Aunt won't eat -need help - she has Dementia- I AM LOSING MY MIND!!!

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My Aunt is currenlty in the hospital - She was at a nursing home & didnt barely eat for 5 days. She was in ICU as a result of this & now she is in a step down unit. What landed her in the hospital was that she started refusing to eat in the Nursing Home. Her body is in good shape - her mind is telling her to refuse. Is there a medication that she can safely take to stop the paranoia/refusal of eating??

19 Comments

Rioblu, have you read the pamphlet called Out of My Sight.? The hospice I use for my husband gave me a copy. It explains that, when someone is very ill, their body is concentrating on other things. They do NOT need to eat. Dementia is progressive. Unfortunately, there is no cure and the patient will eventually pass away. This behavior of not eating is one change in the process of dying. Actually, your aunt would most probably prefer to be at peace with the Lord, rather than suffering with dementia. Watching our loved ones regress is so painful. I am going through the same thing with my dear husband; however, I wish this was over yesterday. I can't bear to see him so miserable. Sending you hugs and prayers. Corinne
You will need to talk to her doctor about any medication that might help her want to eat. My dad lost his desire to eat also. He passed away this past Sept. 24th. He was 90 years old and he was just tired of living with the limitations of a stroke. Your aunt may be losing her will to live. Even if her body is in good shape, her mind may be failing. You don't mention her age or her mental situation.

Rioblu: You have a lot to contend with caring for your mom. As a result you are already on overload. Can you speak with your Aunt's doctor? Possibly an anti-anxiety depression medication, like Paxil can help your aunt; but depending on her circumstances, she may just be a point where she is shutting down.

If I were in your circumstances, I would talk to her hospital doctor and ask if an anti-depressant would help her. If you truly feel that paranoia is an issue then bring that up also.

I am wishing you and your aunt the best. Hugs, Cattails.
rioblu, take a deep breath. It's been my experience, this is normal. Corinne is right. The body is an amazing thing. I have several elderly clients. I have seen how they digress. Let her be at peace.
Sounds like calling in Hospice might be the thing to do.
This simple thing may work. I read it on this site a while back. Since most elderly desire sweets, try putting some surgar on her food. I bought a little grinder, like a pepper mill, filled sugar and cinnamin and grind a little on my 97 yr old father's food. He has a good appetite and eats it all. Good Luck!
Rioblu, my mom stopped eating and the nursing home called in a doctor and he prescribed a medication for a month or so. Didn't do much good so they ended up putting a feeding tube in which is how mom remains to this day in the nursing home.

It sounds like your mom will most likely need a feeding tube in the future. Medication is no guarentee that your mom will ever eat again on her own and the feeding tube is maybe the only answer.... for both your sakes. Good luck no matter what happens.
If she were my aunt I'd get her out of the hospital and into hospice as soon as possible.
There is NO WAY I'd put my dear ones on a feeding tube. What kind of life is that? Think of what you would want if you were in her place. God bless you. I know it's so hard to let loved ones go. Sending hugs. Corinne
Agreeing to the feeding tube for my mom was not a decision that was easy for me. I hated the idea of the feeding tube but had I not allowed it would have been tantamount to murdering her. She had stopped eating to the point where she would have starved to death. I could not let that happened when there was a way to help her.
Dear rio, has she signed a living trust or a DNR form? my mom just died in oct and she had not eaten for 6-8 weeks, just sucked ice chips and sponge sticks. I read that book corrine told you about over and over. Get to hospice immediately and they will take over her care, not your dr. The dr has protect himself from being sued. Jeanne told me a long time ago,"eventually this will be over." She would probably get very sick if she ate. Read that booklet from hospice. They know death is a part of life. I will be thinking of you as I pack my mom`s clothes up. She was a professional when all the ladies wore suits. Dont be discouraged, hospice will help you. God bless you Rioblu!

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