Help! How to encourage an MS Sufferer with UTI to drink more!

Hello all

My Dad is an MS sufferer and is currently in a care home on a trail basis - some of you may have read my posts in the past.

He has a history of all kinds of medical complications brought on from his condition, the biggest of these problems being reccuring UTIs and Chest Infections.

On Sunday Dad was sent to A&E by his nursing home as he was not very responsive etc. The hospital diagnosed a UTI and he was sent back with a course of antibiotics. He is still recovering but it seems to be a very slow recovery, partly because he is refusing food and not drinking enough.

I am not sure what I can fo. I work so cannot be at the nursing home with him all the time to encourage him, so have been ringing them to check up on him but I get the feeling they are relying on me to encourage him. Should the nursing and care staff not be doing that themselves or is it my responsibility? Does anyone have any tips as to what I can do?

I am finding it all so tough as I don't feel he wants to get better anymore, and is therefore getting weaker and weaker, which of course means every time he is taken ill he takes longer to recover and even then doesn't return to full health. He has been referred for a supa pubic catheter but due to his medical history this has been postponed as medical staff are worried about putting him under anaesthetic.

Sorry to ramble on - my head is full of hundreds of things relating to my Dad at the moment,

Thank you.


Is it not possible to put him on a drip for fluids.

Have the same problem when i have a uti infection,and that is what they do for me.

Not sure who is responsible,but ask at the care home,or his Gp.

What makes you think that he has given up fighting.

Thinking of you and your Dad.

Take Care.


Bless you, it is a horrible situation to be in.
Sadly, there is not a lot you can really do if he has made his mind up. Chris has a point though, would they be able to put him on a drip?
I don’t know wether he can be forced if he doesn’t want it though.
I think it is important that you and the care staff are working together so I would perhaps call a meeting to make sure you are understood about what care you would like for your Dad
Sorry I can’t be more help

Mand x

l am glad that you did eventually get your father into a nursing home. lt must have taken some of your worries away - as l know how concerned you were. The staff really should be monitoring how much liquid he drinks. UTI's are such nasty things - can cause hallucinations as well. When my mum was very poorly [ not ms] and would not drink/eat - l used to put her water/fruit juice in a small pretty glass - which was more tempting then a plastic tumbler. Also, l would dab glycerine around her mouth to help prevent her lips and tongue from drying and cracking. To get her to eat l would arrange tiny bits of food on a small plate to tempt her - along with fortified drinks that were high in calories. We got these on prescription from the GP. lt was a slow job - but worked in the end. Mum has lost her sense of smell/taste which did not help - but if food looks good she does eat it. l wonder if your dad has lost his sense of smell/taste - l know that once they start drinking/eating just a small but regular amount - they soon start picking up.

l would have thought the supra-pubic catheter could be done with local or spinal injection instead of general anasthetic.

lt would certainly help him and the carers if he had it done.

Do you know if he has had his vitb12 levels checked - this is a problem for pwms and elderly folk in general as he would certainly be undernourished. lt can cause terrible problems. Just google vitamin b 12 deficiency ms.

Keep on top of the uti - make sure they test him again when the anti-biotics are finished to be sure that they have worked. l have had a spc for years and its very rare l have uti's since having it done as l do not get the 'retention'.

Look after yourself



I have worked in Nursing Homes in the past and while the Nursing staff cannot force your Dad to eat or drink they should be doing all they can to encourage and help him that is thier job. Campions surgestions are good ones and the staff at the Nursing Home should already be aware of them and more besides. Is your Dad having problems swollowing? This can happen with solids and liquids and there are ways to help with both, food can be softened and liquids can be thickened. Ask if they have put him on a fluid chart and if not can they. This will record all the fluids your Dad drinks and all the urine he passes, this will make the staff more aware of what is going on and alert them if he is not drinking enough or going into retention for exapmle. It might even be a possibility that the reocuring chest infections may be due to him inhaling some of his food. Ask all the questions let the staff see you are concerned and ask for thier help. But it is the job of the staff to encourage your Dad to drink and eat in any way they can and if needed keep records of it so they can monitor the situation and act if necessary. They cannot however force him if he has made up his mind. Good luck and keep us posted.

DL xXx

My UTI have improved greatly since I was encouraged to drink cranberry juice. I know your dad is reluctant to drink but even a cup / glass when you visit should help. Give it a go.