PSP Association
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Brilliantly simple, simply brilliant!

In recent days Mum seems to have "forgotten" how to drink :-( When we put the cup to her lips instead of putting her lips round the cup she clamps them tight shut and just sits there with the cup resting against her closed mouth. Having just had a catheter inserted everyone keeps telling us how important it is to get plenty of fluids inside her so that the catheter doesn't block. I was telling the District Nurse how difficult it was to get her to drink and she said "Try an ice lolly"!!

We thought anything was worth a try so I rushed out and bought some child-sized, fruit flavoured lollies. At first, the reaction was the same - lips clamped shut. But then, as the lolly melted slightly and moistened her lips she licked them and before we knew it she was licking and sucking the lolly and it was gone in less than 10 mins!! As I had already spent 45 mins, earlier in the day, giving Mum a glass of juice one teaspoon at a time this seemed nothing short of miraculous!!

Just thought this remarkably simple and effective advice deserved to be shared :-) sometimes the best solutions are the simplest!!

love Kathy

12 Replies

That is a great idea, I do find the same thing happening with Frank, I help him with the cup and it just sits there for a minute or two before he realises it is a drink!. These ideas are the wonder of the the site there is always someone waiting for a helpful solution, and then wonders "why didn't I think of that" Keep them coming Kathy! x


:-) thanks Kay. I can't claim credit for this idea but thought other people might find it helpful!

Love to you and Frank



Never tried an ice lolly, but I find my mum does better with ice-cream than anything else at the moment. I think the coldness numbs any potential pain in the mouth and throat too. My mum's teeth are almost shut tight, but some cold ice-cream seems to help her open her jaw a bit better.


We are going to try and make some lollies with pure fruit juice so we know exactly what's in them! District nurse also suggested frozen yoghurt as an option.

Hope it help's your Mum too xx


I bought some lollies on offer when shopping today, so I'll give it try soon. The only problem I can see is that it maybe a bit too thin for my mum's throat muscles. My mum now takes allot of swallows to swallow a spoonful of anything on the thin side, but also tends to spit out anything too thickened. I think she is in the final stage of this illness. I'll look into the frozen yoghurt idea too. Thanks for that.


could always make some tea or coffee lollies or fruit juice


Wow, thanks for sharing. The little tips like this one are what this group is all about. One never knows what they might need around the corner.

Jim P


Have you tried drinking straws? Mum does better with these and it gives you some control if they are inclined to take too much drink in without swallowing because you can see the fluids going up the straw-I buy the translucent ones.


Thanks for replying :-) we did try straws but Mum seems to have "forgotten" how to suck on a straw! Also, I do know somw people have found that using a straw makes them cough more because the drink goes straight to the back of the mouth and they don't "have time" to swallow. I'm glad they seem to work for your Mum :-) That's the thing about PSP - everyone is different and you have to find what works for you. Makes it so much harder because there are no easy answers.

It's a few weeks since I posted this item and (thankfully) Mum seems to have improved a bit and gone back to drinking "normally". This seems to have happened since they changed her medication :-)

Love to you and your Mum

Kathy xxx


Thank you Kathy. Mum is having a good patch after a nasty infection last month. She was a bit droopy again today though so we shall see what's going on next. I know what you mean about the forgetting thing. All this week mum had suddenly remembererd how to put food to her mouth but today it's gone again. A bumpy road for us ahead. How long has your mum had PSP? We estimate our mum has had it about 5 years, maybe slightly more. She was fully middle stage in May this year. love to you and your mum too.

Dianne xx


Kathy, my mother also seems sometimes to forget how to use a straw. I put the straw in her mouth, but she does not suck. Because she can still speak, she has told me that - just as with walking, when she cannot easily take the first step - she "gets stuck" and cannot take the first sip.

I have found that dabbling the wet end of the straw on her lips causes her to lick her lips, as a reflex. If I put the straw straight back in her mouth, she is then able to suck. Odd but it works for us. For the moment at least.

Best regards,



I thought I would add a note of caution here for anyone considering using frozen products such as iced-lollies or in my case ice-cream. These can potentially be dangerous for someone with PSP, especially during the hot summer when they can melt quite quickly, so best to avoid these if you can.


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