lelliott243 Asked March 2010

My 92-year-old mother is not eating. What can I do?

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staceyb Jul 2016
I know that when my mom had CHF, she wouldn't eat because she felt so SOB, any foods just made her feel worse and even more full. Once we got to the bottom of it, and got her CHF under control, she didn't feel SOB any longer, and was able to eat properly. Near the end of her life, she just wasn't hungry, and barely ate ate all, and sometimes we have to let the natural course of the dying process take its course, but it is very hard to watch! As others have mentioned, people who are bedbound, don't require as many calories to maintain life functions. So many older folks will only eat small meals and snacks, just try to make them as nutritious as possible.
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Is she on the antianxiety meds on a schedule? In other words, is she getting them on a regular basis, as opposed to when she "thinks" she's short of breath and really anxious?

My mom didn't have breathing problems, but did and does have huge anxiety problems. We found that getting her on the anti anxiety meds, at a low dose, several times a day (and eventually adding an antidepressant) kept her anxiety from breaking through and attaching itself to whatever was happening at the moment.

Hope this helps and that others have ideas for you!
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justme456 Jul 2016
My mom is almost 92 and has a real dependence on her nebulizer. She has a bit of asthma, but her main problem is anxiety which causes a severe shortness of breath. She is convinced that the nebulizer is the only thing that helps her. So, her doctor is telling me not to let her use so much albuterol/nebulizer, but rather to use the anxiety drugs he has prescribed. I am caught in the middle. My mom begs for the nebulizer and I am beginning to feel like an enabler. It causes me such frustration and while I want to help my mom I know that I need to follow the doctor's request that she stop using the nebulizer. Any ideas, similar experiences? I'm at a loss.
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Im very sadden to read these stories. I can only offer prayer for all of you and your ailing family members.

Heavenly Father, I bring to you all the elderly and caregivers here and throughout the world, specially those that are no longer eating...those in nursing homes and those who no longer receive visitors. Father please send angels of healing, give hope, comfort and joy to them and if it is your will they come home to be with you, then let it bring glory to your name. In Jesus name I pray.

Blessings to all of you.
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lynvick56 Apr 2016
My 88 year old mother is going through the same thing. She resides at a nursing home and she is in the Memory Care Unit as she suffers from Dementia, and she just hates being there. She stopped eating three weeks ago and has lost an alarming amount of weight. She is just skin and bones. She seems to find the idea of eating nauseating. But she will drink water, Ginger Ale and clear Ensure (not the milky kind). And a sip of milk here and there.
We had a meeting with the administrator and nurses and they told us that her body is shutting down and not to force her to eat. This is the body's natural way of preparing to die.
It's been hard for family members to accept that and they've been trying to get her to take bites of the pureed food they serve her at the nursing home. But it seems as if she gets diarrhea after trying to eat so I don't know if they are doing more harm than good. They feel that if they can just get some nutrition into her, she'll turn around. She is still alert and in good spirits. She is not sleeping all the time.
Yesterday the hospice nurse told us to give her milk because it's high protein. I am so confused. Do we feed her or do we let her make her own decision to not eat? What is best for her? Are we postponing the inevitable? Does milk cause the diarrhea?
It is torture seeing her go through this. She can no longer support her weight as Googs2 said, and must be helped on and off the toilet, into bed, her wheelchair, etc. She cried the other day that she can no longer do anything for herself. I feel so bad for her!! My heart is breaking. But she continues to laugh and enjoy our company. It's so hard....
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For how long? Is she drinking fluids?

If she's got bronchitis and is on meds for that, a couple of days without solid food, as long as she's getting fluidS, shouldn't be a problem. Can the doctor order some home nursing service, someone to come out and check on her condition so you're not so worried?

If she seems dehydrated ( eyes sunken, grey-ish pallor), I'd call 911. I am not a doctor, of course.
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Shari8158 Dec 2015
Thank you so very much , please can you help me.
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Shari8158 Dec 2015
91yr old Mother with Sore Throat, Tung hurts and is not eating foods taste bad.
Was told she has Bronitis, upper repertory. I ask could she have thrush. No white spots, but red spots on tongue and throat . Also gets UTIS a lot has been off and on Antibiotics. Could she have Candid's? She's on Probiotics, Vitamin C and cranberry pills. Has COPD, taking meds for that. Is there something to stimulate her app. and anything naturally? Also given Tylenol with Codon for body pain. Hurts all over. Also again put on Antibiotics. She has Alzheimer's and Sundowners taking Trazodone for this. what can I do help get to feeling great again please?
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smoyenda Dec 2012
Thank you for all of these suggestions. I am glad this website and blog exist, everyone was helpful.
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sruthi Sep 2012
then you may give her fruit juices if she is not having food.... n juices are much healthier n i think u must consult a doctor n take advice from him/her so that they will prescribe some tablets for her...
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