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Father in law has vascular dementia. He has been bedridden for 2 weeks. Hospice says he is dying. My husband doesn't think so, he just believes he's declined and will stay this way for a while. Have any experience this?

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I didn't think there was any "starvation pain" when the body is shutting down and no longer needs food or water.

Found this

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320794.php
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People can last a VERY long time on minimal amounts of food; it is down then to starvations slowly and slow shutdown of all systems which can be quite painful. I am glad you have hospice to provide comfort care. There is fluid in food, esp. food prepared so that an elder in this condition can eat it. Even tiny amounts of fluid will prolong things a month or more. The withdrawal of ALL FOOD and FLUID will mean likely a bit more than a week, dependent on condition to begin with. This all requires careful management because at the point organs shut down there can be some confusion and agitation. Does your FIL WANT to eat, or is this food being pushed? Because if he wants to eat he should be allow to eat what and when he likes. If he doesn't want to eat, at this point it is a disservice to force food. Wishing you good luck. Sorry and know this is very hard.
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My relative lasted SIX WEEKS without eating, and only taking a few small sips a day! She had a living will which clearly stated her wishes for no feeding tube, etc.

I don't have to tell you how she looked when she did die.
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Usually if they aren't drinking they aren't eating either. Does he act like he wants food or is someone forcing it. Because, when the body is shutting down the body no longer digests the food. So the food goes nowhere. This is not a good thing.

My Mom lasted 2 weeks without food and water.
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He’s in denial. Why else wouldn’t he believe professionals from hospice? I’m sorry for all that you are going through. It’s hard.

People who are dying are not hungry or thirsty. Encourage him to accept that his loved one is preparing to die and is no longer desiring food or water.

Take care and hugs.
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No water at all and 1/2 cup of food (which will have a nominal amount of water in it)….a few weeks at most. Possibly not even that.

Is he in active Hospice? They can guide you in the process.

I'm sorry you DH is not accepting this. See that a Hospice worker sits down with him and explain the dying process. My own DH didn't believe his own father was dying and, when he did, in fact, pass away DH and his sis were chatting away, oblivious to the fact dad had just died. It was such a shock even though the doctor has told us, 20 minutes before he died, that he was not going to rally, he was in fact, actively dying.
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He won't last long, sadly without drinking water. Food, he could go on for a little while, but water is a different story.
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