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My mom is 86 years old, has parkinsons, she is on hospice since May of this year, we thought she was going to pass away at that time, she wasn't eating much just drinking, but now she is eating more, but continues to get very thin, she has blisters on her feet that do eventually pop, she is in a wonderful senior home and they take great care of her, I visit her every other day, she sleeps all the time and hasn't been able to get out of bed due to her being so weak and frail, how long does that last? It is so heartbreaking seeing her like this, she is pretty alert, but sometimes says things confusing. Has anyone else gone through this with their parent? Seems like this is the end of life, but don't know how long she can be like this, she has falled 3 times in 5 years, and had surgery twice, she had UTI before and C-diff, now on hospice. thank you for any info.

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My mom was diagnosed with Parkinson's 9.5 yrs ago and she started losing wt. when the 1st symptom of PD showed up and has steadily lost wt. even though at 1st she was eating normally. She's gone from 175 to 95 lbs and still eats but I don't think her body absorbs the nutrients from the food. We give her boost, anything at all that she will eat or drink. It's torture watching your loved ones go thru this.
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But she is eating, and getting so thin
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Thanks to SunnyGirl for the website on Cachexia. It is helpful to know that not eating is a normal process of the body preparing to die. Sad to watch happening and helpless to do anything.
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Thank you Windy!
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Sarah, this must be very tough but it sounds like you're doing all the right things on your moms behalf. I wish you the very best.
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My mother isn't on any meds, hospice took her off all her medications, for high blood pressure, parkinsons, she has had many problems with falling, swelling of feet, c-diff and infections, they are taking great care of her in the home that she is in and so is hospice, there is no way she can go to a beauty shop, as some has asked here, wish she could, but she is very very weak, and that is out of the question. I visit her every other day, the facility is only 3 miles from my house. I quess that this is her end of life, and the home, hospice and I are making it as comfortable as possible for her, and thank goodness she has no pain. She can be like this for a while is what they tell me, I hope god takes her, because it is heartbreaking to see her like this, she was an active woman always cooking, and doing so much, she is italian and you know how they love to do for the family as she always did! She is a wonderful mother and grandmother and now great grandmother, we take the great grandchildren to see her all the time and that seems to put a little smile on her face, but she does sleep alot and her body is kind of stiff and she has gotten blisters on her feet and swollen, I love my mom very much
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Smschaff is right - often thyroid doses have to be decreased with aging to avoid being toxic on them.
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Anonymous 44 your absolutely right about hospice when my dad was diagnosed at the hospital with asperation they said he can continue to eat anything but thickener for thin liquids and puree foods is best and told me he should be on hospice Cause he had DNR ORDER with Parkinsons .They took away all his drugs except for ones that are comfort care only I stay close contact with his nurse and let them know when I don't think what they are doing is right sometimes they want to give him too much pain meds or ativan
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Many of you have discussed high calorie foods/drinks which is fine however do not leave out the Thyroid. It may be acting up. A simple fasting blood test will tell. I would have the pharmacist review all of the medications and see if there is interaction. I had to take my Mom off Namenda, the med that is used in conjunction with Aricept. "NUMB"enda made Mom withdraw, become more dizzy and over - urinate. She could no longer feel the sensation to pee and to go to the bathroom, needless to say there was a ton of cleaning to do.
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Sarahbells: The first thing I would have done is to get her to doctor!
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Rosebush makes a good suggestions about getting your mother's hair done and/or getting outside. Hair appointments can be very therapeutic - it's always nice to feel better afterward - I think men feel better after haircuts as much as women do.

