My hubby with dementia has been refusing to eat or drink more than a tiny bit. Any advice?

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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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