• Dementia causes the elderly to forget how to eat. Severe it can cause aspiration pneumonia. Doctors
    Dementia causes the elderly to forget how to eat. Severe it can cause aspiration pneumonia. Doctors
  • 老人科專科醫生戴樂群醫生、認知障礙症患者譚婆婆及照顧者Lily

Dementia is a common disease in the elderly. In addition to the gradual loss of memory and language ability, patients will also seriously affect their daily lives. Many elderly people have forgotten how to eat, and they have the chance to stray food into the trachea when taking medicine or basic eating, causing the patients to choke and induce aspiration pneumonia, which can be fatal. Some geriatric specialists said that in recent years, there are water-soluble drugs in the society to replace traditional solid drugs. The drugs can be dissolved in water to help improve patient compliance.

In Hong Kong, one out of every ten elderly people aged 70 or above suffers from dementia, and the proportion of elderly people over 85 years old has increased to one out of three. The number of patients is expected to increase to 300,000 in 2039. name. Dr. Dai Lequn, a specialist in geriatrics, said: "In addition to the deterioration of memory and language skills in patients with dementia, physical functions will also be affected, such as difficulty swallowing when eating solid foods, or forgetting to eat or how to use utensils."

As for how to diagnose dysphagia, Dr. Dai Lequn said that if the patient has unclean oral cavity, inattentiveness when eating, loss of appetite and weight, increased eating time, food remaining in the mouth, constantly chewing, forgetting the steps of eating, slurred speech after eating, drooling , Coughing and wheezing when swallowing are all symptoms of dysphagia.

Aspiration pneumonia can be fatal
Dr. Dai Lequn said that if the patient has difficulty swallowing, there is a chance that the food will stray into the trachea when eating, causing the patient to choke, which will induce aspiration pneumonia, which can be severe and fatal. He specifically mentioned that in addition to general eating, dysphagia also affects patients' taking medications, such as choking or vomiting when swallowing medications, making them resistant to medications in the long run. For the caregiver, it takes a lot of time to persuade or feed, and it is easy to conflict with the patient.

Traditional drugs for dementia are mainly oral solid drugs. Dr. Dai Lequn said that in recent years, new water-soluble drugs have been used as alternatives. By dissolving the drugs into water, patients can swallow more smoothly and help improve patients' medication compliance.

Dementia affects patients' eating
Granny Tan, 94, was diagnosed with mild dementia two years ago. Since the beginning of this year, she often loses appetite and will spit out food when eating or feeding. Even if she puts what she wants to eat in her mouth, she will refuse to eat. One of the biggest problems was not drinking water, and was later diagnosed with severe malnutrition, requiring hospitalization for examination.

Lily, the daughter who takes care of Granny Tan, said that in order to solve the problem of her mother’s refusal to eat, the doctor advised her to infuse her stomach and throat to eat and drink, and arrange regular daytime activities for her, such as talking with her every day, singing poetry, building pictures, and writing. Words, etc., from which to train speaking ability, increase self-confidence and satisfaction, and reduce the decline of cognitive ability. Lily said that her mother now loves places where people do activities, such as interacting with people in parks, churches, etc., and the quality of sleep has been greatly improved, which also helps increase appetite, and she also eats some favorite foods occasionally.

Source: Sky Post


Related tags - Dementia, the elderly, pneumonia, doctors Dementia, the elderly, pneumonia, doctors


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