what to do when my 90+ grandfather is not willing to eat


My 90+ years old grandfather is refusing to eat anything at all. He was leading a normal 'aging' life when he started deteriorating a month back after an episode of diarrhea. His diarrhea got cured. Infact he very soon started becoming constipated. He coughed a lot. Refused to eat. Had high fever. We called two- three physicians to check him up. Took him for an ultrasound and X-ray. The reports showed that he had diffuse parenchymal disease in both kidneys. Both his lungs showed signs of infection. His prostate is really enlarged. His hemoglobin really low. He is already on medications for his heart, prostate, hypertension, diabetes and constipation. Though he is receiving medicines for all the above conditions which have actually shown to be slightly effective but he is obstinately REFUSING TO EAT ANYTHING AT ALL. If we are lucky inspite of this multiorgan diseases he may live with effective medations but how when he is not eating. Please tell me how to make him eat when he is also refusing i.v. fluid adminstration and feeding tube placement. Please tell how to make him eat.

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If is he is competent, then I might question if he is depressed. What do the doctors say? There are medications to increase appetite, but, they may not be appropriate in his case. You might inquire about them, but if he is competent, I'd respect his decisions.

I have read that when a senior has reached a certain level with multiple medical problems, their body may lose the ability to process food and that's why they have no appetite. I might discuss this with his doctors. Have they mentioned Hospice?
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Your grandfather has a lot of issues going on. He's been ill. Does he have no appetite? Is he nauseated? Does eating make him feel sick? Has he given up? Could a loss of appetite be a side effect of one of his medications?

Don't try to force him to eat. Offer him small, nutritious snacks but if he doesn't eat them don't shame him.

Have you tried Ensure or Boost?
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Is there any possibility that grandpa is having difficulty swallowing? I ask, because several years ago, my fil was in the hospital due to kidney problems. He announced one day " i can't eat ". People brought him all sorts of yummy things. He just kept saying " i can't eat". Someone ordered a speech therapy eval , and she figured out that he could not swallow! She also determined that the cause of this swallowing problem, and fact that he was saying "can't eat" instead of "swallow" was a stroke that had affected his speech centers. Don't assume grandpa is being stubborn.

If he's saying "i won't eat and want to die" you might consider getting him examined for depression.
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