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??

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It's time for hospice. Unless your Aunt's beliefs demand a feeding tube, I would not go that route.
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JuneMA, with some elders they lose their sense of taste. Everything will start to taste blah. Except for stronger tasting items such as you had mentioned coffee, juice and ice cream.

And please don't keep blaming yourself because your hubby doesn't want to eat much any more. There is nothing you can do about it. You sound like you come from the same era as my Mom, as when my Dad had a heart attack she was wondering what would the neighbo's and relatives think, that she wasn't take care of her husband? So to cover that, she denied Dad had a heart attack, to save face. Heavens, your hubby is 93, so you must have been doing something right :)

Will hubby eat spaghetti? If yes, then the key is using tomatoes in more of your meals as he can still taste that. If he likes ice cream, nothing wrong with giving him a bowl for lunch, at least he is eating.

Another thing, try Boost as it is sweet tasting, but it can be costly, so buy it when it is on sale or use coupons.
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My husband is 93 and a half. In the last 5-6 months his eating habits have declined to : says he is bloated, says he is not hungry, only wants coffee or juice or ice cream, or says he is full and resists almost anything I fix even tho months/years ago he liked it. Of course he is in the throws of memory loss/dementia. He knows it. I think the brain wiring is all mixed up and maybe telling him....not to eat.. It is frustrating as all get out for all of us. You can't make someone do something when they are so resistant. I fix good food most of the time. Other times simple foods, yet good ones. I want to become demanding but can't as that causes even worse resistance and behavior. I don't want him to wind up in the hospital. He will often eat most restaurant food! But when sick with a cold, can't go there, plus we haven't all that kind of money. So what do I do? If he begins to whither away, then life will end and surely do not want to be blamed for not feeding him!!!
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Rioblu, You and your aunt are in my prayers.
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My father has vascular dementia and too many other illnesses to list. He is currently exhibiting signs of both 5 and 6 of the 7 stages. He has a DNR and I will stick to his wishes. We've almost lost him twice in the past year. His body is slowing shutting itself down and ever day we pray that the Lord will just let him rest in peace soon and not allow him to go through all stages of this horrid disease.
No one wants to watch anyone die a lingering death. I'd rather die of a heart attack or just fall asleep and not wake up than to put my family through the current circumstances we face. We've had too many family members that lingered for years, some 6 months or less, but even with knowing that death is imminent; you still count the days, hours, minutes and pray for their suffering to lessen.
This is never easy, but hospice was incredibly helpful, not only to the family member that was dieing, but they were wonderful for those of us that had to endure watching our loved ones pass. They are truly angels, when you need them the most. No one should go through this alone; call them.
S.
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Just to clarify, the pamphlet mentioned previously is called, Gone From My Sight, by Barbara Karnes. It may be available at a local hospice. You can also find it online at Amazon.
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Cattails, depression is one of the final stages of death preparation. Next comes acceptance.
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yes, personal experience makes me agree with vstefans and those who say that stopping eating is a clue and a meaningful sign. We coaxed my mom to eat when she didn't want to, eventually she forgot how to swallow and right after I read that forgetting to swallow was a sign of impending death, my mom passed. I wish I'd read the book Final Gifts sooner. We buy books to teach us everything, this one teaches how to listen to those with terminal illness. After my mom forgot how to swallow, we attempted to put in a stomach feeding tube and found that her esophagus was obstructed. So many things are right in our faces and we refuse to see. Denial, denial, denial.
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Don't lose your mind over this - as you can see from all the above, there can be a lot of reasons for someone to stop eating. In general, the literature is against tube feeding in the setting of progressive dementia because neither life nor quaity of life is generally improved by it, epsecially if they would have to be restrained to keep it in. But there can be lots of exceptions - for example, if there is something acute going on, or if swallowing is impaired due to brain stem stroke. If someone really is in the last stages, just helping them eat what they can and want to is fine, no matter how little that may be. BUT - from what you have said, there are recent medical issues and she may not be in that situation at all. Being paranoid about eating could stem from pain with eating or swallowing - many people fail to verbalize this, and it can be due to anything from toothache to candida esophagitis or acid reflux disease to constipation. Or it could be psychological, either a delusion that someone is poisoning the food, or depression that could be treatable. Side effects from medications can make foods things taste bad or different, or cause decreased appetite. Can you review the meds list and changes from before when she was eating better? Can she verbalize at all about why she thinks she is not eating? I guess I am saying it makes sense to try to figure things out before assuming it is just part of end-of-life symptoms, but it is true there are some professionals who will try to talk you into tube feeding when it is not a great idea - just realize that is always your OPTION to say yes or no, and neither answer is universally right.
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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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