And being outside in good weather is just relaxing and rejuvenating, unless your mother's just too fatigued to try it. There's nothing like a soft breeze, the sound of birds and the rustle of the trees, especially as the heat gradually fades away and autumn creeps in.
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Sarah, you are doing a wonderful job of taking care of your mom. Sometimes no matter how hard we try things just don't go the way we want them to. Your mom will stop eating when she is ready. When on hospuce sometimes the patient is unable to let you know they are in pain. You said your mom is verbal so hopefully she will be able to tell you. You can tell someone is in pain by the grimaces on their face or when they are moved. If your mom is still passing urine, she is holding her own at the moment. Have the nurses or doctors said why she is getting blisters on her feet? If you are able to get her into a wheelchair and wheel her around the facility or take her out for air, I would definitely give that a try or maybe take her to get her hair done. I am only suggesting these things because to me it sounded like if mom didn't have the blusters she would be up. Spend as much time with your mom as you can, love and enjoy while you still have her. 😊🙏
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Thank you for all your responses, really helped me alot!
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sunny5
not sure what you don't understand about hospice? Hospice is and always will be considered "the end of LIFE"! My mom is also on hospice and in July went to a Hospice Hospital with a TIA. I went to hospital the next day and ask if mom had eaten, they all stated they would be afraid she would aspirate. my response was "so let her lay hear and do what hospice does best", I was furious. at that point entire crew started bringing in things for ME to feed mom. Everyone of them knew they had stepped on my toes because their ATTITUDES changed.
DO NOT LET HOSPICE KEEP YOUR LOVED ONE DOPED UP, they do this to not have to deal with them. REMEMBER THEIR MOTTO IS "THE END OF LIFE"
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Hospice is care for the end-of-life body functions. She is not able to absorb nutrients from food she eats, and therefore her body is starting to shut down. This is the beginning of the end of her life, so make every moment count. God bless you and your family.
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It sounds like your mom may very well be the end stages since you mentioned she sleeps all the time. As for why she's so thin despite eating more, you may want to have her doctor evaluate her to see if she may have tapeworm, which can be a good possibility of why she stays thin despite eating more than she was. If she has some kind of tape worm, there would be a good explanation because tapeworm lives off a person's nutrition. If she happens to have it and it's not addressed, this leads to death.

Another thing to consider is that if your mom is in the end stages, she may not be absorbing her nutrition like she did when she was well. This may very well be what is meant by the body no longer needing the energy it once did. It's been said that in this stage, food can be a disc comfort to the person since the metabolism slows way down to the point where the food just doesn't go anywhere as the body is in the process of shutting down. If this happens to be the case, you really don't want her to suffocate on anything that may be in her stomach when she goes to bed. Going to bed on a full stomach can really leave you miserable all night, even if you're not in end stages. This can lead to other problems later such as ulcers or leaky gut that starts as excess gas that can suddenly trigger acid reflux later. That's why it's so important not to go to bed on a full stomach. Again, you're really going to want to have your loved one evaluated by the doctor. A final idea I thought of would be to see if the doctor would keep her in the hospital a few days to see if she gains weight and improved under their care. If this isn't possible, you may want to stay with her more or maybe even consider taking her with you on a home visit. That way, you'll have a better idea of what's really going on, especially if she happens to improve under other care. If she does, then you'll know that she's being neglected at her current place. If this happens to be the case but she improves under your care or the hospitals, you could very well have a legal case. The first step knowing is taking the initiative to step in and initiate. Taking the initiative is the first step to finding out the answers to your questions. That way you'll know whether or not you're welcome one is being neglected by taking her home and taking care of her for a few days.
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Have you considered a not for profit hospice ? Please inquire about palliative care. I believe for profit hospice organizations prolong the lives of persons needlessly, fostering guilt in the families if they refuse antibiotics, surgeries and other procedures which will not make your loved ones well.
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Sarah, I think it's common for older people to gradually become thinner as they age and become more debilitated. But I would also ask for blood workup to see if there's anything else going on. Rosebush's post reminded me that anemia could be a factor.

