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My Mom's episode of dehydration (first one at the nh) will continue therefore the doctor says I make a decision fast whether or not to insert a feeding tube. Yesterday, she went to hospital for dehydration (her first week at this nursing home). Today he is telling me that i have to make a decision stat regarding feeding tube. Any advice?

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Nursing homes are notorious for being under staffed. Feeding tubes are easier and less time consuming than trying to coax a resident to eat. I speak from experience. I briefly worked at one as a nurse. We spent all our shift running from one resident to another giving medication and treatments. There was not enough time to sit with the ones who required help with feeding. Some of the CNAs we had tried their best to fill in the gaps but low pay and crappy work conditions, most did the least amount of work they had to do. I'm not making excuses for the obvious lack of care that your Mom is receiving, I'm just offering my observations. I think Hospice is your best chance to give your Mom the care she needs. I don't think a feeding tube would benefit her at this point in her late stage dementia.
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It's not clear why the doctor seems to think your mother needs a feeding tube instead of giving her IV fluids. Is she able to take nourishment by mouth at all? I'm concerned that the nursing home is pushing for the feeding tube because they're short staffed and feeding her is too time-consuming. If that's the case, you might try contacting hospice.

Does your mother have an advance healthcare directive in which she stated what her wishes were regarding a feeding tube? If so, her wishes should be carried out.
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When there is no hope for recovery and there is suffering would you put a beloved pet through that? I certainly will not. Much as my pain and grief are unbearable, I love them enough to let them slip away into peace. Human or animal, their spirits walk by our sides into eternity.
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My mother was in similar situation. We wanted her death to be as natural as possible. I would advocate against a feeding tube in these situations. My mother stopped eating, a week or so later she stopped drinking. A few more days and she passed peacefully. We made sure she had painkillers but otherwise let nature take its course.
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Pugg, she probably stopped drinking in addition to stop eating, as soon as she entered the NH. You can call this stubborn or depressed, but my gut feeling on this is she has made the decision to go to God, and I would not hold her back. I believe in Heaven and that all her family waits for her there. I believe at this point her body is a prison, and I would set her free.
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Thank you both for your suggestions. I failed to add that my mother is a later staged dementia patient.
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Since she became dehydrated after entering the nursing home, to me that would be a big red flag.

Were you able to visit her to determine if she was drinking and eating consistent with her habits before entering the nursing home?

The fact that this doctor is so anxious to insert a feeding tube after only treating your mother on a limited basis, that he's probably contracted with the nursing home, and presumably hasn't seen your mother before, make me suspicious of his advice and intentions.

Ask the hospital doctors what they think, advice on keeping her hydrated, and what purpose, if any, a feeding tube would serve.

We've had some bad experiences with nursing home doctors and I take their advice gingerly.


f she became dehydrated after entering the nursing home, to me that suggests that whatever happened start
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We'd need to know ALOT more about her condition, diagnoses, etc. In dementia, feeding tubes are generally not considered to prolong life. If she's dehydrated, why don't they have her on IV fluids? Feeding tubes are a drastic move, IMO.
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