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My mother, almost 89, is in a NH with Parkinsons, many strokes and dementia..A life long narcissist, obsessed with how slim and pretty she was, she's always been a picky eater but in recent weeks/months she's eaten very little, now eating next to nothing.

She's bed ridden, can barely speak and the last few days has started hallucinating. She tries to get in or out of bed by herself and they find her on the floor about once a week. Her room is near the nursing station and they keep the door wide open so they can keep an eye on her. She's skin and bone and probably weighs less than my dog.

The NH staff are wonderful and take great care of her but you can't force someone to eat. I was taking her cookies, fruit and chocolate (doc says try to get calories into her no matter what it is) but she doesn't want those any more. I expect the subject of a feeding tube will be brought up shortly and I've been struggling with the thought the past few days.

I am dead set against it. There was a man in the room opposite (he's gone now) who had one and he'd be in a high back wheelchair on oxygen, eyes closed, mouth open and just giving the occasional gurgle. I can see a feeding tube while someone heals but with my mother's current condition why make her suffer any more ... we wouldn't do that to a beloved pet. I'm sure many of you will disagree with me but I feel she only has maybe a few weeks left so why make her suffer.

Thanks for listening.

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I accepted that for my mom and I'm so regretful for it. I see her daily suffering by the pain she has at the gastronomy area...Now she is eating little but since she's conscious she's always asking for food and that she's a tarving since she forgets she ate. Don't do that to your mom and let nature continue its natural way. I'm constantly asking the doc to take out the gastronomy and they won't accept. Gosh, regret that I accepted the doctor convinced me I couldn't let her die of hunger. So painful hearing her pray God: "please, God have mercy and take me with you"
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As the closest relative you will be making the decisions anyway Ash and i doubt anyone would suggest it.
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Glad she doesn't have a living will but her end of life wishes are spelled out in the POA. I have POA for both personal and property. When she broke a hip a couple of years ago (her mind wasn't so far into fairy land as it is now) she ordered her records everywhere to be noted with DNR.
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Hi Ash, nice to see you. This must be very difficult. I agree with the others. Feeding tube at the end of life may extend the life but I also consider it an extraordinary measure that may cause other problems. Does your Mom have a living will?
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Ashlynne the body knows what to do at the end of life and that includes not eating. Force feeding (which is what the use of a feeding tube is) can cause more suffering than help. That being said even with a feeding tube the body will reject the food. As the digestive system slows the food will be rejected, the nurse will simply not be able to get it in or the patient will start to vomit.
There is a place for feeding tubes and they can be life saving bot not in the elderly at the end of life. So feel comfortable with your decision and let Mum die in comfort. having a gastric tube is not in itself uncomfortable and otherwise healthy patients manage them themselves just fine.God Bless you both
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Thank you all so much for being there for me. You will never know how much it means. My eldest cat is 16+ and also coming to the end so I'll have to take him in in the next few days. In the end we do the best we can for those who can't speak for themselves. God bless you all.
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I agree with you, Ashylynne. My thoughts are with you as you deal with this.
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My brother had a feeding tube while recovering from treatments for throat cancer. The expectation was that they would be temporary and (if he recovered) they would be removed. They were. He eats normally now. That, in my opinion, is a perfect use of the technology.

My husband was offered feeding tubes twice in his dementia journey. He declined both times. I supported him.

I would never want my 94-year-old mom with disabilities to have a feeding tube.

There is certainly a time and place for feeding tubes. But end-of-life is not it.
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Hi Ashlynne - good to see you posting again, but sorry to hear about the state your mum is in. My mother has left directions for no extraordinary measures to keep her alive. I would consider a feeding tube to be an extraordinary measure. Your mum's body is winding down towards the end. Her appetite is shutting down which is normal. In her case I would let nature take its course. Once a person has reached this state I think that interventions, other than comfort ones, are simply prolonging the dying process, not prolonging life with any quality. I know this has been a long hard journey for you and it looks like it is coming to an end. Big ((((((((((hugs))))))))) to you and keep us updated.
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Ashlynne, I agree with you about the feeding tube.... the fact that your Mom is now eating next to nothing and with her very advance age, she is letting everyone know it is time for her to get into the next phase of her journey.
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I'm sorry you are going through such a difficult time with your mom.

I'm on your side when it comes to a feeding tube. I never would have advocated one for my dad. Elderly people at the end of their life tend to not want to eat. I believe it's a part of the process and putting in a feeding tube is ghoulish.

You stick to your guns and make sure your mom is comfortable.
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