My father is 74. Over the past few years his interest in food has dwindled. He has suffered from several minor body ailments, chronic back pain, gerd, heart irregularity (which was more serious but was addressed by having a pace maker put in). He takes numerous medications for these conditions, including drugs for insomnia and depression. He does not get out of bed until noon each day and often goes back to bed in the afternoon. Now he has reach a critical point with his eating and has lost nearly 100 pounds because he refuses to eat. We have tested EVERYTHING, every organ has been tested, he has seen a psychiatrist and diagnosised with Illness Anxiety Disorder and had a feeding tube put in. My mother and sister have run the gamet with their emotions and their approach to dealing with this, from anger, to pleading, to surrender. The medical community has not been much help. I guess my questions "What do we do?" We are watching our father starve himself and he will not allow anyone to help him. He is still quite young and has no life threatening physical ailments beyond his mental conditions.
You can't force him to eat. If he is okay with the feeding tube, then that
is pretty much all you can do. If he becomes adamant about removing the
feeding tube, then I would remove it and let nature take it's course.
My Mother has eaten a real meal for 3 months now, but she is 91. I
decided NOT to put a feeding tube in her. If you research this, you will
see that it prolongs death and can be very miserable for an elderly
person. Good luck, it's always difficult to deal with these situations.
Did your family ever talk to your Dad about what he wants for when
he declines? It's always good to figure out if you want to have a DNR
in place, a feeding tube administered, ongoing hospital visits, etc.
Today many elderly folks are kept alive by unnatural means and I think
it is sad to prolong an elderly persons life when they have no chance of
quality of life. I've told all my siblings if every anything happens to me,
not to have the doctors use tubes and machines in order to keep me,
alive. I want everything to be natural. If I can't survive that way, then
I will die naturally. Just my opinion.