers. In some ways it was if she was gone before she actually was. I miss them both very much but, I know they are in Heaven waiting for me and that it was their time to go rest.
    +
  5. yvonnea

    yvonnea New Member

    linny,
    there is an article that I just read about help for people with AD (Alzheimers Disease). contact Amy Shields at;
    214- 648- 3404. It says in the article that Statin drugs used for cholesterol help remove some of the plaques that are in the cholesterol in the brain. It is a help , it can reduce the levels by 21%.
    I have an appt. on Tuesday with my mothers doctor to see if we can get her on this.

    yvonnea
  6. myrn

    myrn New Member

    BE STRONG AND KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE I WILL POST MY OWN MESSAGE ON THE BOARD TO TELL YOU OF MY SITUATION IN A FEW DAYS