aspiration pneumonia

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.
Dad's been in hospital since Friday, pneumonia caused by swallowing problems. He's not been well for a while and I've had GP in several times. He was put on antibiotics 3 times for his chest. He was really poorly last Friday but has picked up well in hospital.
Annoyed that hospital didn't tell us speech therapist was coming in on Monday, so of course they didn't get anywhere as dad had no idea what they wanted and "didn't co-operate". They had stipulated nil by mouth since he came in, so had a complain about that. Got that sorted and went in today while speech therapist was there. She was really helpful, but I just wish I'd known before that his eating problems could cause pneumonia. I feel like I didn't take it seriously enough. I've been trying to adapt food for a while, keep trying to find things easier for him to eat etc. I learnt so much from the speech therapist and I've now found some information on this site about it, but I wish the 'professionals' would tell carers what to watch out for, I feel like I'm always playing catch-up. There's so much to cope with that new problems can creep in while you're trying to solve some other issue. I think they don't want to tell us too much in case we're overwhelmed but I'd like more practical advice ahead of time.
Anyway, seems we're heading into a new stage with dad. Hope I'll be able to deal with it. Have to say I've been so relaxed while he's been in hospital, feel a bit guilty but haven't had a day off for years so it'll boost me up a bit to face the winter.
One last grumble - dad's 6ft4in, but it took 3 days to get staff to extend the bed for him (which takes 30 seconds to do) he couldn't straighten his legs out and feet were pressing against the end of the bed. I could see it was hurting him, why do these things not get done without nagging??? If dad could explain it would have been done straight away I suppose, he's on an elderly ward and there's dementia info everywhere but still things get missed.
Sorry - rambled on a bit! Any info on feeding - with thickeners and puree etc. - would be welcome. xx
i've read this 3/4 times now and put off replying,because i think of lots of things to say but not sure you'd want to hear any of them,so instead i will send my love and best wishes to you and hope your dad is strong enough to fight this and everything turns out for the best.
Hi Malc,
thanks for your best wishes but what an unsettling message. I'm left wondering what you have to say that is so dreadful? Perhaps you don't think my dad should be treated for pneumonia at his age and at this stage of alzheimer's? Or is this feeding puree etc not very successful? I do realise this is a sign that he's at a late stage of the disease but I'm just doing my best to make it as bearable for him as I can. I don't want him to survive right to the bitter end of this rotten process but this episode wasn't one where I could "let him go" peacefully. Perhaps I'm missing something glaringly obvious?
Thanks for reading my post and sending a reply, hope it hasn't stirred up issues for you.
best wishes,
Lesley
i just didn't want you to get your hopes up and come down with a bang,we thought my dad was going to get better from his pneumonia,perked up and everything then we lost him,eating is one of the symptoms(or losing ability to)that i dread happening to my wife because of this awful disease,it's as if it will have the last laugh at you as it finishes you off!
Hi Malc,
I see where you're coming from now. Sorry to hear about your dad, it's so cruel when someone seems to be recovering so you dare to hope and then it's taken from you.
I've been dreading this stage too. I think dad will be coming home but it's only a matter of time before it happens again. I've made myself look at info on the final stages again and I just hope he doesn't reach that, much as I don't want to lose him I don't want him to get to the stage where there's no positives left. He can still feel/show pleasure now but when that goes???
It must be far worse to deal with a partner having this disease, I can't begin to imagine how hard that must be.
best wishes,

Lesley
lesley,glad to hear your dad should be homeward bound,also glad you have no misconceptions about the future,i was only saying today at the memory cafe that we all know where it will end,but it's what you do in the middle bit after diagnosis that counts,this might sound daft but i could understand emotionally when it was my dad in hospital losing his fight against alzheimers and his body was shutting down because he was old(72),my wife is 42 now and i'm sure that's going to be a lot harder to get to grips with,malc