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My Mom (86) is staying with us till she gets over pneumonia. If I wake her to eat with us she has a few bites then wants to go back to bed. She is weak and I told her she needs to eat to keep up her strength. Help!

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Yes, I agree. I will just keep her happy and compfy. Her Primary Care Doctor is awesome and always there when we need him.
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College follow your instincts.
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My Mother turned 94 today. She sleeps a lot. Probably 20 hours of 24. She just got over UTI which made her so weak and sick from it and the meds. I give her Boost and whatever she will eat, which isn't much. Lots of water, probiotics, B12, fish pills, vitamin D3 and multivitamin. Lots of prayer. I see her getting more tired each month. Just hang on to each day. She was suppose to go to Specialist today for intra-ocular injection, but she hates to go. The check up always hurts her back and neck for days. She has macular degeneration in one eye. We have done the shots for 4 years and I think she's had enough.
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I am not a doctor but, it is said that's when are bodies heal. But at the same time she also needs to move around. Give her a little time, then say mom lets get up shower, have a bit and maybe a short walk. God bless you both, hope all will be well!!!!
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It sounds like she needs a probiotic, or at least yoghurt with live active cultures to replace the friendly bacteria in her gut and give her Co-Q10 to rebuild the mitochondria. -This will restore her energy and appetite.
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Sherry1anne: wow 103! You must be doing something right. Good advice
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My mother 103 yo will tell me that she is not hungry, but when I insist that she come to the table, I put a big plate of food in front of her. She always says that I give her too much. I tell her just ear whatever she likes and we'll save the rest for another time. She cleans the plate. She has hyper thyroid so she burns off the calories quickly, even with the medication she takes. She also sleeps a lot, it think elderly people require more sleep. The pneumonia is the exhausting. Let her sleep, but just get her up for meals. & I agree, water is very important in her healing.
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There are several components to this question: 1) her age 2) are there other illnesses besides dementia and pneumonia? 3) do you feel as if she is nearing the end of this life and is ready to pass?
If you can answer yes to two and three, then sleeping a lot is very normal as is no appetite. "Pushing fluids" and waking her to eat or take nutritional supplements can be more frustrating to both of you. Comfort care may be more appropriate in this case: repositioning her in bed, swabbing her mouth, keeping her lips moist with lip balm, letting her wake on her own and ask for drinks or food and then only give her what she wants, don't keep asking her to eat or drink more. If she is moaning and has facial grimacing, a high pulse greater than 100 beats per minute, she may be in pain.
If, on the other hand you answer no to two and three and she was up, active and eating and drinking then it may be time to call the doctor.
Does your Mom have a living will, do you know what her end of life wishes are such as artificial nutrition like a feeding tube, does she want CPR done etc.? If she has this information or you've talked about this with her before she became very ill, it may help guide you as you care for her and respect her wishes.
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Drinking water is more important than eating because if she becomes dehydrated, her kidneys will shut down and that is dangerous. Encourage her to drink even if she doesn't feel like it. My husband is almost 89 now and has a cold, is resistant to drinking water, but I just make him. He ended up in the ER night before last and I told the ER nurse to tell him (hearing it from another professional works better). He didn't have the flu, and is resting and drinking more water with doxycycline to kill the bacteria. Our family dr. advises NOT to take an antibiotic which will make one's immune system with pneumonia even weaker.
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Do you have a HIPAA release so you can talk to her doctor? Ask the doctor for directions
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I agree with Veronica.91: get the nutritional supplement liquids. Even just adding a breakfast milk powder to milk can increase her calorie intake to help her have enough energy to continue fighting the pneumonia.
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Pneumonia takes a lot out of you. Rest is good. Keep fluids going.
Maybe some more frequent, but small meals. What does her doctor recommend?
On antibiotics? (sometimes they can contribute to decreased appetite)
Hope she gets better soon.
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A good way to help take care of the nutrition is to encourage the use liquid nutritional drinks. Can.t mention traqde names but pharmacy will point them out to you
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My Mother was in the Hospital last Month for double pneumonia, she got better but they kept her fluid level limited but gave her lasex to remove the fluid in her lungs, and monitored her removal of fluid. She was unable to cough up her mucus so they had to do it that way. She was in the hospital 10 days and was on a antibiotic. She slept off and on. sometimes Seniors feel depressed about their situation and sleep to avoid their condition. They may not feel well enough to eat much but need some sort of nourishment. But this is just my opinion and what we experienced in the hospital. It was touch and go at times but being 84 she came through it surprisingly well.
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Here is what is on the Mayo Clinic website for caring for pneumonia at home:

"To help you recover more quickly and decrease your risk of complications:

Get plenty of rest. Even when you start to feel better, be careful not to overdo it.
Stay home from school or work until after your temperature returns to normal and you stop coughing up mucus. Because pneumonia can recur, it's better not to return to a full workload until you're sure you're well. Ask your doctor if you're not sure.
Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to help loosen mucus in your lungs.
Take the entire course of any prescribed medications. If you stop medication too soon, your lungs may continue to harbor bacteria that can multiply and cause your pneumonia to recur."

Notice that REST comes first. Fluids are also important. I wouldn't wake her up to eat with you. Instead I'd offer food when she is awake -- maybe not a roast beef dinner, which might seem overwhelming, but a half a sandwich or a little bowl of applesauce. Definitely have liquids available at all times.

You can also ask your question at her clinic. Or find her insurance card and see if there is a nurse help line number on it. Those help lines are staffed by very knowledgeable people who answer questions like this all the time. You may feel more confident following the advice of her clinic or an insurance help line.
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