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He won't get out of bed. Help!

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First of all, my heart and prayers go out to you and your family! You did not mention your husband's age, but does he have a Living Will made out stipulating what he wants done if he would get to the point in his health when he can't or will no longer eat or drink? If he did, then for all purposes, you should honor what his wishes are. If not then the family must have a meeting and decide what you feel he may have wanted, maybe he told someone during a conversation, because as depending on your State Laws, they can order a feeding tube to be placed, IV's or any other means that will sustain his life........I am the Caregiver and POA to my 88 year old Godmother. She has an Elder Care Lawyer, and when she did her Will, I made sure she made a Living Will stating all her do's and do not's plus a DNR order, so when the time would come, I would not have to worry about it.....Also, please look into Hospice, they were a true blessing to us when my mother, father and father-in-law passed.
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My brother is suffering of dime tai and heart problems, now he is smoking a lot, he can't remember that he has just finished his cigarette and in seconds lights a new one. He is refusing to eat all kinds of food except chocolate which he eats a lot and sometimes Pepsi. He doesn't like water( he always didn't like it).
They are trying to give him the nourishing powder bags in juice. Any advice please?
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My brother is suffering of dime tai and heart problems, now he is smoking a lot, he can't remember that he has just finished his cigarette and in seconds lights a new one. He is refusing to eat all kinds of food except chocolate and sometimes Pepsi. He doesn't like water( he always didn't love it).
They are trying to give him the nourishing powder bags in juice. Any advice please?
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People have given some good advice here. Sounds like a call to his doctor is the place to start rather than all our guess work.

Also, I work with hospice. You can always call them in for an assessment and they might be able to give you some direction about what may be going on and what to do even if your spouse doesn't meet hospice criteria. As others have noted, sometimes when someone comes on hospice care it actually extends their life as they have a nurse coming in regularly to check on them and someone monitoring medications, appetite, output, etc. If you change your mind about someone being on hospice care all you have to do is sign a "revocation form", which removes them from care immediately.

Sometimes people with dementia lose their sense of appetite. That center of the brain signaling "hunger" is no longer working. They don't "sense" being hungry. Sometimes one's sense of taste and smell decreases with age. Food has no taste and isn't appealing. At other times, people with dementia forget how to chew and swallow. There are feeding techniques that can be tried to "prompt" them to open their mouth and eat, e.g., touching a spoon/utensil to their mouth/lips as a "signal" that food is coming in. Check with the Alzheimer's Association about such things, as others have suggested.

And yes, there are prescription medications that can stimulate appetite (in addition to marijuana which isn't legal yet in many States, or even when it is many doctors are reluctant to prescribe it.) We have hospice patients that they have worked very effectively for.

Finally, is there any chance your spouse might be dying? I wouldn't assume anything, but when someone is in the dying process the body starts to shut down and doesn't require much in the way of food and water. In fact, it can be painful for someone who is dying to have food and/or liquids forced on them. The body can't digest it properly as it doesn't need it, so it kind of sits in the stomach and can cause bloating and discomfort.

