In praise of chocolate pudding …
Dementia, in its later stages, brings on all sorts of woes to the patient and the caregivers. My mom has difficulty swallowing, especially pills. She has a talent for pretending she has swallowed them. I usually realize after a bit that she has ferreted a pill somewhere in her mouth – then comes the problem of extracting said pill because even tho’ she won’t swallow it, she generally doesn’t want to (or can’t) spit it out. Today I put on a latex glove and went in after an antibiotic pill she was hiding under her tongue. Don’t want her choking on it as she falls asleep. But we do need her to take these nasty, cat pee smelling antibiotics. What does all this have to do with chocolate pudding you ask? Well, I remembered today a nurse at the hospice who told me chocolate pudding was the best medium to give a patient the meds they needed. She made these vile looking combinations of laxatives and liquid aspirin, stirred it all up in the pudding cup and no one was the wiser.
So I broke open a capsule of this medicine, which by the way smelled just as bad as its liquid form counterpart (the taste of which made my mom vomit several times yesterday, hence the capsules). I stirred in the powder from the capsule into the thick chocolate pudding. I tried to keep the medicine in the top layers of the cup just in case she didn’t eat the whole thing I would know she got the majority of the medicine in the first few spoonfuls. Fortunately she ate the whole pudding cup. The thick consistency of the pudding makes it easier to swallow. Liquids tend to be more difficult for patients with swallowing problems. The chocolate masks the unpleasant tastes of the medicine. I think this might work with vanilla or butterscotch should you have someone who doesn’t like chocolate.
In case you have a solid pill to give, it can be easily pulverized between two spoons, just make sure to mash them over a plate or napkin in case any of the powder falls off the spoon it will be easy to contain and place in the pudding thereby ensuring the full dose is taken.
And now I’m off to have a small glass of wine (for medicinal purposes) and get some sleep. Buenas noches.