Follow
Share
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
I know that when my mom had CHF, she wouldn't eat because she felt so SOB, any foods just made her feel worse and even more full. Once we got to the bottom of it, and got her CHF under control, she didn't feel SOB any longer, and was able to eat properly. Near the end of her life, she just wasn't hungry, and barely ate ate all, and sometimes we have to let the natural course of the dying process take its course, but it is very hard to watch! As others have mentioned, people who are bedbound, don't require as many calories to maintain life functions. So many older folks will only eat small meals and snacks, just try to make them as nutritious as possible.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Is she on the antianxiety meds on a schedule? In other words, is she getting them on a regular basis, as opposed to when she "thinks" she's short of breath and really anxious?

My mom didn't have breathing problems, but did and does have huge anxiety problems. We found that getting her on the anti anxiety meds, at a low dose, several times a day (and eventually adding an antidepressant) kept her anxiety from breaking through and attaching itself to whatever was happening at the moment.

Hope this helps and that others have ideas for you!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My mom is almost 92 and has a real dependence on her nebulizer. She has a bit of asthma, but her main problem is anxiety which causes a severe shortness of breath. She is convinced that the nebulizer is the only thing that helps her. So, her doctor is telling me not to let her use so much albuterol/nebulizer, but rather to use the anxiety drugs he has prescribed. I am caught in the middle. My mom begs for the nebulizer and I am beginning to feel like an enabler. It causes me such frustration and while I want to help my mom I know that I need to follow the doctor's request that she stop using the nebulizer. Any ideas, similar experiences? I'm at a loss.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Im very sadden to read these stories. I can only offer prayer for all of you and your ailing family members.

Heavenly Father, I bring to you all the elderly and caregivers here and throughout the world, specially those that are no longer eating...those in nursing homes and those who no longer receive visitors. Father please send angels of healing, give hope, comfort and joy to them and if it is your will they come home to be with you, then let it bring glory to your name. In Jesus name I pray.

Blessings to all of you.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My 88 year old mother is going through the same thing. She resides at a nursing home and she is in the Memory Care Unit as she suffers from Dementia, and she just hates being there. She stopped eating three weeks ago and has lost an alarming amount of weight. She is just skin and bones. She seems to find the idea of eating nauseating. But she will drink water, Ginger Ale and clear Ensure (not the milky kind). And a sip of milk here and there.
We had a meeting with the administrator and nurses and they told us that her body is shutting down and not to force her to eat. This is the body's natural way of preparing to die.
It's been hard for family members to accept that and they've been trying to get her to take bites of the pureed food they serve her at the nursing home. But it seems as if she gets diarrhea after trying to eat so I don't know if they are doing more harm than good. They feel that if they can just get some nutrition into her, she'll turn around. She is still alert and in good spirits. She is not sleeping all the time.
Yesterday the hospice nurse told us to give her milk because it's high protein. I am so confused. Do we feed her or do we let her make her own decision to not eat? What is best for her? Are we postponing the inevitable? Does milk cause the diarrhea?
It is torture seeing her go through this. She can no longer support her weight as Googs2 said, and must be helped on and off the toilet, into bed, her wheelchair, etc. She cried the other day that she can no longer do anything for herself. I feel so bad for her!! My heart is breaking. But she continues to laugh and enjoy our company. It's so hard....
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

For how long? Is she drinking fluids?

If she's got bronchitis and is on meds for that, a couple of days without solid food, as long as she's getting fluidS, shouldn't be a problem. Can the doctor order some home nursing service, someone to come out and check on her condition so you're not so worried?

If she seems dehydrated ( eyes sunken, grey-ish pallor), I'd call 911. I am not a doctor, of course.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank you so very much , please can you help me.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

91yr old Mother with Sore Throat, Tung hurts and is not eating foods taste bad.
Was told she has Bronitis, upper repertory. I ask could she have thrush. No white spots, but red spots on tongue and throat . Also gets UTIS a lot has been off and on Antibiotics. Could she have Candid's? She's on Probiotics, Vitamin C and cranberry pills. Has COPD, taking meds for that. Is there something to stimulate her app. and anything naturally? Also given Tylenol with Codon for body pain. Hurts all over. Also again put on Antibiotics. She has Alzheimer's and Sundowners taking Trazodone for this. what can I do help get to feeling great again please?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Thank you for all of these suggestions. I am glad this website and blog exist, everyone was helpful.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

then you may give her fruit juices if she is not having food.... n juices are much healthier n i think u must consult a doctor n take advice from him/her so that they will prescribe some tablets for her...
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Hello my mom is 86 and moved in with my husband and myself. She too will not eat but she loves ensure and drinks only that through the day. We are very concerned she goes to the doctor on Sept 13th should i talk to the doctor in private and tell him whats going on? We love mom dearly and do everything to make her happy and content it scares us so much. She is loosing weight fast it seems. When i tell her she has to eat she says...what do i want im 86 and i`ll eat when and what i want to when im hungry. I love her sooo much. I talk to her very kind and try and understand why she won`t eat help!!!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

My mom is 92 years old also. She resides at an assisted living facility and has just returned there after a hospitalization for C-diff (Clostridium difficile) intestinal infection and a 20 days stay at a rehab. She has lost 11 lbs.from not eating and can no longer support her own body weight, so she isn't walking anymore. She remains in bed at 86 lbs. and is refusing all foods at this point. I try to get some nourishment into her and offer Boost, yogurt, puddings....anything that slides down easily, but it's a struggle. She says she isn't hungry. Her body is shutting down and preparing for death. It is gut wrenching for me to see her slowly die this way. I wish I could talk her out of this and tell her she can save her life if she would just eat, but once the body prepares for dying, it doesn't go back, at least not at her age. I go to visit her every day to try feeding her again but I'm afraid I am only postponing the inevitable. The best I can do at thist point is feed her my love and support to help her transition. My heart goes out to all who are also going through this heartache with their parents.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

