Follow
Share

My 85 year old dad has lung cancer which has spread and doctor's say they can't fix it (tumor near aorta), he is too weak to survive surgery or more chemo. He also seems to have an extreme progression of Dementia over the last 6 weeks. He got Pneumonia and ended up in the hospital and now the nursing home (for last 20 days). Before he went into the hospital he already was not eating much but was more alert and weeks before was sitting on the back deck talking to me. He was having maybe a milkshake/smoothie and some mash potatoes each day. Since going into the nursing home we have found out he is having trouble swallowing and that was part of reason he is not eating solid food. Each day in nursing home if he eats mashed potatoes or drinks milkshake is hit or miss. My mom is making the milkshakes and bringing soup from home. He will drink a Glucerna most days. Rehab at nursing home is not working and he now sleeps a lot. If we are not talking to him or visitors are not there he is pretty much sleep. Now I am starting to feel like my mom and I are not doing enough to get him to drink soups, milkshakes, etc and therefore he is getting weaker and therefore he is sleeping. We just called hospice to bring him home because the cancer doctor is giving him 3-6 months to live and they will assess him next week but I woke up this morning thinking we should figure out some more things he likes to eat more soups etc so he has more energy to atleast sit up longer, move around. I feel like I am just 'letting' him die because of the not eating. I am so confused. Should we be doing more to get him to eat? He is not saying he is hungry. He says he is not in pain. Thank You.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
I wanted to come back and say thanks once again for your answers. My dad passed peacefully on 9/10. Thanks to your answers we faced the reality of where we were and moved him to hospice on 9/7 which helped us all.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I agree with cwillie and with Pam, the body starts to shut down, we can't stop it.

If Dad drinks his milkshakes and eats a bit of soup or mash potatoes, let him. He knows how much he can comfortably take. Don't try to force any food as when the body is slowly shutting down there comes a time when the stomach can no longer process the food and that can be terribly uncomfortable for your Dad. Most men won't admit that they are in pain.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Thank you for your responses - appreciate it. It helps.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

You are not letting him die, because you have no choice in the matter. He is not eating because he does not need to. He is comfortable. He is preparing for the next journey. He will be free. It was hard to watch my daughter fade, but great relief to know she is among the angels now.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

You already know his prognosis and that the end is near. We are so used to feeding our loved ones to help them recover or to "keep up their strength", but the reality for your father is that no amount of food or special diet will strengthen him or help him get better. Please don't force food on him, his body is slowing down and he doesn't need it any more. Allow him the things he enjoys, one or two bites of his favourites can be more helpful than a full meal that later causes upset stomach or bowel distress. ((HUGS))
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.