After losing her son and husband, my Mother in law has quit eating and wants to join them. Is there anything we can do to help? -

After losing her son and husband, my Mother in law has quit eating and wants to join them. Is there anything we can do to help?


Mother in law lost her youngest son, then husband of 67 years between Feb & June. My husband and I are swapping off 12/7 shifts. He sleeps there, since she's too heavy for my little 101 lbs to lift if she falls again, and I'm there all day to clean and cook and get all the financial mess from her husband dying before he sat down to tell us what he wanted done. (Hospice just set up a bed for him in home, chemo was no longer helping with his leukemia). She's lost her youngest son in Feb, he had a planned death, then in June, her husband of 67 years fell in the driveway taking out the trash. She has talked continuously about wanting to join them... a week ago, she's decided she isn't hungry, doesn't want to drink, since it causes her to have to get up and pee (she fell for the 10th time last week). She refuses to eat, complaining her lower partial hurts, but won't let me set up dentist, doctor or any grief counseling. She's quit trying to clean (she has MAJOR OCD). Just sits in her recliner day and night, flipping thru channels, but never really watching anything. We are really at a loss about what to do now. Everyone in the family has just faded into the woodwork and want no responsibilty. So it's just hubbie and I taking care of his mother. My health isn't very good, so we are concerned that I'm pushing too hard to help her... she of course, doesn't want anyone coming into her house, they'd just be bringing dirt in, she doesn't like strangers in her house, so she refuses any in-home help. I had to go back to my family for a week, so I wasn't aware she'd quit her sponge baths. The people in the ER said she was filthy, they wouldn't let her put on her clothes she'd been wearing for close to 2 weeks. Has only washed her hair once since Dad passed on June 2nd. It keeps getting worse and she won't let us do anything that would help, even lying about eating to her son (my hubby). We just don't know what to do!!! She wants to die in her home (Dad did also). Is there anything we can do to help or should we honor her wishes and just sit and watch her wither away?

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One more thing, if she's in the hospital for three days, she will qualify for rehab, which could be a great thing!

Might get her even more interested in life and other people.

Get her seen by the geriatric Psychiatrist there.

Could be a win /win all around.
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I arrived to mom's house this a.m. with her begging me to call 911, so I rode down with her and talked to the Dr.'s and Nurses about the Dementia, the failure to want to thrieve, or take care of her hygiene.... she is now admitted into the hospital, they are going to treat her bladder infection, keep her until Monday and take care of the compound fracture in her back... talked to hospice, they will let us know tomorrow if she qualifies for it, sent me home with TONS of resource info, and we got her to finally agree to a nurse and PT to visit once or twice a week, so things are looking up. Her eyes were twinkling at us when we were getting ready to leave and told us, 'I'm going to be reborn! "

Thank you 97yroldmom and freqflyer to your answers and taking the time to offer help!!! I sent the problem out to the internet and God brought me the solutions in all in one 8 hour day
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DDCadigan, my heartfelt sympathy for the passing of your husband's Dad and his brother. That must be so hard on your Mom-in-law.

I was also wondering why Mom-in-law was in the ER, another fall? I was also wondering if this could be a Urinary Tract Infection as such an infection can make a person have unusual symptoms, out of the norm. Especially since Mom isn't bathing. It's worth looking into.
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Why was she in ER? Was she given anything for depression? Could you call hospice to come in and see if she qualifies for their services? That might be a starting place.
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