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Dr. K.
Dr. K., Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 4448
Experience:  Board certified with experience in primary care.
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99 year old with Alzheimer's but no history of clinical

Resolved Question:

99 year old with Alzheimer's but no history of clinical illness, recently presented with cold and chest infection (cough). Chest is 'clear' but cough stubborn, risk of dehydration as drinks and food have been difficult to administer. Layman (relation) interested in what is appropriate follow-up. Patient in care home with 24 hr attention.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. K. replied 1 year ago.

Persistant cough in patients with dementia is often due to dysphagia, or dysfunctional swallowing. Alzheimers patients lose the ability to swallow as the disease progresses and nears the end. This leads to coughing and aspiration of food or fluids. Offering small amounts of food or fluids at regular intervals helps. It sounds like it may be very appropriate to consider palliative care and hospice services at this point. I hope this helps.

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