Mom with Alzheimer's is not eating.


Mom is progressing very quickly with end stage Alzheimer's. 4 months ago she was walking and talking. 3 months ago was bedridden and nonverbal but still eating well. One week ago she pretty much stopped eating. She had an UTI at the time, which she has since recovered mostly from, but still won't eat anything. She's in hospital getting fluids at least through an IV, but what do I do if she continues to not eat? Is it time to make that hard choice between feeding tube or no feeding tube?

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My mother was in a rehab, and then long term care, because of a fall in her home that resulted in a shattered hip. She was always a great walker because she never learned to drive, but had dementia at that time in her life.
She didn't take her rehab seriously ("I'll do it tomorrow") and sadly never walked again. She was in the facility for over 2 1/2 years She was 140 pounds when she went in, but dropped to 76 pounds.
The feeding tube issue was discussed with me, but the doctor said that he didn't feel comfortable putting a feeding tube in someone her age, with dementia.
My mother survived for 2 1/2 months drinking thickened liquids (because she was aspirating) but no real food. One morning when I visited her on my way to work, totally out of the blue, she said to me "I'm really hungry. Can we get something to eat?" (I 'll never know why she stopped eating 2 1/2 months earlier, or why she started eating on that particular day, but I thanked God that night when I said my prayers). My mom continued eating well for the next three months - some days two or three servings of pureed food, and went up to 95 pounds before she passed away.
I don't know you, but I'm sorry that you're going through this difficult time.
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Mother has a DNR hanging prominently in her house. She does not have Alz., but has written specifically she wants no end of life care beyond pain relief...does your mother have a similar statement? I know that with my mother, in the same situation, we aren't even supposed to have an IV or feeding tube of any kind, just pain relief. I know we will be there sooner rather than later, but that decision already being made for us--it's good to know. Check and see if your mom has made the same choice, and honor it. An IV can extend a life for quite a while--long past when a person stops drinking or eating on their own.
I'm sorry for your struggle. This is hard. I hope she has already made the decision for you.
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I found this article on Aging Care regarding Alzheimer's stages, and the last stage one can forget how to eat.
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