Advice on compelling an elder to sit and to eat?

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My teacher ( a mathematician with reputed papers to his credit) is seriously ill and bedridden in India. He is 76 years old and is suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis. He is left with no money but some compassionate people are taking care of him (I am in U.S, and my teacher is in India). He is unable to move or sit. He doesn't want to eat much. The care giving volunteers are advised by doctors to make him sit for half an hour or more which he finds very painful. He cannot sit for more than two minutes. He does not have appetite and so does not want to eat much. He cannot handle varieties of food and so is getting bored of eating oat meal every time. If he doesn't sit after eating, he throws up. Whenever I talk to my teacher, he is requesting me to ask them not to compel him to sit or eat. His hemoglobin is very low (4). He is still active mentally and keeps up to date in Mathematics and talks to me about Math.
What can I communicate to the volunteers? Any suggestions?
Thank you,
Vasu

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Thank you GardenArtist.
Vasu
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Ask medical doctors in India. I am not a medical professional.
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Painful sitting, bloody diarrhea, very, very low hemoglobin.... I can't help wondering if he has intestinal issues or even cancer in the organs surrounding his pelvis. He's losing blood from something.

Hopefully when he gets to a larger city the doctors can find a source of the bleeding, which could be causing the difficult in sitting.

I wish you and your friend as well as all his supporters the best of success in helping this gentleman through this difficult time.
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Thank you Veronica for your advice. The doctors in India are capable as you mentioned. But where he is now is a small town and so no equipment. There are not many volunteers to help him. Frankly, speaking I am not confident about any service in India since the service providers (of any type) are very committed. But there will be one or two hospice at Madras which is a big city. I am checking through some of my elderly relatives to find one such.
I want to share with everyone who gave advice that my friend is now eating some solid food and he likes it. He did not throw up.
His speech was clear. I hope he continues to improve.
I will update about his condition for few more days.
Thank you all for your adive and concern.
This is a great forum.
Vasu
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Vasu, I know that indian doctors are very well trained ,mostly in the British tradition and have met many who are extremely skilled so would have no concerns about their treatment and advice. I do not have knowledge of local Indian customs but can understand the desire to keep feeding your teacher because most people are anxious to keep their loved ones strong and healthy. This of course includes eating, getting out of bed and exercising. There comes a time at the end of life when it is kinder not to insist on these things.
As far as sitting up to eat is concerned that advice is given to try and stop the vomiting after meds by allowing gravity to help the food move through the digestive system.
The head of the bed can be easily raised by placing blocks of wood or even piles of books under the head of the bed and using pillows to make an 'armchair" for him to rest against.
You can arrange blood transfusions but if the cause of the bleeding can not be controlled they will have little effect. Drugs to control the pain and nausea are the best way to go.
Do you think he could tolerate being moved to a hospice in another city? It will be very painful to transport him.
Are there enough volunteers with sufficient knowledge to continue to care for him in his current location. At this time his needs are very simple. He needs to be kept clean, have his position change frequently gently. Food of his choice can be offered and fed to him if he is too weak to feed himself. The bed linens have to be changed and washed daily. Above all he should be allowed to make his own decisions and that includes whether to eat or not and where he wants to die. It is unfortunate that the family has abandoned him but he does have people willing to care or him rather than having him lying on the street to die. A truly heartbreaking situation but you and others are doing the best you can to help him.
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Thank you very much for explaining term leg work. I am looking for some more volunteers at India to share the burden.
Thanks,

Vasu
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I'm sorry for any confusion. The phrase "leg work" means the ability to do errands, meet with people or any other activity involving physically doing something. You are here so you need someone who can do the physical things for you there, your ally.
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He has his wife in India and son in Britain. Both of them do not want to take care of him. We called his wife and left message for his son. I know my teacher from my college days when he was also young. He was and is a gentle person focused only on Math research. All his latter students also attest this. Something went wrong and he is in this situation.
I have my mother who is 80+ and is living alone. She is not very mobile. These are the problems that complicate this issue. My doctor friends advice me to ask him to go for blood transfusion and endoscopy for his bloody diarrhea. Of course, they gave this advice as friends and with a disclaimer since they have neither examined the patient nor gone through his medical records.
Thank you for your response and concern,

Vasu
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This man is in India. Things maybe different there. Does he have family? If so contact them and tell them ur concerns. You, as a friend, cannot control his situation. Do u have family still in India who can checkin on him?
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BillsLiz,

Can you please tell me what is a leg work? Is it massaging or gentle movements?
He developed bed sore because of lack of movement. Now, bed sore has almost healed.

Thanks,
Vasu
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