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My mom started having trouble getting up and not urinating a lot. Ended up her bladder wasn't emptying. Dr as due to smallish of spinal column. Said it affected legs and kidneys and bladder function. Well while in the hospital mom who at home had ate some by sucking her food. Now doctors told me not to feed or offer liquid to mom. She may aspirate in her lungs. I think it is so cruel to do that so I asked for thickened liquids and pured food. Mom now REFUSES to eat or drink. I have truly tried. Has anyone seen this no eating before. The first day I dad get maybe 1 tsp in mom. She held it in her mouth and eventually I asked her to spit it out. She pushed it out. She did say good. She has started not talking in the last month and just mumbling. Has ANYONE SEEN THIS. is this a step in dementia. Please advise

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Hi Jackjackjack,

I am so sorry you and your mother are going through this. This article may be able to provide you with some more information on hospice care for dementia patients in the later stages:

Hospice Care for Advanced Dementia: When Is It Time?
www.agingcare.com/articles/Hospice-Care-for-Advanced-Dementia-When-Is-It-Time-200580.htm

I hope this helps.
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Jackjackjack,
If you discuss feeding tubes with her healthcare team, I would ask lots of questions and get the potential issues they may bring in a bed bound patient with severe dementia. When I started researching it, I was surprised that it wasn't the way I thought it was.
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Thank you for your response.
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"Now doctors told me not to feed or offer liquid to mom. " Is she getting nutrition by tube? If not, this statement seems to suggest that you've been advised not to feed her at all, which doesn't make sense unless alternative arrangements have been implemented.

You were right on target though to ask for thickened liquids, but if aspiration is a danger, she probably needs to see a speech pathologist for an evaluation and videoscopic swallow to determine if she is aspirating.

Jack, did any of the doctors indicate that your mother was approaching or in a terminal stage? If not, ask them - you have a right to know.

I still would try to get an appointment with a speech pathologist to see if she is in fact aspirating, and whether or not tube feeding is a consideration. If she's in a terminal stage, the tube feeding probably wouldn't be considered.

But please try to get some clarifications.
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It sounds like she has had a swallowing assessment and a recommendation has been made. Did you discuss Hospice with the doctor? I'm no expert, but it is not unusual for dementia patients to forget how to chew, swallow, eat..

I have read that once the body starts shutting down, the need and desire for food is diminished. And even if they do eat, their body may be unable to utilize the nutrients.

You will likely get some good points here, but I would also seek out from professionals what your mother may be experiencing as to keep her comfortable during this time. When a person is in their 80's and in the final stage of dementia, there are limited options. Maybe, if you had someone there with you to help it would make it easier.
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