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Mom has health issues and since being on medication for high calcium, she has stopped eating, lost a lot of weight and sleeps a lot.


Her doctor wasn’t helping much, so we put her in the hospital, and they gave her an appetite stimulant. Then they placed her in a nursing home for rehab.


This actually made the situation worse, because the nursing home was nothing more than an expensive babysitting service. They pushed the PT twice a day, then she was so exhausted and weak from not eating previously that she would sleep all day.


I finally pulled her out yesterday - a week before the scheduled discharge - because I was so upset with her care. And this was a “nice” facility.


This all leads to a feeding tube (PEG) and if anyone has experience with its success. It’s very hard watching your loved one starve themselves.

CWillie - thank you so much.
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Reply to Princessblue
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Sorry I forgot to mention - my mom is 86 and her main health issue is hypercalcemia (high calcium) and parathyroidism. She also has dementia that is not very advanced at this point. However, one of the side effects of the calcium suppressing meds is loss of appetite. But still, she only eats between a quarter cup and half a cup of food all day - if that much.

Her water or any liquid consumption is also very low, so has had several UTI’s. All if this started about 2 months ago when the doctors became more aggressive with her calcium treatment with meds. It is my understanding she is at the highest dosage and finally controlling the calcium, but has obviously had a negative side effect.

In her last hospital stay, they did prescribe an appetite stimulant, but since she was exhausted all the time in rehab, it was hard to gauge if it was helping or not - because she was still not eating.

Now she has been home for 3 days. We are hoping this turns around with no more intervention as far as a feeding tube.

I was just looking for some honest advice. I am against it, but my brother lives with my mom and he freaks out when she doesn’t eat.

I have the feeling mom is reaching the end of life. It’s a hard moment to accept, but I want to do what is best for my mother.
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Reply to Princessblue
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Poster's profile says mom has Alzheimer's/dementia but does not give age or how advanced is the dementia.

If the feeding tube is to prolong life, I do not support it. Neither did my MIL, who died after a valiant struggle against a neurodegenerative illness. My FIL also does not ever want it. Both had living wills/advance directives drawn up long ago.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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My father had a peg tube for awhile. He was able to fully recover from his low weight and sepsis. They can be helpful to put weight on a frail Loved One.
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Reply to AliBoBali
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I’m going to tell you my FILs story. A feeding tube isn’t saving his life. It’s not extending it either.

He was hospitalized in December with fluid on the lungs and malnutrition due to a rare condition that has made it very difficult to speak and swallow. He got a feeding tube in January I believe. He’s been hospitalized this entire time and did a 2 week stint in rehab where he too, was too weak and tired to do physical therapy. He declined in rehab. A UTI sent him BACK to the hospital almost a month ago. As soon as the social worker finds him a long term care facility, he will be released from the hospital & go in to LTC on hospice because he’s not going to get better. He doesn’t really have much of a quality of life and didn’t prior to the hospitalization. He’s too weak and spends his entire day in bed. Before the hospital sent him to rehab, he refused all forms of therapy in the hospital. Once he’s sent to LTC, he’s going to spend the rest of his life in bed. The hospital’s last resort was putting him on steroids and those didn’t work.

some people need feeding tubes to survive. Some people will not survive even with a feeding tube. You need to consider your mothers quality of life. The feeding tube may not make a difference. It certainly didn’t for my FIL. He’s eating solid food again but still using the feeding tube and.....he’s still not going to get better.
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Reply to worriedinCali
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Cannot give a blanket statement for or against feeding tubes in general because we have a beloved poster who has survived life-threatening illnesses with success.

Your mother's case may be different, Princess Blue. You do not give her age, or health issue related to the need for end-of-life care.
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Reply to Sendhelp
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I am very much against feeding tubes at this stage of life, and not just because studies overwhelmingly agree that they do not add any significant time or increase quality of life. When we've reached advanced age, are physically frail and failing mentally I think that almost the only self choice we have any more is whether or not to eat. Offer your mother easy to eat and swallow foods that she enjoys and let her make the determination on whether or not to eat. She isn't "starving" if she isn't hungry, lack of hunger is the body's signal that it time to let go. I found this Teepa Snow video very helpful:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNJxq4J5kYY
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Reply to cwillie
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