Mom has dementia, and has been eating well but Monday she started refusing some of her food, even desserts.
Mom has has memory loss for several years. It's not Alzheimers so she knows who she is but she doesn't remember how to do much. She got sick in September and was in the hospital twice with uti. The first time the doctors didn't know if she would make it through the night. When she recovered she went to a NH for rehab. We moved them out of their apartment before she came home from the NH. She was in the hospital and nursing home again until December 1, 2011. She was refusing to eat most of her food from September until right before Christmas. Her regular Dr said if it was the dementia that if she was reminded to eat that she would respond by eating. He said because she was refusing to eat (and she lost 50+ lbs from Sept to Dec 1) that she was letting go. He suggested that I ask for the Dr on her case in the NH to make a referral for hospice eval, she was admitted to hospice immediately based on the diagnosis of debility, meaning she wasn't able to care for herself and especially get out of bed without help.
She started eating again but mostly deserts about the end of Dec. She has still been picky but I asked her once a while ago if she was enjoying her dinner, 2 hours after she started eating and she shyly shook her head no. I told her she didn't have to eat it and she said "I don't?" I have been telling her regularly since then as I give her her meal that she doesn't have to eat all of it. I try to give her a small portion but not too small because she won't ask for more when she's done. Afterwards she almost always lights up and says yes to desert. I always have many choices for her since she gets bored easily. She isn't demanding and she has a hard time expressing herself unless she has choices offered to her. She loves desert.
Monday she was up in the wheelchair for a few hours. Hospice ordered a lift that allowed me to get her up in the wheelchair without help. We've been painting a birdhouse and we finished it that day. I asked if she was tired and she said no. She wanted to stay up and I had someone coming over to show me something. She ended up sitting watching us and I thought she was feeling excluded but she didn't say anything. I told my friends I need to end our meeting and take care of mom and when they left she wanted to go to bed and didn't want desert. She seemed quieter than normal, not responding like usual to joking. She had wet while in the wheelchair and when I got her back to bed I changed her and she wanted to go to bed earlier than usual.
Yesterday she started refusing food and desert again. Today she ate breakfast and lunch okay but at dinner she didn't eat well and refused desert.
I don't know if this is just momentary or if she is letting go. I guess I panic. I want to know I am doing all I can to help her enjoy the time she has. I don't want her to think I don't want to care for her. She has always been the one to take care of everyone else, without complaint. It's her turn to be cared for. I don't have the trauma that so many others have told about here on this site. Mom is a dream to care for.
I don't always know what to do to help her enjoy life since she isn't able to do most anything she used to do. I tried to have her rip out a seem on a blouse I want to alter today and she couldn't remember she wasn't sewing. She kept trying to go somewhere and sew the blouse. Mom and I used to sew together when my kids were small. Now she plays with her sheet and comforter as if she's sewing. I go along with it mostly but sometimes I need to move them to do something like getting her ready for bed.
I know I've been rambling. I don't even have a question. I'm just not sure what to expect. It's probably nothing she'll probably be back to normal soon. We'll see soon I guess.