Mom isn't eating and has been ill. She just wants to die.

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Mom has been ill she looked so bad thought she was going to die, she had a bad cold and refused to go to the hopital. She doesn't understand things when I tell her anything much anymore.
She is going to need more care and refuses also a nursing home which can understand. I can come only after work I can't just quit my job she needs care during the day too.
I've been coming over everyday after work to care for her. To clean up and make something for her to eat if she well.
She was fine over 2 months ago and now she isn't she is 86 yrs old.
She just wants to die. This is very hard to watch her I also call her from work so we are trying to find someone to come there during the day to feed her help her to the bathroom etc. She is very stubborn woman even when ill..
If anyone has any other options for home care please I would appreciate this.

Thank you,

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I'm at this point with my mother. However, she is on hospice, and has AML, failed conservative chemotherapy. She is about 80 lb. and and is at the end, but doesn't seem to want to leave. Her caretaker who is here everyday (I am now on FMLA, because it does seem like we may be at the end)....is a god send. She is truly god's angel -- she keeps my sanity. My mom hasn't really eaten in over 3 weeks, but is still hanging in there.

My .02 is to be aware that home health aides/caretakers ain't cheap and it isn't paid for ny medicare. My mom will most likely pass before I drain her savings, but the $600 per week bill still kills me every time I write out another check.

My hospice is in the form of a nurse who showed me how to give needed meds, and checks in occasionally. They happily gave me a DNR to complete, which I never did. They dutifully sent over a social worker who discussed funerals. And a bereavement counselor who played in my garden (I have a huge rose garden) for 2 hours and talked about her family. I know this is part of the package deal, but really? What I need is respite, and honest advice and guidance. Hospice can be wonderful, but its not the be all/end all to end of life situations. This journey is heart wrenching, emotionally draining, mentally draining and I know my life is never going to be quite the same for the amount of stress I've been under. Please know you're not alone, there are a lot of us on this journey. Someone earlier on this forum said (a few weeks ago) a statement to the effect of "these elderly citizens are in uncharted territory, no previous generation has lived so well so long and they are not financially, emotionally, or mentally prepared to have lived so long".
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She should Not be left alone shes not well and needs to have someone with her shes lonely and yes scared. Should not be left alone. I wouldn't leave her alone. Not in her condition.
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This is a very sad situation to be in. You said your mother was very ill recently...could there be a medicine or combination of medicines that is affecting your mother's health? Bad drug interactions leading to depression. I think you need to have your mother's doctor review all of her medicine and the dosages and # of times per day given. I say this because as a person ages the effects ( potency) of medicine can increase even though the medicine dosage is correct. Maybe your mother's medicine(s) are making her not taste anything or the food tastes "funny". Like a small child maybe easy to swallow comfort foods would be a good starting point. Meatloaf (you can spice it up), mac and cheese ( make it w/all fattening ingredients... she needs the calories), puddings, pumpkin pie, apple sauce, ice cream( does she have a favorite flavor??), creamed corn, jello, peanut butter ( good taste, lots of fat and protein), hummus( many good, spicy, tasty flavors), pureed baby foods out of the jar, pureed/mashed vegetables( sweet potatoes or potatoes) add cream cheese and whole milk to the mashed potatoes again she needs the calories ....anything soft and soothing on the throat.
My husband under went major surgery and was on a ventilator also. He said his throat felt rough and had a sore spot when he swallowed or ate in the hospital and after he came home. He liked soft, soothing foods for awhile until his throat "healed". Sometimes medical professionals overlook telling caregivers about these small issues (sore throat causing a lack of appetite/ difficulty eating) because a major health crisis has been the main focus and that is where the thought about healing is. Sometimes the small things affect the healing process too.
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This is a very sad situation to be in. You said your mother was very ill recently...could there be a medicine or combination of medicines that is affecting your mother's health? Bad drug interactions leading to depression. I think you need to have your mother's doctor review all of her medicine and the dosages and # of times per day given. I say this because as a person ages the effects ( potency) of medicine can increase even though the medicine dosage is correct. Maybe your mother's medicine(s) are making her not taste anything or the food tastes "funny". Like a small child maybe easy to swallow comfort foods would be a good starting point. Meatloaf (you can spice it up), mac and cheese ( make it w/all fattening ingredients... she needs the calories), puddings, pumpkin pie, apple sauce, ice cream( does she have a favorite flavor??), creamed corn, jello, peanut butter ( good taste, lots of fat and protein), hummus( many good, spicy, tasty flavors), pureed baby foods out of the jar, pureed/mashed vegetables( sweet potatoes or potatoes) add cream cheese and whole milk to the mashed potatoes again she needs the calories ....anything soft and soothing on the throat.
My husband under went major surgery and was on a ventalator also. He said his throat felt rough and had a sore spot when he swallowed or ate. He liked soft, soothing foods for awhile until his throat "healed". Sometimes medical professionals overlook telling caregivers about these small issues (sore throat) because a major health crisis has been the main focus and that is
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Let me be clear -- thanks to waddle1 for making me realize I should be explicit about this -- when I wrote to think twice about interfering too much with natural death processes I did not for one second mean to suggest no pain amelioration or no attention to treatable causes. I'm not talking about just standing around and letting someone wither away in agony! That would be horrible. I was trying to say that loved ones have to accept some harsh realities, and that being ready to let go of life can actually be something to work with rather than against.
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I actually fed my mom by hand. She came to welcome it as an act of love...which it was...and responded to it right up to the end.
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Do not give up hope yet....there re many loss of appettite (sp) situations that are not leading to death....try to find out if there is a problem with the help of a physician. I agree to have hospice evaluate. Eating alone, side effects of mediations among other things can change appetitie.
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I don't know if anyone else mentioned this already, but does your mom have friends nearby?
My grandmother was depressed for years and also stopped eating at one point due to being upset. She would also say verbally that she just wanted to die, already. My grandmother did have in-home caregivers, and IF they were friendly and nice, that benefitted my grandmother greatly. Unfortunately, the home health care industry is a bit of a crap shoot: you might get someone who is an angel, and you might get someone that couldn't care less.
The other thing that helped my grandmother was her friends - from church, from the neighborhood - stopping in on her once in awhile. Also, when she was still able to walk, I'd get out and walk the neighborhood with her and just help her interact with others socially.
Being old and alone IS depressing, and we can all use a little help from our friends. : ) Good luck!
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I probably should stop my fingers from typing this because I don't want to hurt anyone's feeling or make them angry. I especially don't want to sound crude or insensitive to DMS about her mother's condition...but I do think she should be aware of reality. I think everyone is entitled to their opinion, however, when expressing an opinion if wrong or misleading information is given, then one should speak up. A previous poster wrote this in part..."...we are all going to die. The body heads in that direction by itself. Loss of appetite and loss of interest in life are part of that process, and they are gradual and painless".

