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,


One thought that comes to mind is to call Hospice. They offer a lot of information and resources and not only for end of life, but for the whole potentially long journey through old age.

My mom also was on a roller coaster. There were times when I was sure she would not make it, but she recovered ... with a lot of oversight. Sadly, years later, when she seemed to be doing well, one day she didn't wake up and passed away comfortably in her sleep.

Based on that experience, and reading your summary... I'm suggesting that you contact Hospice, because they can be sure you get the resources she needs for good care. She may have many, many ups and downs.

In my mom's case, I just wanted her to be comfortable and to find happiness in her years. I hope you are able to find the help you and she need for the roller coaster and am hopeful her next up period is just around the corner for you both. All best wishes to you.
Expereinced the lack of eating with my mother...though never got the impression she was doing it because she..."wants to die." You and she need help in dealing with her eating issues and with daily care in general. I would contact your local Agency on Aging, Elder Care, her doctor or any other organizations in your area that focus on Senior Citizens. If they don't provide the help themselves, they can steer you towards an organization that can. You'll find many discussions and articles about the situation you're facing here at I'm sure you'll also receive many responses to your post with great suggestions.

You need to prepare for a bumpy road. You are entering a world of emotional turmoil...not knowing what to do...needs vs finances...what's best for her vs what she wants...making decisions you don't want to make etc. It's tough. Prepare yourself.

You can replace a meal by giving her Ensure(protien drink). Call you local seniors center or Church they sometimes have people who offer their assistance. Call her doctor and explain what is happening. Maybe he can admit her into the hospital since she isn't eating, and from their she can be taken to a nursing home where she will not even realize the transition.
I hear the panic in you; I hear the love, too. Your mother is blessed. I cared for my mother for eleven years and put my life on hold - didn't mean to but it just had to be done. It was the hardest thing I have ever done and the best. At the point you are, we found a neighbor willing to check up on my mother every couple of hours. Can you find a community to support you? Do YOU have support? ASK for it and keep asking until you get it.

