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How do I get my frail 85 years mom to drink water? She lives with me after she second stroke. She's very weak, doesn't eat much, and will only drink about 1-1/2cups of water a day. Constantly constipated and complains she can't poop. Tried teas, popsicle, sow cones, juices-doesn't work. Refuses to drink or eat anything with water, says she's Too full.

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Not hydrating can be fatal, but forcing it can backfire, too. It's a horrible dilemma. As you already know, fluids are more important than food. Have you been blunt with her about this? That is she doesn't drink fluids, even when she doesn't want them, she will either need to have them administered medically or she could die?

I know my mother used to get angry at the nursing home people for pushing fluids. She drank as much as she could. But she had no appetite either, and her organs were shutting down, so she was dying anyway. Her body was rejecting it all. Hopefully, this is not what you are facing here, and you can encourage her, but if she knows the facts and wants to live, she will have to force herself.

All the things you've done are right. But we make our own choices, in the end. If she knows that this could kill her, she may change or she may not. You will know you've done (and will keep doing) your best.

Maybe if she is truly convinced (by a doctor?) of the seriousness of this, and then you just leave fluids by her everywhere, and don't nag, she will take it upon herself to drink as much as she can. One can have hope. Rebellion takes many forms. If she knows she is responsible for her intake, that what she needs is there if she will only do her part, maybe she will.

You are wonderfully caring and doing everything you can. Take care of yourself, and please don't feel guilty. Carol
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Maybe try adding a lot of fruit to her diet? It will help some.
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Ice cream can traqnslate to milk shakes and you can get extra fluids down that way. Also try fruit smoothies sweetened with honey.
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Drink a glass of water yourself which is taken from the same tap water outlet as the water which is served to her in a glass of water. Sometimes the refusal of water is due to no thirst, the drinking of water is a reminder of medication taking, or the refusal of water is to keep from soiling her clothing after drinking water (no intake equals no output).
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Through my adult years I can still hear my Mother telling my siblings and I that she never wanted a peg tube to feed her.
After a journey with Hodgkins, (a chemo she could take) over five years ago, my Mother changed in so many ways. She loved life in a more pleasurable way. She ceased from worrying in so many ways; she learned to leave those worries with the Lord Jesus. One year ago she became ill again and was diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma. I've written in an earlier post about how she could not take the chemo because it was too strong but she did continue with the radiation. On December 28th, we learned the Adenocarcinoma was gone. Prayer works. But the wear on her body from these treatments makes families wonder, is it worth it for the elderly to go through so much strife to enable them to have life. It differs between people, of course. My Mother chose life. When she fell ill, the dementia set in. For months I watched my Mother being someone I did not know. It was hard to be with her and hear her speak but did not have any recollection of her own life.... but still, she knew me. She knew my siblings. It seems I've gone off course here, but it is for good reason: When the doctors order certain tests, they can at times, order for more than one test to be done in the same time frame. This makes it so much easier on an elderly patient. Once asleep, they do not stress over the test that may somehow bring answers to bringing them back to good health, or answers to family members when to decide 'enough is enough'. My family and I had decided that if the peg tube did not work, that 'enough was going to be enough'. We were not going to ask her to keep going. The peg tube enabled her to receive the nutrients her body and her mind was starving for. She had gone from 145 lbs. to 90 lbs. in less than two months. She received her water through the peg tube because she was choking on anything she took by mouth. Into the second week of the peg tube feedings, she began to come back to us. By one month, she was up to 115 lbs. She is now at 124 lbs and we just had the peg tube removed. She still suffers from the dementia but on a very low scale which is our blessing and miracle given to us for she remembers us, she remembers her past and is beginning to be able to remember her 'yesterdays'.
It is my opinion from experience, nutrition is the #1 key to how well an elderly person can maintain and continue living in good health.
I pray your Mother will begin to eat and drink without having to have the peg tube. But if it comes to having to have it, know what I did not: it is a simple procedure and once in, good cleaning and care of it will enable her to keep it for the time she needs it.
Good that you took the straws. They can build up air in the tummy causing gas and tummy aches.
God bless you on your journey,
....and God bless your dear Mother. We only have one in this lifetime and I thank the Lord for her every day of my life.
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I tried fruits and vegetables. She eat very little, about half of a salad plate size. I give her soup, jello, ice, snow cones, watermelon, any thing with water content. She just complains that she doesn't want to eat much or she so full. She down to 80 lbs. Her doctor says if she doesn't gain weight and keep hydrated, she'll have to go to the hospital. I've threaten her with this, no good. She doesn't want to eat or drink. She doesn't care, she just waiting to die!!. Help.
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Can your doctor suggest a dietitician to take her to?
Have you tried offering her sips of water throughout the day? One sip here, one there?
What about nutritional drinks like Boost and Ensure with extra calories?
I wish I had better advice. This is all I can think of.
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Thanks for tiring to help. I've done everyone you suggested. NO good. 1) She doesn't like the taste of any nutritional drinks, won't driink it. 2) Daily sips throughout the day, constantly refuses. 3) Doctor suggest to keep feeding her to keep up her strength. I've even cheated giving her ice cream, cookies, cream puffs, and candy just get some calories in her (she'll eat some junk stuff). Thanks for listening, caring enough to respond, just needed to vent.
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I've tried shakes and smoothies, but she drink about a 1/8-1/4 cup then she done. I know a little is better than nothing. Thanks for the advice.
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Why is she not hungry? Sometimes medications can depress an appetite. How about an appetite stimulant? Hospital IV's are no fun. And is she being treated for Depression? (Not caring, "waiting to die.") Sounds like you're doing all the right things. What a good daughter! Perhaps your Mom needs more intervention, or a second opinion. Hang in there, and hopefully you'll find a good solution.
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