My mother is in end stage Alzheimer's and has been in a wonderful facility which includes hospice care for the past 8 years. In the last 2 years, any awareness she exhibits is for a split second. She has been hand fed pureed food and liquids for the past year, and was consuming 40% of her meals, although lately she has had a little difficulty swallowing. This past week she has been unable (or unwilling) to swallow food or liquid at all, and we started her on IV fluids 3 days ago to keep her hydrated as it may be temporary. We will not be inserting a feeding tube. I'm reading that continuing hydration makes the patient more uncomfortable and can lead to more complications if their body is indeed trying to shut down. Should we make a decision to remove the IV and let things proceed naturally and at what point should we do so? We assumed we would continue, but are realizing now it is a choice.