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My mother broke her hip 14 days ago.Two days after surgery they removed her IV. Since that time she barely eats.She was moved to a nursing facilty for rehab 7 days ago.I am spoon feeding her and she only eats about 2 ts mash potatoes,a few sips of chicken broth,1/2 container of milk and maybe 2 ts puddingThats it. I go home at night and bawl my eyes out fearing she will starve.I asked them to put an IV back in her and that has not happened.Should I be scared?Is this normal? She is 89 years old.with dementia .Tell me what you think I should do.( I bought boost to take to the hospital,and baby food too.Just a few sips is all she will take and says she just wants to die.what do I do??????

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I am sorry you are facing this painful situation. If it were my Mother and it could very well be, because she is 86 and does have dementia also, I know I would do everything possible to get her to accept food. Was this the first time your Mother expressed wanting to die? Is this the first time she's been relegated to a nursing home. (That alone could cause her depression). If she has never mentioned wanting to die before, I would tend not to believe it or go along with it now. This talk could be a result of confusion caused by the anesthetic or being upset that she fell and put herself in a position where she practically has to learn to walk again and do it among strangers. I would call in all siblings and other close relatives because it's a good time to have them visit your Mother. They should bring gifts of food and sit down at her bedside and share it with her. You should bring her whatever food she loves best. For my Mother, that would be a grilled ham and three-cheese sandwich. You and your Mother should eat together; as you are sitting with her you can make it clear to her that God will take care of the decision about when it's time. Until then you expect her and want her to be right here on Earth because you love her. My Grandmother lived to age 100 on January 3, and passed away in her sleep just three days after Mother's Day. On that day I took a plunge and arranged a reunion of her two daughters who had not spoken in several years because of a silly reason that grew all out of proportion and control. Seeing them together again "in the same room" was a dream of hers, one mentioned every time I saw her. None of us knew it but my husband set up a video camera in the corner of her NH room. We had the most wonderful reunion, my Grandmother told a few little stories but was mostly quiet, lying there, alert with a smile and a twinkle in her eyes. She was thrilled. Both of her girls gave her long, loving goodbyes, as did my husband and me. We just didn't know these would be final goodbyes. I hope and pray you have several more years with your Mother.
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Depression decreases appetite in a lot of people and might be treatable. Hopefully they are watching for her getting dehydrated; but right now she may not be real active and may not need all that much in calories. She may have some life left in her if the hip was fixable and will heal up - they probably would not have referred for rehab if they didn't think she could. But if not, and it really is time for hospice, then its no use pushing hard for more food and drink than the person feels like.
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It so sounds as if this person is getting ready to die. We all die alone. WHY PROLONG SUFFERING?? I speak from a place where I have lost 2 of my children both at the age of 39. One of them came to me , for I over saw her medications, at age 39 & asked for her morphine. She had asked so many times over the years. I just never gave it to her.
On the day right before her 40 th b-day, she asked me again & I hesitated not & handed her the bottle of pills knowing that I would never see her alive again. She was dead with in 38 hr.'s. Not for anything in this universe would I pull her back from no more suffering & being pain free. Her sister joined her in eternal birth 15 months to the day after she passed. They were 15 months apart in birth & in eternal birth.
Spirit lives forever. My daughter's propel me on through life. It is out of my realm the joy & happiness they now Spiritually are in.
Please don't misunderstand me-I so miss their bodies & sit her crying as I type to you. I recall what my dad always told me-"When you cry for those who have died, you don't cry for them, you cry for your self." I am not crying now.
Death is a part of life, a natural part of life.
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That happened to my mom at 87. She wanted to die at a hospital and we let her have her wishes. It may be hard for you but why let her suffer?
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this is so hard!!! This happened to my Grandmother, she was 97 and she refused to eat, just like you I really tried. I took things to her I knew she liked and she still refused. She told me she wanted to die and that I had to let her go!!! She did not seem to be in pain and she was peaceful. It is not easy to let them go but it is sadly inevitable.
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Be sure they weigh her weekly. She doesn't need to stand up as they have a type of sling she can roll into and it lifts her enough to get an accurate weight. That gives you concrete information. Put a few things in her room that might help to brighten her spirits - pictures on the wall, her favorite flowers even if they are silk, and somethings on her bed tray for her enjoyment - scented hand lotion, books or magazines, and snacks. Not a lot of food, but things she enjoys. When people go to visit suggest they bring a small amount of food she likes such as 2 of her favorite cookies, a small milk shake, small pudding cups, flavored yoghurt - you get the idea. Big meals may not be possible but small bites between meals do add up to more calories. My mother lost weight in rehab, but once I got her home and the caregivers kept putting out snacks and giving her a little bit at a time, her weight stabilized and started to go up.
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brookeb, is your mother on narcotic pain relievers? These can suppress her appetite. What she has gone through has probably made her feel vulnerable and depressed, which can also suppress the appetite. It takes quite a while to starve to death. The main thing is to figure out what is causing the appetite loss. It may be that she will start eating again when the pain relievers or depression are gone. Or it may be that she is preparing herself for her final journey. We aren't there to see what it might be, but I know that you can probably sense what is happening.

Are there things that she likes that will bring joy to her room? Do you think she might like some ice cream? Maybe she would like some nibbling food -- chips, crackers, nuts, candy. Some of the hospital food can be pretty bland.

If you think she might be preparing for her final journey, just let her be your guide about what she needs. It is never easy. We want so much to fix things so that they will be well again, but there comes a time when it is out of our hands. If that time does come, many older people find comfort in things that enrich the spirit, such as reading passages of scripture or daily devotionals.

Many people do go into altered moods after trauma and surgery, so she may get better as time goes on. Until then, keep doing what you're doing and bring her in some snacks you think she might like. Maybe some homemade cookies? Nothing says lovin' like something from the oven. I know she needs to feel loved and wanted even in this time when she is feeling so bad.
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