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The caregivers that are taking care of my relative who has Alzheimer's have been liquefying her food and putting it into a funnel type plastic thing and putting it down her throat. I've only witnessed it a few times but the caregivers are usually the only ones there taking care of her. She refuses to eat sometimes and I guess they have had to resort to that. Is that legal to force feed someone like that? It was extremely upsetting to see her do that.

Don't know where to start with this one but it isn't with that kind of force feeding. No never not ever.
There are many reasons why someone does not want to eat, it may be constipation, diarrhea, urinary retention, fluid building up in the lungs or abdomen.
At the end of life people don't feel the need to eat and probably don't need to as the body needs less and less fuel. Offer small amounts of soft easy to eat food you know she likes,
When it is necessary to maintain nutrition it can be done IV with Total Parental Nutrition, This requires an IV line to be inserted into a large vein in the chest. Nasal tubes are the easiest to use but rather uncomfortable long term, or a J (jejunal) tube can be inserted into the small intestine through the belly wall. All can be managed at home with instruction but do not expect the average CNA to have much idea of what to do. Hospice will usually discourage this type of artificial feeding but encourage the loved one to drink and make sure the mouth is kept clean.
Do not let something that is clearly wrong continue, speak up , talk to the caregivers and notify the POA.
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Ageingherself Oct 21, 2018
Well, the CNA company, Amicasa company,Decatur, GA also did "Hospice" a few times already, or at least they were collecting money from Medicare for it but they continued to feed her and apparently she has been on and off Hospice a few times. Now, that's what they told us, but they never stopped feeding her and we never saw any helpers coming in to comfort. When we told the Amicasa owner that we were going to try a different Hospice the owner was upset about it and we told her that we were going to try something different but she still does 24 hr care.
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She is on hospice, and the carers are force feeding her? OMG!
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Ageingherself Oct 21, 2018
She's been on Hospice twice and the caregivers also do Hospice so we let them do it but it was just like regular caregiving and no one else came by. So we added a new Hospice group along with the old Amicasa caregivers. Amicasa was not happy about it because they wanted Medicare to pay them but we thought we would try sometime different and it seems to be starting up nicely. A whole group of people are coming in to comfort her and it seems real organized. The Amicasa, Decatur GA hospice didn't seem any different when they did it except I think she got a better bed.
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I take it these aren't professionally trained caregivers, they're not CNAs or home health aids, then? I can't imagine that anyone with any amount of training in elder care would be forcing food. The correct way to go is to get a feeding tube if prescribed, or with hospice care, or both.
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Ageingherself Oct 19, 2018
It's been since 2015 and I have not seen a feeding tube yet. Sometimes she can eat pureed food or something soft. But I have witnessed the feeder down her throat. I lived there on and off during her screaming years. Her brother (being from California) didn't believe in sedatives to sleep , just melatonin and she would have screaming fits three or four times a night which was when I was staying there. Later on after my Dad died , then the brother put her on a sedative. But they would wake her up to try to get her to eat and then she sleeps again. The cylinder feeding was back when she was real difficult to deal with. There was a girl name Diana that was doing it. This is a Amicasa caregivers in Decatur, GA. (then Jonesboro). Adult protection was called on Amicasa many times but I think the young Dekalb Adult protection women that comes out is friends with the Amicasa owner and just gives her a warning.
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This shouldn't be happening. If relative wants to eat but can't or won't for some mental reason, a feeding tube can be done. If relative doesn't want to eat because her body is slowly shutting down, then she should be comforted with ice chips and mouth swabs and other things. This is where hospice is a godsend because they are trained to allow the body to progress naturally towards inevitable death, if it's time for that, but also provide comfort and knowledge to the situation.

Get a doctor involved, get a hospice evaluation. Forcing food is going to cause her to choke to death and that's the least dignified outcome here.
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Ageingherself Oct 19, 2018
Amicasa caregivers or stepmom's brother took her to her doctor long ago and changed her password so the family did not have access to her records and were unable to find out her medical condition. After one of her doctors started her own practice I found out that her personal doctor did not know anything about the dangerous meds that was was taking for Alzheimer which was experimental at the time . The Caregivers , Amicasa of Decatur,GA, took her to a psychiatrist (w/permission from one guardian) that they knew and put her on a experimental dangerous drug. I am not sure if she is still on that drug now or not. ( I can find the name of it). My stepmom to this day has only had a inhouse doctor that the caregiver knew come in and examine. We are not sure if he is a real doctor or what and she use to be a real believer of going to the hospital most of her life but not now, when she needs it. Thank goodness she is going to get a REAL hospice group in to comfort her. Amicasa was mad that we got a different hospice group since they do Hospice too but the guardians decided to come to their senses and use a different group but still have Amicasa for a 24 hr caregiver. We had tried to use Amicasa before to be a hospice caregiver but nothing seemed to change...no clergy, no special treatment, no extra people...it was really like Medicare fraud to me.
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???????

Seriously?

Never mind the law, never mind the ethics - just think of the choking risk. This sounds horrific.

Are these professional caregivers? Is your relative living in her own home, somebody else's home, or a facility?

Who is responsible for your relative's care?
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Ageingherself Oct 19, 2018
She has 2 guardians who seemed to be satisfied with Amicasa of Decatur,GA but now that she went on hospice for like the 3rd time they decided to use a different company w/clergy & lots of people,thank God. So they are just using Amicasa for feeding her and 24 hr care but the hospice is going to be there some of the time. I've reported all this to Dekalb County,GA and adult protection has come out and passed them and someone else is also reporting it too, someone I don't know. How they are allowing Amicasa to stay in business is beyond me. I can only guess that the Adult Protection women is friends with Amicasa owner. Back when my Dad was alive the Adult Protection people wanted my Dad to move and not move my Stepmom into a facility for Alzheimer and she was screaming her head off all night keeping the neighbors up and they wanted my mild matter Dad to move. It makes no sense at all. Something seem so corrupt in our government.
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Is your relative hungry, so that she wants to eat but has difficulty? Is she a slow eater and the carers don't have time to spoon feed her? Does she object to the funnel arrangement, or does she seem to accept it willingly? Has she made any end-of-life care decisions that are documented?

If she refuses to eat, she has that right. End of life frequently involves the body shutting down and refusing food. Carers have not 'had to resort' to force feeding. No-one 'has to resort to that'. Are these in-home carers, or are they in a facility? In either case, talk to who is employing them, make sure they know what is happening, and find out about the reasons.
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Ageingherself Oct 19, 2018
Well, that's the problem. The company in Amicasa, Decatur GA and the owner scares this girls into keeping my Stepmom alive. She keeps putting more ads in the paper for more caregivers because they don't really like working for her and the majority of them leave. We've had a ton of them. She hires a lot of foreigners who are usually going to school to get a better job. It takes a special person to feed someone and clean them and lift them (except they use a hoist) which is another thing that is shocking. I don't know if they use that in hospitals but they have been hoisting her way up in the air. It's seem just barbaric. My stepmom is real thin and fragile with arthritis (w/o seeing a arthritis specialist)and they put her on this crane like hoist way up in the air. Now that she is on hospice, I hope that can stop. Maybe I just don't understand the ways of in home caregivers that hoist seems so painful for arthritis patents.
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