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Old 03-17-2013, 07:21 PM
 
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maybe a milk shake or just let her have whatever to eat. I dont eat if not hungry I also would never force
a person to eat if not hungry.

My dog, not the same, however she did get old as we all do. no desire to eat, now she will-

Now she is doing great . I would somehow find what she likes and with the doctor ok do it.

Last edited by maggiekate; 03-17-2013 at 07:44 PM..
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
5,597 posts, read 5,484,128 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padgett2 View Post
Now, about depression.. Let me ask you, if you couldn't get around without help, had to wear diapers, had problems not being able to see well, read, can't hear, aches, pains, trouble breathing, food doesn't taste good or digest well, would you be depressed?

Would you really want to continue living like that as long as possible, or would you want for it to end as soon as possible?

Think. And have some compassion for what another person might be going though. Not everyone is afraid of death. Some would even welcome it.

If you can't understand what's happening, I feel for you. I suggest you start thinking about your own ending. It's coming you know.

I agree with you for my personal situation (being one who suffered clinical depression for the first time at age 16), but my 86-year-old mother with eating issues that are a daily PIMA has no such belief. She DEMANDS every treatment, shot, and pill possible to keep her in the game for another day and seems to believe every one of her many ailments can and should be fixed.

She wanted to go to the dentist a couple of weeks ago, saying she had a pain in one of her teeth. She was grumbling that she probably would have to have a root canal. I was curious as to what her dentist would say (do they really give root canals to 86-year-olds?). When she got in there, he asked her which tooth. She didn't know for sure. He asked her how often it hurt. Answer: "I've had a twinge at least three times." He examined her and looked again at x-rays he had taken not long ago. He said, "I can't tell you what's wrong with you. Come back when it hurts all the time." And she was angry! She wanted "treatment" for something that minimal.

My sister-in-law was advised that her 98-year-old mother was ready for hospice. Nana loudly fought being moved to the care facility attached to her assisted living complex even though she could not walk, feed or dress herself, and was asleep most of the day. She demanded a doctor who would "find out what is wrong." Her personal physician who had treated her for decades gently told her "there's nothing we can do for what is ailing you." Nana told her daughter, "Fire him and get me another doctor."

Just as there are people who would welcome death in that state, there are plenty more who think they should never die and are offended by people who think their end is near.

And BTW, I don't think many people here on this thread lack compassion. We are just trying to figure out how to give the care that our loved ones seem to be expecting and not kill ourselves in the process.
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:48 PM
 
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Perhaps I should have qualified my answer by saying that was about clear thinking individuals.

When a person reaches a point where they are not thinking "straight" (as in the examples in the above post) we are not talking about the same thing.


There are a lot of people, that for some reason, can't even think about death. It just will not happen to them. We have an obligation to that frame of mine too. But when a person, cannot or doesn't want to eat, there is no need to make those last months (or years) unpleasant by insisting that they do.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:15 AM
 
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Hopefully the OP has gotten some assistance - I don't know if they've been back.

As far as having the will to live (not just denial of death), my father (bedridden and yes - wearing adult briefs) is enjoying his remaining time with us, whatever that may be. He has no desire to disappear from this mortal coil tomorrow, but would probably not elect to have major surgery were it recommended.

As it is his health is relatively stable, his dialysis (3x weekly) is basically his "job" and gives him something to do while we are at work. He has his large television, his music and sports stations, and enjoys being a part of mine and my husband's life. He also is an excellent cat-soother while we are at work and not home to pet them.

Had he not suffered a series of misfortunates leading to an amputation (leading to tremendous bed sores - all now healed) - leading to total loss of mobility, I have no doubt he would be puttering around. His family is particularly long lived (many relatives into their 90s and 100s) so at 85 I don't think he's going anywhere soon. (and I'm thankful for that).

So just remember that what one person finds a tolerable, even enjoyable (although different) life, is not necessarily the same for another. (i.e. immobility and adult briefs do not automatically make everone wish to die).

Mom was the same up until her passing last year - she truly enjoyed living with us, and being with her husband, even though she could not get up to help us. She had no desire not to continue her life, her personality was too strong and funny -- and as a result I still believe she died to young. Even though she was in adult briefs and unable to walk as well.

Both my parents regretted any possible burden they may have caused us, but neither seem to regret the years we have spent together, being a family again (even a different kind of family).

Since I don't consider them a burden, it has (in our case), worked out well.

For the OP - only you'll really know if your grandmother seems to really be reaching the end and her lack of appetite is natural, or if its a medical issue to be dealt with. I hope you are able to make a determination and treat accordingly.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:25 PM
 
3,911 posts, read 3,018,726 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padgett2 View Post
I am 82 and I don't want to eat either. Why???? All food does at this time is provide some energy. My body isn't healing, getting stronger or getting younger.

Death comes. The body, with no big problems, has to wind down somehow. Eating may or may not extend this time. Do you really want her to live as long as possible in her condition? Would YOU want to be llike that?