And nutritional supplements such as Ensure or Boost can help, but if your mom's on Warfarin/Coumadin, ask about the effect of a supplement. We were advised by the anti-coagulation clinic we go to that some supplements have higher levels of Vitamin K and will affect the PT/INR value more. For someone who's weak, that interaction might be enhanced.
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There is less & less of me daily....
I have not been absorbing food properly for some time now & I am on no medications.
I AM SO READY TO leave this earth.
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My cousin continues to lose weight, even though she eats well. I researched it and discovered something called cachexia. It is quite common with those with diseases. It's inevitable weight loss despite eating. The body stops absorbing nutrients, even if they are consumed. Here's a link about weight loss and advanced dementia.

http://www.uws.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/77026/Weight_Loss_pamphlet_A4_format.pdf
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My dad has lost 30 pounds over the past 2 years even though eating the same. A couple of things going on. Muscle weights more than fat... loss of muscle mass will result in weight loss. Also, the doctors told me that elderly process their food less efficiently, so he is not getting the same nutrients and so forth from the same amount of food that he used too from eating the same amount. Like others here, I push calories with nutritional drinks.
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My mom had Lewy body dementia and parkinsons. When she reached the point where she could still stand but wasn't really walking the doctor told us that she was not getting all the nutritional value from her food because she was not mobile. Basically, if you don't use it you lose it. My mom ate extremely well. Blood tests indicated that she a little malnourished and I was shocked. At this point we were told to add an ensure type of drink. This was to be given in addition to her meals not in place of a meal.
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I think the blister could be from the cleaners on floor still being wet if she canput her own slippers on that might stop it as to food iI don't know about you but loose food gives you loose poop on the other hand when your in bed unless you can get to a toilet on your own you youavoid food unless you are real hungry as you have to ring for a nurse to get a potty or help to a potty and I can tell you they are not there boom on the spot yours not there only person on there floor so you wait while you Waite your in pain and if Waite one or two things happen you let loose or you get past it and can't poop I am not downing the effort of the floor nurses to care only the way it goes as for food you see what you see when your there not what happens when your not I am a full time care giver to my loved one and home with him he is much more happyer to eat at home then in the nursing home I believe it's couse I know his favorite foods and how to cook them no spice and I am there when he needs to go poop or pee he gets wheeled out to garden for bk and I watch my cleaners to be sure he dosent get blisters or rashes
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You said she sleeps alot hopefully there waking her up for meals I know it's hard to make sure there giving her meals to her every day The comfort drugs are the reason they sleep too much my Dad has TV in his room so he'll have some entertainment
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I bring in his favorite foods and sweets that seems to help knowing what he likes but the rest of my brothers sisters don't like when I do that there worried about his money :( I just want him to be happy I'm the Baby And I `ll do whatever I can to help him my mom past Twenty years ago and me and my husband have always done for him what we could
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There are some things I didn't like about hospice like they don't want him to have vitamins anymore and when he gets UTI no antibiotic but it's ok to have all the comfort care drugs they provide:( I don't get it?
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does hospice have a nutritionist/dietician that you can meet with to get some tips on how to handle this?
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My Dad is 89 also with Parkinsons stopped walking he Asperation when he drinks thin liquids so everything has to be thickened even water ,soups he can still eat but the nurse from hospice wants everything pureed he also has been on hospice since April I believe the comfort care drugs like the pain meds and ativan that hospice nurse keeps him on is what makes him so thin my Dad sounds just like your mom he knows everything and we can still communicate with it other he stopped wanting to get up out of bed just to sit in chair I'm afraid he's going to break a bone or something he also lives in a senior group home.I like to make sure that they wake him up when meals are ready I don't want him to skip eating
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sounds exactly like my mom. She will eat for the staff at the facility and for my brother and sister but not for me or my other brother. Still her appetite is very poor.
We have tried to tempt her with milkshakes, etc. which she will drink. the facility keeps her favorite foods in the refrig in the kitchen so we try to get her to eat those.
The doctor suggested and appetite stimulatant (remeron) which is also an anti depressant but she was seeing things and sleeping all the time so it was discontinued. We have decided that we will do what we can and try to offer her snacks in between meals (6 meal a day plan) to see how much we can get her toeat. One thing, she drinks anything they give her so she is taking boost and/or ensure. She loves it. she weighs just 88 lbs but has maintained it for a few months so she obviously is taking in some nutrition. I think the trick is to get your mom to eat things that are high in calories, even is she only takes a few bites. My mom is a little confused also and we found that if we give her a break and then go back to eating, she forgets that she already ate and will take some more food. But you are right, it is hard to watch.
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