Mom at end of life, how long can she go without water and food? -

Mom at end of life, how long can she go without water and food?


My mom is on day 4 on her having no bowel movement..a suppository today. Hospice said that she is on her end of life. My question is how long can she survive with no water (except mouth swap when she lets us)or no food. If she eats it’s only applesauce and that maybe 1 spoon a day. She has not eaten or drink in the last 2 day and her bowels are not moving. But she is still urinating. How can that be when she doesn't drink? Please help.



making it for a special event or for someone much loved to arrive is not unusual. Unfortunately there is not a crystal ball to give you the answer. You have recieved all the advice that is out there. The hospice nurse will tell you when they see impending signs of death but it still will only be a guesstimate.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Veronica91

A friend's sister lived for 3 weeks without food or water. She surprized the medical staff (she was in the hospital). She was waiting for her son. It took that long for her son to be found. Once he came to her bedside she was ready and passed shortly after.

My Granny was just a few days, I think she was in ICU for 5 days and was only lucid for the first two. She was ready, but made it to her birthday.
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Reply to Tothill

Dear Motherof5,
A hospice patient of mine lived for over 2 weeks without eating or drinking anything. It's mind boggling.

Maybe the "old" nurse can get her to eat and drink when no one else can. Or, maybe she just did it that day. Each day can be different.

It's so hard to "sit and wait" for life to end. We want to DO something.

Sit with her, hold her hand. Her favorite music would be relaxing or hospice may have a music therapist who can come and play an instrument and sing.

I'm sorry for you both.
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Reply to SueC1957

Thanks mom’s nurse for hospice has been out she had seen like 3 other nurses.. we are getting tole..that all the signs are end of nurse tole us that she has fluid in lungs..another nurse said get her off of water and food..than her nurse from hospice ( the one that has seen her for 2 years)comes in today after being sick the week this happen to my mom..and made her get up out of bed gave her water and applesauce..and said that she will be back tommorrow to see her..what she has been in bed for a week on morphine..just dnt know what to thing..please help
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Reply to motherof5

I’m very sorry for your situation. With my mom, once this was the case she lived for just over 2 weeks, quite a bit longer than anyone predicted.
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Reply to Daughterof1930

I have heard others say comfort is the focus. Music, reading to her, family telling stories about her life and love for others. Make the most of the time she has. 😢
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Reply to melstevens

I wish there were a simple answer to this question, because the waiting and not knowing is cruel.

Try to concentrate purely on your mother's comfort in the immediate here-and-now, and forget about normal routines like bowel movements and fluid intakes. You're there to swab her mouth if she seems dry, ask if she wants anything else, hold her hand, let her know she's loved. Those are the things that really matter.

Do you have anybody else with you for support, or just hospice?
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Reply to Countrymouse

So sorry for the impending loss of your mother. I don't know the answer, but others do. Hopefully, they will see your question and chime in.
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Reply to polarbear