Withering away due to lack of nourishment is NOT painless. Without sustained substantial nourishment the body's organs start to shut down. Kidneys, liver, lungs, heart...one by one they collapse like dominoes. That is excruciatingly painful!!! If anyone finds themselves watching a loved one die of starvation, a strong pain med, should be ordered, which is usually standard procedure when in a nursing home or medical facility where death is imminent.

As others have pointed out here, there can be a variety of reasons why DMS's mother is not eating. She needs to find out the reason. My mother's food consumption declined drastically, with drastic weight loss. An Endoscopy found she had a benign tumor in her intestine, which the doc said could be affecting her appetite. The tumor was disolveable by meds. DMS's mother may have teeth, mouth or throat issues, among other possibilities. The cause and/or her mother's thoughts about her lack of eating, needs to be explored. There are various meds, foods, methods to respond. A pill used with Anorexia patients has seen success with senior citizens with eating issues too. And a more drastic measure is a feeding tube. Options to consider.

I think DMS's mother deserves a chance at recovery. I think DMS could regret it later if she doesn't offer that chance to her mother. If her mother doesn't survive attempts at helping her, one could say, it was God's will or fate. But, IMO she deserves the chance...
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I lean towards what always learning said about fighting death. With statins and modern medicine we have longer lives, but we have dementia, we weaken, our joints fail, our eyes fail. We are alive, but we don't feel much like doing anything. Our friends are in the same boat, so we don't even have much time with friends ( I know I'm making general statements - of course there are exceptions). If we still have our minds, of course we are stubborn - after all, we've lost so much, we want to have some control over something. There are meds for low appetite, but I agree with working with hospice as a better option at this point. I know my dad is still good mentally, but he's tired of the doctor visits, procedures, anesthesia, etc. He's non compliant with his diet, won't exercise, sleeps a lot, denies depression. He wants to do things on his own terms, and even tho I love him and would love for him to be around for many more years, I can understand why he feels the way he does. As was previously said, taking care of your parents is very hard.
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