I have the same the problem, but I've found that mom seems to get on 'Kicks" of one thing or another. For a few days there, she had a sweet tooth so Cinnimon buns and Pastries were all she would eat. I gave her plenty. Then it might be a certain fruit that she wanted for awhile. I also leave snacky-nibbly things all over the house and a few times a day would just hand her something or other with a smile and walk away. Luckily, she loves ensure and isosource, althought they are expensive. Something else you may want to try is (and please don't get me wrong here) letting her get hungry. I noticed once when I was at my wits end that by NOT offering or serving up the regular meals, she began to ask for something.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Hi Lelli~ Your mom may not be eating for a host of reasons-and I guess you will try to find some of them out. There are meds out there to enhance her appetite...there is also a possible issue of her ability to swallow..another possibilty may just be depression..Once you get to the bottom of things, you may be able to effectivly proceed. In the meantime, if she is not eating there are food suppliments available - such as boost or ensure.

Good luck!

Hap
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Have you tried the bottles of food supplements, Ensure for example? Have you asked your mother why? She may be able to tell you. Everyone has given you some good ideas - maybe your mother can answer some of their questions. And, remember, your mother does not need as much food as you might think. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

LynnPO really covers it all...my Mom is 96 and still very independent but her eating is an issue. I use small portions, energy bars, the small size bottles of water, mini muffins, small dishes, any small but high calorie foods that have taste. If she wants ice cream anytime of day, she can have it! I keep it interesting; she gets bored with her food after 2 weeks so I look for new items. Boost or just regullar milkshakes work too.
Having company when she eats makes the biggest difference, it's a social event. Keep the conversation going, or the TV on as a distraction as to how many bites she's had. Good Luck...it's a constant challenge !
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Yeah, more info would be great. My mom has limited her eating, mostly from denture problems. Here are a few things I learned almost by accident. She drinks a very high protein chocolate drink, which I spike with coffee to make a mocha. To make it more enticing, I put drops of mint extract or orange extract (potent smell and no calories).
I have a sports drink sippy cup, very secure. I found that I could not fill it more than halfway or it was too heavy for her to lift comfortably. Oh, I got a Benefiber supplement, dissolve this into her drink each time. Regular as clockwork. Check that problem off my list.

The other thing she eats readily is yogurt. Now she can't eat anything other than very smooth. So whip in the "fruit in the bottom" or just buy smooth brands. She loves these so was troubled when she wouldn't eat some times. What else would she eat? !! ?? Turns out the cups were too cold for her to hold. So I pulled out some of those novelty socks from Christmas and holidays, and cut them up to make insulating sleeves.

I just read that the texture of food is very important, and that some patients can no longer drink thin liquids without choking. Thus yogurt works great. There are yogurts in handhold packages, for kids. One can also buy small cute rubber or silicon spatulas, which can be licked rather than handle a spoon. I saw in the Ensure section at the drug store a powdered thickening agent, but have not tried it yet. I mixed some mashed potatoes into beef stock once and that worked fine.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Her physician may want to trial something like Megace which can increase appetite for some people. If she perhaps has Alzheimer's, she may have trouble with sequencing and may need you to spoon feed her for a few bites until she comprehends what it is she is supposed to be doing. You might also try letting her graze - giving her small snacks frequently throughout the day. Many elders find a traditional meal too overwhelming, but they will happily snack on small portions several times during the day.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Wow - I'm sorry to hear this, it's a tough situation and would leave anyone feeling helpless, confused and worried. The type of advise anyone may offer depends on your mom's situation. Is she living alone? with you? in assisted living or a nursing home? what do you mean by "not eating"? Is she refusing all meals? Is she living on donuts and coffee? With out more details, here's what I can offer from my own experience: First, try understand what might be going on with your Mom. Is there a medical condition that prevents her from swallowing? Does she refused all food and water or just some foods? At age 92, and depending on her condition, any diagnosis might be harder on her than is humane. I've seen similar cases with my sister in law and father in law. Turns out that sister in law, age 64, had a minor stroke that affected her ability to swallow. She didn't realize it and thought she had a sore throat and inner ear infection. After some doctoring and therapy she was okay. My father-in-law, age 85, did the same thing and we just understood that it was his wish to pass. He had many health problems and had been in a nursing home for a few months. As his 85th birthday approached, he stopped eating and drinking completely. Short of physically forcing him there was nothing we could do. He was too frail to force feed and we had too much concern for his dignity to do that. He slept a lot and passed away after about seven days. At first he slept through meals; he refused to go to the table and said "just let me sleep". His doctor worked with the nursing home to keep him comfortable. We hated to loose him but given that he didn't suffer from dementia and had so many health problems, it was best. We also have a strong faith that we will see him again in a healthy body.

To better understand what's going talk with her doctors or ask that the doc order a visit from a home health nurse. If you can't rouse her, you can always call 911 and they'll take her to a hospital to be completely checked out. Be aware that they will do all they can unless there are legal directives otherwise - that means a living will, power-of-attorney for health care and the like. They will stick her for blood samples, do all sorts of tests and probably pump her with fluids. You need to clearly understand what she'd want.

It's always good to have some support from your minister, friends or family too. It's hard to know how much more advice, comment or support to give without knowing more about this situation - I assume that at 92, she's not living at home alone. So .... best wishes to you and your mother.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

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