If my mother had been aware ( she had growing dementia), she would have wanted to die rather than to journey 11 more years into would have been very hard but I would have been honor bound to respect that wish. You are a good daughter to show up and to keep showing up. Ask your mother, to tell you more about her wishes. Start talking to her about what is going on. It is the best effort, in an unfamiliar sea.
I lost my dad in June of 2012 for that very reason. I live in FL, he's in CA with mom. Whenever I'd visit, he was thinner and thinner. He would not eat, and said that he lost his sense of taste. I took a college class at UNF about aging in America, and the class addressed that very issue; the elderly lose their sense of taste, and don't feel like eating unless there is a lot of family around to eat with them and encourage them to eat. Since I live so far away, I tried to get my mom to encourage my dad. She's 86 and just wouldn't help him. My professor taught us that if you do live nearby and can encourage them to eat, you need to cook very flavorful, spicy type foods. That will increase your mom's appetite. I'm 57 and already have a lousy sense of smell, and prefer very spicy foods. Bland things, well, I just can't taste them so I don't feel like eating them. You may have to try that with your mom, too. Offer her favorite, flavorful foods, and make dining a family affair filled with encouragement. If I could have moved to CA, I would have. Consequently, my dad became so thin (he was 94), his legs started to fail him. When he was rushed to the hospital because of a fall, his weakened state allowed the Clostridium difficile bacteria to take over his body and kill him. Of course the hospital would never admit to my dad catching that bacteria there, but I know he did. He was tested upon admittance and didn't have any bacteria. Two weeks later, he was dead from C. diff. So, bottom line, if you can join your mom during meals and only give her flavorful foods and lots of encouragement, she will eat more and start to put on weight. The B vitamins, especially B12, will increase her appetite. I give that to my lions and tigers when they go off their food (I own a wildlife sanctuary). I give them the injectable B12 and within a day, their appetite returns. I hope all of this helps!
There are so many variables in the situation above that it's hard to say without knowing what would be best for your mother. First, of course, money and how much is available for her care determines a lot, as well of course as insurance. Also, where she lives (small town without too many resources for elder care vs. a larger city with more options). Then of course friends and family who are or are not able or willing to be a part of seeing after her.
I know most of us do not want to go into a nursing home environment. Next to that would be assisted living and foremost, I think, most of us prefer for ourselves and our loved ones to be in their homes until the day we or they die. But in many cases, it really does 'take a village' to assure that a person can live - healthily and well - at home for good.
My in-laws prepared well financially and had a home that mostly was suitable for them to remain in forever. However, both of them lived/are still living to very old ages. And both, with health concerns such as falling, managing their nutrition and meds, and staying clean, that caused intervention that they really did not want. When my father in law passed away at 88 five years ago, his year and a half long demise took a huge toll on his 87 year old wife. She is fiercely independent and guarded her 'secrets' at times, such as her falls and the fact that she cut pills in half to 'economize', thinking all of that was costing her way too much money. Her stubbornness and the lack of suitable resources to help her at home were (no pun intended) her downfall. Had she a) lived in a bigger city with more resources to tap and b) been more open and agreeable about how things got managed and listened to her doctors, she had substantial financial resources to stay put.
The other element was that once she lost her husband, she suffered from loneliness too and being sequestered at home didn't help that as she increasingly was homebound.
The assisted living situation would have possibly been ok, but once there she would do things like not ask for help to the bathroom, or not tell when she felt as if a UTI was coming on. And they would help with meds, but not totally manage them. After her second fall and hip break, she no longer could walk and couldn't go to the bathroom alone, so she had to be in a nursing home. It is one of two in town and a - in our opinion - terrible, smelly place. She is now 92 and close to the end. She saw her sisters and husband end up in this same place and she doesn't feel as if she deserves any better. She's been there 5 years now, and never much eats out of her room. I wouldn't either. No body there seems to know who and where they are and the surroundings are depressing. She is mentally vital and has nothing in common with these folks except that they are all old and either mentally and/or physically unable to care for themselves.
My own lovely grandmother passed away twenty years ago and did stay in her home till the very end. She had also fallen two years prior and broken her hip, but she seemed to rehab very well. Clearly she went physically down hill in general after that trauma, but she had a lot of great support, enough money, was cooperative about her care plan and meds, tons of family and friends who checked in on her and helped her around the house and she was in a large enough city where options abounded. She died of a bowel obstruction, which due to her living will, we her loving family, all agreed to not consent on her behalf to operate on. She passed within 48 hours.
Here is my two cents. None of us will live forever. Perhaps your mother knows it is 'her time' or soon will be. Perhaps she is 'ready'. Being as you say stubborn, her last bastion of any control is deciding when she feels ready to let go. You can only do so much, too.
If she would do better, socially, in assisted living or if what she is dealing with is depression that you see would improve if you got her out of her home, perhaps that is the answer. I guess I think now that we lose the point when we want to feed and prompt very elderly folks in ways they don't want to be pushed. After all, advanced age really is 'terminal' and part of the dying process. Maybe she is just slowing down and is ready. That may be hard to admit or hear, but if she has her own way and is allowed to let go without being in any way cruel or neglectful, it might be what she wants. I would have her evaluated by a doctor and perhaps Hospice. You might be surprised to find that she is a candidate, which would be a help for her and for you. God bless. I know this is very hard.
It sounds like she's scared and depressed and stressed. There are great meds for this that might help.Take her wonderfull treats ! It doesn't matter what kind.Anything to get her to eat.
Hospice is a good idea and to get the picture of long term. They will give you
ideas for the present also if she is not ready for their services.
My mother needs antidepressants now with her demetia; and as a personality
that was always upbeat and happy , it is difficult to first accept that diagnosis
of depression. Many of the elderly parents of friends get to that point, and a simple antidepressant can do wonders. Also, her Aricept prolongs the good activity of the mind I have learned from Mom';s experience and it has made a positive difference.

As a former social worker, don't forget that your senior activity centers have
daytime programs,,so that our elders don't have to be alone at home which
seems to promote the decline with many. Aging and Adult Services are the
state agencies that also can give advice on what is available in your area. It sounds like you are reaching the point where you absolutely need to reach out.
Her doctor should make some evaluations on her ability to make decisions and
continue to be alone for care during the day. Certainly while sick, you could talk to
them about home health care, and compliance and agreeablity of the elder is
much changed when depression is there. My mother is very stubborn, but she
is agreeable and willing to try with the help of the antidepressant Celexa.
Best wishes for her strength and happiness and yours, too.
Such a tough situation. I'm sorry you and your mom are going through it. Does your mom have a physician? There could be a fixable physical problem going on, could be something that medication might help. She could have a low-grade infection that is affecting her, could have depression that could be treated. A combo of antidepressant and Aricept helped my mom, though it took time to kick in. It could be that your mom's not eating is her and her body's way of getting ready to die, but that may not be the case. If it is, hospice would be very helpful, but I would guess you need a doctor's order to request hospice service. We did for my mom. I like the suggestions given about finding neighbors, friends, volunteers to check in on your mom while you're at work. That interaction might even lift your mom's spirits. I do think a trip to the doctor (or find a doctor who will come to her; we were able to find such a doc, and he was literally a Godsend, as we would've had to use an ambulance to take Mom to a doctor the last few months of her life, and that would've been very upsetting to her) is an important first step. Best of luck. It is a difficult time, but a sacred one too. Take care.
In our culture we fight death as if it were a terrible thing even in old age. It's wonderful that we can transplant organs and cure diseases with our modern medicine -- we extend life. But 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. Medicating them away we are messing with the neurochemistry of this natural process and we run the risk of substituting a far more tormenting situation down the line. Think twice about this.

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