How much does ensure help?

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It has been a gradual decline, as of last week Mom is only swallowing a few spoons of soft food, with tiering coaching. She is chewing her pills and liquid due to the vascular dementia. I have increased her Ensures. She still consumes her water. I am concerned if I take her to the hospital.. you know the rest. It's been a couple of years since she has been admitted to the hospital, when she comes out she is physically worse then when she went in. Either of my 3, older in age, siblings have assisted me. I have called and said my body is so tired, I need your help..one sister caneled the day prior and was a no show the following month, still no help. I will not be calling only to have them drain me of questions and meaningless tears. They will see her when God takes her at the mortuary.

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The only problem with the Ensure is that my dad was given it when he slept past breakfast and/sometimes lunch. He is then missing 1 to two meals a day. He lost a significant amount of weight so the Ensure is only a bandaid fix. They might need to take an appetite stimulant to get him/her to eat more.
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Ensure can certainly be a Godsend when they don't want to eat.

My dad went through a period where he just wasn't eating and we added Ensure to his diet three times daily, which really helped him.
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CW sums it up nicely, that the good news about these drinks is that they provide complete high calorie nutrition. Which, if someone is recovering from major surgery or something and needs to be helped over the hump, is great.

But in the case of very frail, elderly people nearing the end of life, I can't help thinking what's the point - unless the person actively likes these drinks, of course. If your mother would prefer her favourite flavour of ice cream and full-sugar Coke - or a glass of Champagne, come to that - why not let her enjoy those instead? Enjoyment has to become top priority, I feel, with calories a bonus.
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Ensure, boost etc can be a godsend when they have difficulty eating enough calories and people can live indefinitely on nothing else, BUT, you should be prepared to consider that her loss of appetite may be a sign that she is transitioning to the final few months of life phase, and if that is the case I feel the decisions we make to keep our loved ones here with us are not always the kindest choices.
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Has her doctor addressed her nutrition? Is she on Hospice? I'd explore that to get some more support as well as getting some respite care.
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Not about ensure but I wanted to mention respite care. They will come and give you a break with your Mom. Even if it's for a few hours or one day, it'll help. I'm sure there are things you want to do also. You definitely need to take care of yourself also. Look into the respite care, if you have neighbors or a church, maybe they'll provide some support. Sorry about the siblings. It seems to me there are a lot of people having that issue, Including me.
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