My grandma has lost 11% body weight in 3 1/2 weeks, down from 114 to 102. Hospice said “keep an eye on her” That's all I get?


12 pounds from 5/25-6/8. So is she dying? Is it just a phase? Is it the dementia? Should I make her eat?? Not one answer besides call if you need anything. Well I need a lot!! Is she dying , should I force feed her? Should I leave her be? Do I keep giving her the Haldol?? I am left all alone and with no answers. Why did I even bother reaching out to Hospice?? They are absolutely no help. Even with all these sudden declines (symptoms) I am still lost and alone!!!

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Lost, I felt that the only really reliable guide to my mother's comfort through the end-of-life months was my mother.

Do whatever makes your grandmother comfortable and reassured. Offer her appetising food, but don't force her to eat - try again later, try something different, try something small that you know she always liked. Forget about nutrition, all that matters is, does she like it?

Offer her fresh cool drinks, again pick ones she likes, but don't forget that if you're really thirsty there is nothing better than cool water.

And, as far as I can think, the only good reason for weighing her would be if you're having to monitor and control fluid retention, if there are heart, respiratory or renal problems to worry about. But in terms of nutrition? Nuts to it. Encourage her appetite. Food is for her enjoyment, that's its only truly useful purpose at this stage.
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Reply to Countrymouse

Haldol information—
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Reply to HolidayEnd

Isn’t hospice supposed to send someone 24/7 if you need them? Or at least be available by phone? Call them and get answers to what’s keeping you awake at night.

You could offer your grandma a favorite food. You could tempt her. My mom’s favorite is Blue Bell Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. And she likes the AL cooking, it’s good wholesome vegetable, meat and fruit meals. Mom’s like your grandma, a tiny woman when she’s at her ideal weight (approximately 123 pounds). So if they lose weight it shows!

I agree, don’t force feed. But just a bite or two of temptation might help. You’d be surprised at how little a person can eat and survive. But be careful moving her because I know she’s weak.

Apparently I caught the widespread stomach flu last February. I have just in the last two weeks been able to eat more than a few bites every four hours. I feel stronger but I eventually lost 40 pounds overall and had to use a wheelchair because I couldn’t walk I was so weak.

Of course your grandma is different, being older, sicker and you already let them send hospice. Frankly I don’t clearly understand what hospice is supposed to do either but it’d behoove me to find out! My mom will eventually take a dive when her time comes. I dread it.

Haldol can be a nasty drug with side effects. Ask hospice if it can temporarily be discontinued to make sure the Haldol isn’t causing side effects? Like nausea, vomiting or loss of appetite.

I hope grandma feels better and you get peace of mind.

“Haldol is not approved for use in older adults with dementia because of increased chances of death during treatment.”
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Reply to HolidayEnd

I agree that Hospice should be helping out more. You're the boss here as you're her main caregiver. Call Hospice and get their rears in gear while staying very proactive.

In addition, if you're not happy with your present Hospice, there may be other Hospice services in the area that will give your loved one the attention they deserve!!

Sending hugs and God Bless!!
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Reply to katie3699

Hospice should have more of a presence. They don't send out staff on a regular basis? They should. That's what hospice does.

No, don't force feed her. There's nothing worse than being force fed.

Since she's on hospice I'm assuming they think she has about 6 months to live or less? That's when hospice will step in. If this is so there's no need for you to worry about her weight although I know rapid weight loss can be alarming. Not to gain weight but so she can get vitamins and minerals there are shakes on the market like Boost and Ensure that your grandma might be able to take. They're good when they're frosty cold served in a glass with a straw.

Call your hospice provider. You're not supposed to be doing this all alone.
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Reply to Eyerishlass

Lost, are you getting some aide hours from hospice? When was the last time the hospice nurse saw GMA? Is she still on Haldol, and is she getting morphine for the pain she was complaining about?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn

Did you specifically ask your hospice nurse this, how close she is to dying? Sometimes you need to be very direct to get a direct answer.

Do you have any inkling about why she is losing weight? There are a lot of strategies to help maintain weight depending on what the problem is: adding supplements like boost or ensure, offering smaller meals more often, planning a menu that maximizes calories, checking for problems with her mouth and teeth (or dentures), modifying the texture of her foods if she is having problems swallowing. Of course there will come a time when none of those things make a difference because she is transitioning to end of life.... can you tell us what you have tried and why you felt it was time for hospice?
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Reply to cwillie