My dad is in a nursing home and refused to eat or take any of his medications. I am worn out trying to play nice, how can I deal with his behavior?

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My 95 yr old dad had a stroke in March and is in a nursing home under hospice care. For a while he was doing better, eating a little, and taking his meds. once again he is refusing meds and food. I am worn out with coaxing him to eat, drink, take meds play nice! is anyone out here dealing with this and how do you cope?

Answers 1 to 10 of 17
Top Answer
First you need to relax and stop wearing yourself out. This is not a battle you need to be wasting all your energy on. Perhaps your dads body is telling him it is time to go. Your dad has lived a very long life, what a blessing that you have had him so long. I know it is difficult for us to let go of our loved ones, but it may be time for you to come to terms with the possibility of your dads passing.
It is OK to let him go, and to let him know that you are allowing him to go if he needs to. You said he is under hospice care.
They should have a SW or bereavement councilor that you could talk to. Are you able to go get a massage? It really is the best thing for relaxing. Take care.
Maybe it's time for him to go.
I agree with yearright. Each of us will have a time to go. Wouldn't you rather make that decision for yourself? I would. Your Dad's refusing to eat may simply be him making that decision . . . at his age it may well be a wise decision. Hospice will keep him comfortable and I'm sure that your dad would want you to look after yourself. Take care.
I agree. I actually came to terms with this a few months ago then things got better and now he is reverting, it just makes the inevitable more difficult to deal with.

However, I visited with my Dad 2 days ago and I had the most peaceful visit with him than I can remember. He expressed gratitude under the circumstances, said he doesn’t hurt, everyone is nice at the Home and takes good care of him and that he has no complaints. Said a whole lot more but you don't know what that did for my heart to hear him say these things. I did ask but I didn't fuss this time about eating and meds, he said he eats and take meds most of the time but sometime he just doesn't want them. We parted with kisses and smiles. Whenever the end comes for either one of us, peace has been made.
Thank you all.
Stop coaxing. His needs are being met differently now. Enjoy whatever time you have left and if all he wants is a taste of ice cream, that's ok. Play some nice classical radio music for him and read to him and your memories will be of peace and comfort instead of stress and anxiety.
@ PGscott, I had stopped the coaxing a few months ago and he did better. Just recently the Nursing Home called to tell us he was refusing again. That's the reason for my stress at that moment but after I left the other day, I beleive he and I are both in a better state of mind.
Thank you.
Are the nurses to give him his meds. or who? It sounds as if he is going through bouts of depression. Being in 90's in hospice, stroke. I am not making excuses for him. My mom passed 1 1/2 years ago this passed Tues from a double stroke/heart attack at age 77. She lived 10 days of incognition. Is there a way, or do you trust any of the nurses, if there are any to give him his med. with something he likes to eat.....he must still like something. He is at a turning point of being 90 going on 4, no offense intended, my dad is same. If there is something he likes, tell him he will get it after the med. and only after. if he wants to be a child, unfortunately, you have to treat him that way sometimes, for his own good. If all things were right, he would not be doing this, so don't feel guilty....you are doing what he/your mom did when you were little. Another thing, make sure he has swallowed the pill, making him laugh, if possible at somethiong from years back,....you don't want to turn around and him spit it out. Another thing, has your mom passed? If so, he is probably still down regarding his soulmate leaving him. or it may just be hitting. I know you are exaperated, I am too with my situation. Sometimes playing nice, is harder than playing the grownup to them. If you play nice, you usually get no where...however, if you get some what tough, you get action, and it surprises them, they won't expect it. They won't like it, but little children don't either. He will get over it. You may also have to have a talk with his doctor regarding if he has mentioned anything about life not worth living with stroke now. Strokes can take several roads, depression, or happiness, which is not normal. Sadness or crying is. My mom never made it to either state on a resusitator, howvever, you father may be in a somewhat denial/angry at the world for everything going or seeming to go wrong. He cannot see what this is doing to you. As when you were little you did not see the hardships of your father, I do not think. Lastly, if he has nurses, to bring food or meds. make sure he is getting them. You may have to arrange to stay an entire day to insure he is getting what he should. I do not know about a hospice, however, a nursing home, won't give meds or food......sometimes. do the dying.....they just let them die....one less to look after. been there, know that with my grandfather..... I do hope this helps. God Bless You!
prashworth, what is life worth living with so much assistance? The man is old and ready to die....why do you want to force him to live so long? Without the artificial drugs and forced feeding he would go in peace...what is your motivation to keep him living? To compare him to a small child who has a whole life ahead is no comparison. Sumlerc, does he have a directive of some sort...something that tells you what he wants to be done? Perhaps he expressed an opinion in the past about how he felt about being "kept alive". Even Mother Theresa would let go and let God...
?!MOMMAG perhaps you didn't read my last posts where I wrote that we are at peace and a better state of mind...those who dare question my motivation for keeping my loved ones alive know this, I will go to the ends of the earth for my parents yet obey their wishes. I've asked my dad on several occassions he wish to die and so has the medical staff and he said no. So do you think I should just give up at the first resistance??? You do you! Those that understand thank you and I am letting go and letting God's will be done but I feel no shame in holding on until my dad lets go.
Just to let you know, I am a social worker that worked in Hospice care for some time. As hard as it is to see your father this way, one of the many lesson I learned while being in hospice is that when someone is dying (which if your Dad is in Hospice care I believe that is what is happening) it is painful/difficult for the body to break down food, that is why people stop eating. Many people think that their loved ones are starving and might even die from starvation, but this is not true. They are dying from the disease they have and like I said before to breakdown food during these last week/s days can be very painful. I'm sorry about your Dad; my advice is stop worrying about the food issue and anything else that may be causing you stress and to just enjoy the moments you have with him now because they will be gone before you know it.

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