Can Mom be force fed to give her the strength to regain her desire to eat again?

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My 90 year old Mom is in hospital to recover from hip fracture operation and she refuses to eat. She has dementia and she is wasting away quickly. She won't eat.

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Thanks so much everyone, I'll ask the Doctor tomorrow am when he gets in to work.....all great suggestions. Oh, Mom's operation was 2 1/2 hours long so the theory of one month per hour would make it 2 1/2 months to shake off the meds. I sincerely hope the doc uses some of your suggestions and can keep her alive 'til then. I've written your thoughts down so I don't forget anything and hopefully he doesn't say, "Oh, another internet physician solution!" Funny, he doesn't like Dr. Oz either...???
Thanks again folks, you have been a huge help and I'm sure Mom will thank you through me as well.
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I hope you get some answers soon. I'm dubious about it being lack of food that's made her so out of it, though. Anesthesia can have this effect on seniors. I hope she's getting IV fluids, at least. Does her advance medical directive say that she wants a feeding tube if she's unable to eat?
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Personally I would never consider a feeding tube for my mother. In a nursing home with parkinsons, strokes and dementia, she eats very little but chows down on cookies and chocolates, along with V8, apple juice and apple pudding cups I bring her. She's 88 and just a shell now so why shouldn't she have anything she wants?

You state "My Mom is all I have anymore" which sounds like you're desperate to keep her alive for you, regardless of what she is suffering. When it's time to pass on to the next life, it's time and, when time comes, the best we can do is make that passing comfortable and pain free for those we love, be it human or animal.

Search your soul and come to terms with the fact that you may be desperately trying to keep her alive for yourself and for no other reason. Try talking to a social worker who may be able to help you see things more clearly. God Bless you both.
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Hospitalmom, there Must be a covering doctor.

The "well she's 90 " thing is so typical and infuriating. My mom was in hospitsl recently getting a pacemsker. They were overmedicating her with klonopin which takes in very smsll doses, so she was quie "out of it". One of the docs came in and said "oh, she's not like this all the time?" I don't believe it's evil intent, it's just ignorance. If she only had mild dementia prior to surgery, consider the feeding tube but find out if it can be removed if she remains nonresponsive.

Fluids are certainly neccesary. I would get hold of the covering doc for a discussion
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hospitalmom, curious how long was your Mother's hip operation? It's my understanding for every hour one is under surgery anesthetic, it takes one month to recoup from the anesthetic. So a 3 hour operation could take 3 months to get rid of the side effects of anesthetic.

Also with anesthetics, one can feel seasick from it unless one wore a seasick patch [Scopolamine Transdermal Patch] behind the ear day or two before surgery. I know it was a godsend for me because anesthetics can make me very nauseous for weeks on end.... food was the last thing on my mind.

Hope your Mother starts feeling better.
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Hopefully she is getting some fluids by IV. The painkillers really diminish the appetite. Ask the MD for IV ringer's, nutrition by IV and some PT.
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Doctor's day off and he needs to approve it.

Thanks everyone for your support, My Mom is all I have anymore and I'm all she has too. Just very hard to give up on her and I want to make sure everything possible is done to save her life.
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Then why not ask that she be given a feedin tube?
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It's been 19 days since Mom's operation and she was up standing the next day, walking two steps the next then transferred to another hospital where she has been in bed since. What really upsets me is that any doc or staff always says, "Well, she is 90!" That is not fair, Mom was alert and in good physical condition before surgery so why have they not offered some form of feeding tube option, even the doctor has not offered any feeding solution. I didn't even know about a feeding tube until a passerby mentioned it.
"Well, she is 90!".....therefore, "Well that person is 80!"..... then "Well, that person is 70" and so on down the line until it's us. Age should never be an excuse for poor medical attention. I know people 50 who are way worse off than my Mom.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Would she drink Ensure Nutrition shake?
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