Call the doctor........please. You need and deserve help and support with this. Not an easy time.
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You need to contact your husband's doctor ASAP, there is medicine that they can give him, but I heard it takes a few weeks to start helping. Also, maybe it is time to contact Hospice, but your doctor will decide and can help you with that. I had hospice for my dad, and I do not know what I would have done without them! They were so helpful and wonderful and believe me, you cannot do this by yourself! You must remember to take care of yourself when you are being a caregiver, as it is so easy to get so run down that you get sick! My great aunt was taking care of her husband who was bedridden. She was so stressed from worrying about his care, she had a heart attack and died! So please do not forget to ask for any help you can get!! God Bless and Good Luck!
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Please see your physician, the solutions could be as simple as an antidepressant.
Keep in mind however for the advanced stages of any disease, loss of appetite and refusal to eat is the bodies notice that it is to ill, exhausted and unable to maintain body function. In my experience, (10 years in hosp endoscopy procedures), feeding tubes should only be used for the young with functional eating issues such as recovering stroke. Hard decisions but the body is very wise, and we need to listen to that wisdom.
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Great advise to contact the doctor first as there may be something medical going on that is causing this. Dementia is a terrible disease, it robs us of our loved ones. There are tips and techniques that can assist in the day to day care of someone with dementia. You can try a variety of cups to see if one works better than another, cut foods in bite size pieces or use finger foods when you can. If he wanders, the finger foods can be eaten while he is walking. You can contact your local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association for information on how to manage dementia behaviors. If you have a local adult medical day service, see if you can get him in. It's a great program and it would give you a break. I find many people with dementia may do something for someone that isn't family (no reflection on the family member as dementia changes our loved one's thought processes). My grandmother would refuse to eat so everyday I went to KFC to get her mashed potatoes and gravy-the only thing she would eat. A person with dementia may only want to eat one or two food items. Serve him milkshakes with ice cream, yogurt or peanut butter in it, you can also make a milk shake with yogurt, cottage cheese and fruit. They taste good, add calories and some extra protein that is needed. Get creative, a dietitian I worked with once told me it doesn't matter what they eat or drink as long as they eat and drink-give them whatever they will eat. Be patient and don't become discouraged. Good luck. I know this is difficult, but you can handle this. Remember to take time for yourself so you don't get worn down. You are not alone in your caregiving duties. There are many caregivers that have been or are going through the same things.
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Without knowing what meds he's taking or what stage of dementia he is suffering, it's hard to advise you.
What worked for me:I ate my mother's favorite foods in front of her while we chatted.
I cooked her favorite foods and let the smell waft through the house.
I didn't take "no" for an answer about getting up, getting washed and getting dressed.
My persistence became such a nuisance to her she finally gave in.
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Oops. Meant to say organic coconut oil instead of flaxseed oil. You can grind flaxseed in coffee grinder and experiment on adding a teaspoon full to pureed food. Be sure to use organic butter in diet also. I don't know the perfect answer for what's best to purée food in. For large quantities, the Ninja Professional blender works for purée. There may be something better but for now it is best to
my knowledge. Vita mix not helpful to purée large quantities.f May want to try combinations of food such as cooked cauliflower, broccoli,carrots, oatmeal to purée. Sweet peas/lentils and oatmeal . Etc. Organic red lentils great to work with and also organic split green peas.
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Find a medical marijuana Doctor who can advise you. The proper usage of medical marijuana should control dementia symptoms. Try to research on line as much as possible concerning the use of medical marijuana as extract or tincture etc. Does wonders for dementia symptoms. Like day and night difference , once you determine proper dosage. May need to combine with valerian extract which can be purchased from whole food or health store. Will have to determine dosage such as 5 drops. Must keep on schedule for optimum results. I think it helps create hunger as well. Be sure to add organic honey to pureed
Food. Keep liquid stevia to help with sweet taste. Proper seasoning with salt,a little red pepper, cinnamon to enhance taste. Organic flaxseed oil in pureed food along with the honey. Organic smooth peanut butter with banana for snack. Organic avocado and boiled egg pureed together using a coffee grinder. Bathe brain needs good fats. Research using coconut oil and other good fats to feed brain with healthy organic foods. Focus on lots of love and kisses and talk during feeding time. Make it fun and encouraging.
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The first thing you should determine is whether or not your patient has a "medical directive" stating what their wishes are for this stage of life. Many people fill one out stating that if they are incapacitated "no artificial means of life support...no feeding tube, etc. are to be used to keep them alive." But many times they are either ignored or caregivers are not aware of them. We need to talk to our charges long before that point arrives. Once a person has dementia it's too late for them to decide end of life care. Many of the cases on this site are probably such cases. Children of and caregivers for these patients want to prolong life as long as it is medically possible, regardless of the cost in discomfort and even agony for the patient. Why? So please, please have your own end of life instructions where your future caregivers can find them and talk about it while you are still able. When someone gets to the point where they have serious dementia, don't know where they are and don't recognize anyone and refuse food, why would you force feed them and put them on all kinds of drugs to prolong their life. Surely not for their sake.
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I discussed this with my mother's doctors after she fainted for the second time in two weeks. She was placed in the hospital and a complete medical work up was done. She was prescribed a medication given to increase her appetite and has been eating everything she came find. I have stocked the refrigerator and pantry with fresh fruit cut in small bite sizes, grapes, apple slices, apple sauce, and carrots. These are things she can eat quickly and fill her up. It's amazing how the medicine has made an impact on her strength and energy levels. Ask his doctor about any medications for appetite . I was desperate enough to ask for a marijuanna prescription , the doctor laughed because our state does not have a medical marijuana law, but the doctors got the point to how serious the issues was for us.
