She has always had anxiety about doctors and would not go unless she was deathly ill. She now has swollen legs and feet, edema. Toe fungus and cellilitis and her feet are seeping fluid. She will not willingly take meds. Have to hide it in food, and because she does not want to eat recently we can't get regular antibiotics into her. A doctor will come to the house to assess her but she will not let the doctor look at her feet or legs or get near her for that matter. We had to bring her to hospital in ambulance because that was the only way to get her health and feet accessed, and even trying to get her to go she put up a fight. It caused her distress emotionally we hated doing that but was the only way. Is this a losing battle concerning her health, are we going to to just watch her slowly die because she refuses medical treatment? Is there anyone out there that has had the same problems?

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When was your mother last examined by a doctor?

Do not fight her. You will only increase her fear, stress and combativeness.

Call a doctor to come and examine her. Do not tell her you are going to do this. When the doctor arrives, bring him/her into the room where your mother is, introduce him/her by name, then sit quietly and allow the doctor to do all the communicating. If this doesn't work and your mother still refuses to be examined you'll be no worse off; but I would expect her to respond better to simple instructions given in the moment with no drama going on.

If you don't want to do this, or if you try it and it doesn't work, your mother will become so ill than she won't be putting up any kind of fight; and at that point you can call an ambulance and she will be stabilised in hospital - but you'll have to be vigilant and you'll have to get a move on.

If you don't like that idea either (I wouldn't, I know), then another suggestion would be to contact a hospice provider and ask them to come and do an assessment. Hospice won't attempt to treat your mother's underlying disease, but they will be able to do a lot to make her more comfortable than she must be at the moment, and they will also have good advice for the family about how to care for her.

What medications are you hiding in your mother's food, by the way?

To answer your question "is this a losing battle?" - The real point is that the only thing that matters is your mother's sense of wellbeing, and fighting her over her health only makes her feel worse, and you feel worse, and it STILL doesn't help her health. So - no more fighting! Get medical/nursing/hospice advice, and do what you can for her.
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You can't reason with someone who has dementia.

She needs medication for anxiety. Have you discussed this with any of her health care providers?

Have you considered a Hospice evaluation?
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