Mother has been losing weight and and can't eat much at all since contracting Shingles in November. She has been hospitalized three times in the last month for weight loss, dehydration, low sodium/potassium, and constipation. We can't get her to eat much of anything. She is losing weight. It's almost impossible to get enough calories and nutrition in her. Then she's constipated. Metamucil, stool softeners, laxatives and seem ineffective. I'm at a loss on how to get her to eat and drink enough fluids. Then the constant battle with constipation and blockages. She won't eat anything she used to like. I need diet and nutrition ideas. She can't heal if she can't get nutrition. Help!

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Sometimes if you encourage people to eat too much while their bodies are shutting down, it can cause constipation and blockages. Do you think that could be part of your mom's problem?

This is a video by a woman named Teepa Snow who deals with dementia but it can apply to anyone dealing with end of life issues. I found it helpful.

You can only keep her comfortable and keep her company if her time here is ending. Try to find a Palliative Care professional to guide you going forward.
If she won't eat or drink, it might actually be because that's what her body needs right now. I'm sorry. It's hard.
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What happens when she is in the hospital? Does she eat there? Do they feed her? What does she eat when she’s there? While she’s in the hospital, have you met with the dietician to find out what to feed her and how? Do they discharge her even though she’s still not eating and losing weight? Has the doctor said anything to you about the possibility of the medications she’s on causing lack of appetite or constipation? Are you giving her the Metamucil, etc. on doctor’s orders? Could there be an underlying cause for the constipation? What was her diagnoses for the weight loss? Truthfully, if she refuses food, it doesn’t matter what you offer her. Has she had a swallow test? Did anyone suggest a protein drink like Boost or Ensure? Was Hospice or Palliative Care suggested?

Your best bet bet is to speak with her doctor about her diagnoses and prognosis and find out from them what she should be eating and how to get her to eat.
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