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Call your doctor immediately. My my had Lewy body dementia and Parkinson's. My mom spoke very little and could not move without assistance. We would get her dressed and downstairs each day. She ate well but had to be fed. After 2 days of being very tired and wanting to sleep, eating very little, her doctor suggested we take her to the emergency room. I did not want her poked and proded for 5 days for hospital to say there was nothing they could do. Her doctor said it could just be a UTI and since she had no other medical problems if it was her mother she would take to the ER. After 3 hrs, we were told it was a brain bleed. Immediately called hospuce at that point to get her home where she wanted to be. Our story did not have a good ending, however, something like a UTI is fixable. It is definitely worth getting checked out sooner rather then later. You can always refuse treatment once you are at the hospital if you so choose. Hospital had to change iv line the first night in hospital and after trying 3x i firmly told them to stop. I didn't want my mom tortured. She was afraid of hospitals and just became confused snd disoriented, my goal was to get her out ASAP . Remember, once you know what is going in, you get to make the decisions you are comfortable with concerning the diagnosis you are provided with. Good luck , prayers coming your way.
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My dad had Parkinsons....when he began to have dementia, he also began refusing to drink or eat. He had DNR, DNI (not sure of the difference). At that time we held a family meeting. It was decided by mother that it was time to move him to hospice. I'm not saying that's right for your husband, I'm saying we weighed all the options and he had suffered enough. He didn't swallow because he could not--no IVs, no naso gastric tubes--just liquids he could handle (maybe 2 popsicles a day) and all the morphine we could get into him. He had a sweet, peaceful passing-beta42--my heart cries for what you went through. Of course, you want to make sure you are doing what is best for YOUR loved one...but we need to make sure we aren't doing what we'd want-but rather what THEY want. Jenny, I wish you all the best with this.
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my mom at 80 did same thing ...very little nourishment...called 911 as she was bedridden and had doc visists at home...they had her on iv for 4 days and then asked me about peg tube in stomach...she would only last 3 months..i said go ahead...she lived for 2 years and 3 months on 6 cans of ensure 70 mls per hour continuous feed...she passed 1 week ago...had first pressure sore..blood clots in diaper...said she had mass in bladder-did not recommend surgery due to age..sore got 3 bacteria that were resistant to antibiotics..said she wont die of mass -but painful..would die of septic from sore from bacteria getting into blood. after 4 days i said please give her food..they did then said if i was her i would not be eatting...she slept whole time..I said ok,,take her off..on friday...she passed on wednesday night...just mke sure hes comfortable when get to that point...mom on 1ml of morphine per hour...she was wide awake...don think it was enough.. adult protective services came over and insisted she be on 2 mls. i called hospice and told them...she said shes not a nurse...but when went to pharmacy...the script said 2 ml..she at least felt no pain the last day and a half she was asleep....she gasped for breath for 6 days...i thought each breath was her last....it really was difficult time...but shes with jesus now...I cared for her for 5 years...hang in there....read read and get ready for the next step- possibly the tube
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I agree with all the above advice also. You will definitely want to consult your husbands physician Pronto! I had a similar experience with my father back in March. He suffered from dementia as well. Out of the blue, my father began to refuse food and drink. He was consuming very little each day. His weight dropped drastically - 10-15 pounds very quickly. We consulted his physician, we thought my father was just entering another phase of dementia. I wasn't comfortable with that assessment and took my father to the emergency room. It turned out that my father was experiencing a bleed in his brain. So I encourage you to seek medical help. I wish you well. (Note: I'm not trying to scare anyone, just sharing my father's unfortunate experience)
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Call hospice.
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Ditto all of the above advice - could also be any number of digestive issues. When my 94 yr old mom began refusing to eat I found out she had cancer, and even before that I would say, "Ok, how about a milkshake?" If I offered something she fondly remembers from the past she would agree and at least sip on it when I reminded her to. Now everything she eats is pureed so I just say she's having a milkshake, or if it's warm it's "soup".
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Not wanting to get out of bed is a classic sign of clinical depression, and not eating and drinking also matches that diagnosis. Call his doctor, let him/her know his present state so perhaps a med can be started because these antidepressant drugs take about two weeks to correct the brain chemistry. Keep encouraging him to eat and drink and my best wishes to you both.
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Dealt with this issue with my mother, whom also had early stage dementia and little or zero nourishment. From that experience I'll say you can't drag your feet on this...as my family and doctors did. IMO we got bogged down on...cause, if we should act, does she want action and how extreme...while she was withering away. (Lost 20 lbs in less than 2 weeks) If his doctor is not aware of his lack of eating, inform him and/or make an appointment immediately. There are drugs, such as meatjeanne explains above, designed for anorexia-nervosa patients, that have been very helpful in increasing their eating. But, it takes 10-14 days for the drug to be effective. (Survivorists say the "healthy" human body can go two weeks without food/water before vital organs begin to die & shut down.) With my mother, by the time she was put on the drug...it was too late for it to turn things around. She had been on the drug for 9 days...not eating or eating very little for 2 weeks+...when the organ breakdown began and then...the end.

I tell you this not to scare you but to emphasize the importance of timing and urgency. And to simply provide information from someone who has been in the same boat and has also experienced the new age of medical care (at least where I live)...where doctors, nurses, hospice...give you very little, clear information or their opinion.
I wish you and your husband...peace.
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When I was caring for my Grandma who also had dementia. We called her doctor when she stop eating and drinking and her doctor told us to contact hospice care. I know when people hear hospice the first thing they think of is Death. But that is not always the case it was the best thing that happen for my family. My Grandma lived longer with them then she would have lived without them. I hope this helps and I hope you and your family find peace.
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Yes, call the doctor immediately. My husband was put on depression med, Mirtazapine, and the side effect was increased appetite. It worked great for him. It took a couple weeks to work tho. Again, call the doctor. And people need fluids....cannot go long without water/liquids.
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First thing you do is pick up the telephone and call his doctor, and tell the doctor what you have told us. There could be a variety of reasons your husband won't get out of bed, and won't eat.

Hope this gets solved immediately.
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