When Someone with Alzheimer’s Gets Sick
This past weekend my mother was ill. Just a deep cough and a very sore throat, not anything you would consider serious.
Except for two factors. First, she is ninety-five years old. Getting sick at her age is always a risky thing. Second, with her Alzheimer’s she can’t really tell us what hurts.
At first I thought she might have a toothache, then we were pretty sure if was an earache. A visit from her nurse practitioner ruled both out. Her throat was very sore. Between that and the cough, it was difficult for her to breathe.
At her age and in her condition, anytime she is ill, it is scary. You tend to ask yourself if this is it. You know one of these times it will be. You don’t want that, yet you wonder how long you expect them to hold on.
Catch it early
It so helps to watch and catch it early. While doctors try to avoid prescribing antibiotics often today, for seniors I think they will more easily. It helped mom this time. Hot tea, soup, anything we can think of that will provide comfort.
If you spend time regularly with your loved one, you know the differences better than anyone else. You can tell when they are more tired than usual, even if they nap a lot when well. You know when their actions are slightly different. Perhaps you know even what they are trying to say.
This time we were fortunate. By morning she was feeling much better. She had some color back, and was able to tell us that her neck was hurting.