Tips For Caregiver's

People with Alzheimer's disease frequently become more disoriented after dark or when waking. Leaving a night-light on in the bedroom may be helpful.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I have only seen Muddear do this a couple of times, but I need to figure out a way to stop it. We have this little cycle that occurs...
  1. Muddear refuses to eat...
  2. Muddear takes medicine...
  3. Muddear gets sick to her stomach.

Typically, I handle this situation by returning to Muddear the food she refused to eat. At other times, if it is too late in the evening, I will give her crackers or milk to settle her stomach. On some rare occasions, Muddear may ask for Tums or Rolaids. All of these remedies are acceptable options.

However, there are those times when Muddear decides to resolve the problem herself. Muddear's method? Sticking her hand down her throat to force herself to vomit! As I have said, this isn't normal, but I think it is absolutely awful. Sure there have been times when I personally, am sick to my stomach and wish to vomit, so I sympathize. However, there are two parts to this problem - first, Muddear's failure to eat and second, Muddear's overwhelming desire to insert hand in mouth and... (You get the point.)

Any recommendations for solution? I plan to call the social worker to see if she has any ideas. I really don't want a repeat of Sunday night.


Glorious Hats said...

Oh yuck. It is concerning too - as electrolyte imbalance could occur with that action too.

Is there a nurse practitioner or Alzheimer unit in a local nursing home or drs office that might be familiar with this type of behavior? Or if this is a common occurrence as the disease progresses.

Oh say, does Sharon have an RN supervisor? Maybe they have experience with this sort of thing.

One does wonder if the food hording and not eating and self induced vomiting are part of a pattern or are unrelated.

Could it be related to a need for control. As we get older and more frail there is so little we have control over, sometimes we exercise it in ways harmful to ourselves. But that is sheer speculation and may or may not help.

It is one of the things I worry about in myself so maybe am personalizing too much.

Hopefully there are some health care providers who know Muddear and can off you useful help and ideas.

Wishing you both the best and a good solution to this.

Hugs, Jane

Glorious Hats said...

woops I intended to write "offer" not off.

Cathy said... is a website that contains up to date information on dementia - organized by 60 symptoms and their descriptors. For each symptom, there is a description, the stage, what is happening in the brain, management techniques and a "Doctor's diary" general observations of Dr. Kenneth Rockwood, internationally known geriatrician and expert in dementia. In addition, you can use SymptomGuide to profile and track what is happening in your life.

We are very interested in having care givers use SymptomGuide and we are currently offering free annual subscriptions to SymptomGuide. Please contact Melissa at for your special access code.

Thank you,
Cathy MacNutt
Vice- President

njm said...


I'm afraid of nurse practitioners...had a really bad experience when Muddear was in the nursing home. But Sharon has an RN supervisor...GREAT IDEA! I didn't think to call her for advice.

You make some other interesting points - particularly about control. Muddear definitely likes to be in control and I would not be surprise if there is some relationship. Also...potential pattern is another good possibility.

Will certainly keep you posted.

njm said...


Thanks for the information. I will certainly check out I have never heard of the website. Thanks again.

njm said...


LOL! Yeah, I figured you weren't trying to "off" me! :-)