Thursday, 18 February 2016

A problem with research

There are daily reports of dementia-related research. A recent study, reported by Reuters Health (and others no doubt) suggests that 'repeated use of a certain class of drugs for gastric reflux or peptic ulcers was linked with a higher risk for dementia among patients in Germany'.

I'm interested in this as I've been on Lansoprazole or Prevacid (one of the drugs mentioned) for several years, though rarely on a large dose. After a period of only taking it when I really felt discomfort I recently decided to try and manage without it. Purely coincidentally I also cut right back on milk after I came across Oatly products and liked them. After a couple of months I have had very few problems with acid reflux. (I have also drunk fresh lemon juice first thing in the morning for several years and found that that helps, by the way.)

But Google reveals that lansoprazole allegedly lowers blood pressure.......and raises it! Maybe there'll be research along soon suggesting that it protects against dementia.

It seems that, as some people in the UK used to say (perhaps they still do)  'you pays your money and you takes your choice'.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

The importance of diet

The more I read and about and experience the effects of various diets on people with dementia, the more it seems to me that every person with dementia (every person, come to that) really needs a diet to be arrived at, by knowledge of them and by experimentation, that meets their particular needs. Their particular dietary regime then needs to be followed consistently. In certain cases, where someone has dementia involving, for example faecal incontinence, or has an additional diagnosed disease, the consequences of not getting the right diet are potentially serious.

What are the chances of the diet being consistently observed in any Care Home or hospital?

Another reason, if you are caring for a family member, for looking after them at home for as long as you possible can.

The NHS Continuing Health Care Process

This should be helpful to anyone in the UK who is trying to obtain National Health Service Continuing Health Care Funding. The link below will take you to a booklet which includes a lot of information about the CHC Process and I think the Flow Chart at the beginning is particularly good:

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Fit number 3

S had another fit today. Our carer had not been here long and was feeding S her lunch. I was in the kitchen when the carer called me to come quickly. I went straight in and it was just like the last fit. We lowered the bed and got her into the recovery position. There was a small bit of regurgitated fruit that came out and the dreadful-sounding gurgling breathing. The carer asked if we should phone for an ambulance but I reminded her that the GP said, after the last fit, that we call the surgery and he or the other partner would come as soon as they could. So rather than ringing 999 we decided to hold on. The surgery was closed for lunch so we couldn't call for 15 mins.

The fit subsided after about 8 mins though it's difficult to be exact as she was fairly passive during and after and the breathing gradually sounded a bit more normal as she seemed to drift onto quite a deep sleep. I was able to use the oxymeter and found the level was normal, at 97, even during the fit. This was a bit of a relief. Temperature was also normal.

At bang on 2 when the surgery opened, I phoned and got straight through! The receptionist talked to the GP on the phone and eventually came back with the message that he would call round in about 30 mins.

When he came S was pretty much back to normal, though tired. He did her BP and listened to her chest - no problems. We discussed whether she should be on an anticonvulsant and he thought that as all three fits had happened at similar times and she is nearly always on the hospital bed or in the wheelchair, comparatively safe, it was probably better to avoid the possibility of complications with other meds, at least for the time being. Fine by me.

So all in all, much less traumatic and tedious than the ambulance trips to A and E for the day, yet the same positive news that we would have got there. I would do the same again unless the oxygen level was a concern.

It's still very scary - particularly for the carers who hasn't seen S have a fit before - but I'm glad we held our nerve.

S soon ate the rest of her lunch quite happily and is, as far as we can see, back to normal.