Grandmother with dementia will only eat and take medicine for me. Any advice?

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Hi all. My grandmother has dementia and a series of other heart issues and diabetes. She is 88 and I have had to recently put her in the nursing home because her care became to great for her home care aides. I am all she has left, my mother was her only child and she passed away in 1997 and her husband of 67 years passed away last year. I am her whole world and the only person she listens or responds to is me and other family. She has had severe weight loss in the last three weeks, 15 lbs down to 94. She has to be hand fed and the food has to be pureed. The problem is she will absolutely not eat anything or take her medicine for anyone but me. She will knock it on the floor, refuse it, cuss them, sometimes becoming violent. But I can walk in the room and her mood completely changes and she's her sweet self. She will eat for me and take her medicine no problems. I live two hours away though and have had to take a lot of time off work. I feel like she will just starve to death if I'm not there and a feeding tube is not an option. Anyone else with this experience?

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Ouch surprise, that sounds pretty harsh :(
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If she's lost this much weight recently, she's on her way out whether you feed her yourself or not. You feeding her only prolongs her inevitable death. I'm sorry to say this, but it sounds like it is time to practice tough love with yourself and not allow yourself to devote your young life to propping up an elder who has had her good life already. You need to be living your own life and making yours a good life.

If your grandmother were in her right mind, she would not want you to sacrifice your life for hers. If she won't eat, that's ok. She will stop being hungry in about a day and move on to the next stage of her existence. It's the natural order of things and it's ok to move on.
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As far as her meds go perhaps they can give her it in shots or an IV? Sometimes ssri s will increase appetite too.
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This is more than you can manage. Winnie the Pooh had a good answer. But realize that you cannot control your G'mother's intent to eat or not - or her will to live. And driving 2 hours is an absurd burden. You will need to let go. It may be that she's simply "had enough", and is ready to be done.
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Hi MattCK. I feel from Your post that You have a wonderful kindness which Your dear Grandma picks up on, therefore She will always oblige You. Obviously there isn't an ideal Care facility near to Your home. I would run with WinnieThe Pooh's suggestion, because I think it is just so enticing. Good luck.
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MattCK: It is typical for an elder to become belligerent. Two suggestions-#1 Do you think she would be willing to try the "Meals on Wheels" program? They deliver noontime meals Monday through Friday. They are a donation-based program, meaning you don't have to pay or if you want to, the daily fee is only $2.00. #2 With that much weight loss, there has to be an underlying cause, so get her to a doctor STAT!
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Winnie the Pooh. Brilliant!
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Since she trusts you...could you phone her and say,I left your (something specific about what the puree is) with Linda, you know she has the yellow rose by her nametag. (Some identifier that you can mention) She is bringing the food and medicine ----for me. Have them delivered while you are on the phone with grandma. It is worth a try! Another leverage is if there is something she always wants you to do... like exercise or "date" whatever it is, you can say you will be able to do that if she takes the food and medicine which is delivered to her.Hugs to you! Good job taking care of gma in tough circumstances!
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I think perhaps she perks up and eats because she wants to please you, whereas she doesn't feel the need to please her other caregivers. Is there a certain caregiver that feeds her each day, or is it just whoever is available at the time? If she can connect with someone at the nursing home she may be more willing to make the effort.
On the other hand as the body fails so does the appetite. I have always said if my mother refused to open her mouth to be fed I would respect that, difficult as that may be.
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Awe, that's sad. A 2 hour drive each way just to get someone to eat their dinner is a tough spot for you to be in. You're right that 15 lbs is a severe weight loss in 3 weeks time, especially for a little person like that, I'd be worried too if it were my GMA. Probably an obvious question, but is there a NH closer to you? If she doesn't have any real ties to the area she's in now, no friends and relatives to visit her, and she's not going back to her house, maybe that would be easier for her and for you in the long run. If not, can you get her other relatives you mention to phone/visit/send notes frequently where she's at, rally around her at her new place so she doesn't feel disconnect/forgotten? Can you pay one of her old home care aides to slip over there and "visit", help feed her while she "adjusts"? Or perhaps get in contact with them and ask specifically about what they put in, and how they prepared her puree. Maybe the new place is doing something different enough to her that she just plain doesn't like it?
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