Make the end easy for her. Don't push food. If she doesn't want it, she doesn't want it. Soups and other soft things go down without chewing much. She really doesn't need much at this time.. A balanced diet is no help at all. Make sure that what she eats is something that has easily digested calories.
I am concerned about the liability of the posters if they are completely hands off regarding their grandmother's refusal to eat. The advice of an earlier poster to contact a local aging agency about their problem is appropriate here.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:55 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
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I don't think the OP and his family should be totally hands off - but forcing, cajoling, and making food the central point of concern may not be the best route either. I'd certainly want to make her medical professional aware of the situation and try to implement any suggestions they might have, mostly because I'd want it documented that I tried. There are so many people who will point a finger and say "you're doing it wrong", but they aren't the people doing it every day.

I also agree with others that if Grandma is willing to discuss it, have a talk about her nutritional wishes. If there's no real reason not to (like diabetes, etc.), I'd give her whatever she would agree to eat. But it does bring into play what she wants at the end. I saw this with my grandfather - he just stopped eating or drinking very much other than ice cream. He had colon cancer and was eventually checked into the hospital, where he slipped further and further away from us. My grandmother insisted on a peg and kept him alive for weeks past what was his probable expiration date. They had never discussed what to do in this type situation, never filled out any paperwork, and she was hearing people tell her that if she didn't do the peg she was essentially starving him to death. It freaked the poor woman out...she just couldn't make sense of the fact that his body was shutting down when she weighed it against the court of public opinion that she starved him. And once they are hospitalized, you DO lose a certain amount of control over treatment if there are not very specific points laid out in a document. It's just hard when you have no clue which way to turn, what the person really wants done, if they are having some dementia or are truly trying to check out.

I think a medical eval would be the first step to make sure there isn't an underlying illness that has stolen her appetite, but if not - well, the body shuts down one way or another eventually.

Bless her heart - and thank you to the OP and spouse for caring for this lady and giving it everything you've got.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:54 PM
 
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My 87 yr old mother did not want to eat either - she was in a care facility - after haven fallen and broken her neck - she refused to do her physical therapy - did not want to talk to me when I came - she just wanted to sleep - I tried everything to help her - she also suffered from depression most of her life and none of the depression medicine was helping either - I visited her every day for hours - she started hospice and we took out her feeding tube - she did not care one way or the other - she just did not want to live anymore. I would give anything in this world to see and talk to her again when she was healthty and vital - she was also the type that hated being old - did not even want to be around old people - so sad that she died this way.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
I am concerned about the liability of the posters if they are completely hands off regarding their grandmother's refusal to eat. The advice of an earlier poster to contact a local aging agency about their problem is appropriate here.
I think that you may have missed the meaning of some of the posts. Never did anyone suggest being "completly hands off." Instead, they mentioned giving stuff that's easy to chew or swallow, even though it lacked being a good meal.

There are too many problems with dealing with such elderly patients without the constant push to eat more. Make those last days or years more pleasant, if you can.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snolife View Post
It seems it is getting harder and harder to get her to eat. Me and my wife have been taking care of her for about 2 years now and its getting worse. We quit or jobs, relocated, etc. She cant get up and go to the restroom for the last 2 years. We have her in depends. We knew what we were getting into but this not eating thing is taking a toll on us. Do any of you have any suggestions on what we can do to get her to eat more? For the most part, she's an angel but when we talk to her about eating she just looks at us blankly. We knew this would be a trying experience but not eating is another thing. Thanks.
You may need the services of an Eldercare Manager or Social Worker to connect your family to services like a visiting nurse and dietician. These professionals assist the senior who has remained in the home. The dietician has received training in patient nutritional needs and can work with your grandmother on some meal options. One could be supplementation with a product like Boost or Ensure. Your local government's Council on Aging should be be able to provide some leads and resources.

Your grandmother not taking meals and receiving nutrition could lead to her failure to thrive. Considering her age and fraility, this could put her at risk. . This is something you need to address ASAP.

Good luck and blessings to your family.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:54 AM
 
Location: Florida
11,471 posts, read 8,173,822 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laorbust61 View Post
You may need the services of an Eldercare Manager or Social Worker to connect your family to services like a visiting nurse and dietician. These professionals assist the senior who has remained in the home. The dietician has received training in patient nutritional needs and can work with your grandmother on some meal options. One could be supplementation with a product like Boost or Ensure. Your local government's Council on Aging should be be able to provide some leads and resources.

Your grandmother not taking meals and receiving nutrition could lead to her failure to thrive. Considering her age and fraility, this could put her at risk. . This is something you need to address ASAP.

Good luck and blessings to your family.
At a bedridden 86, what is the risk she is not already facing.....and perhaps even welcoming?
I get visions of wrestling with an ordinarily serene older person in order to insert a feeding tube..."No!No!.... But dearie...it's for your own good!!"
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