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When my Mom refused to take her medication, one of the nurses decided to crush the pill into chocolate ice cream, sure enough my Mom ate the ice cream/pill. Afterwards, any time I served chocolate ice cream to Mom (without the pill) she didn't like the taste. Guess the crush pill enhanced the flavor :)


Note: not all pills can be prepared this way. The pill printout should say if the pill is crushable or not.
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Reply to freqflyer
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Rogerwyatt7890 May 9, 2024
Love this reply LOL.
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jackie...
With dementia people do begin to eat less.
There are problems with swallowing.
There are problems with chewing.
Towards the end of life a person will stop eating, stop drinking. This is normal and it is not painful. As the body shuts down it does not need the nutrients the body can not process food that it would if it were fully functioning. To do a feeding tube would do more harm than good as the body could not process it.

If she is not eating because she is not on the medications that she should be most medications can be dosed as a patch, suppository or a liquid. Any of these could be administered more easily than trying to get her to take an oral medication.

What I would suggest is that you have her evaluated by Hospice. They can let you know where she is, educate you on exactly what is happening so that you have fewer concerns.
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MACinCT May 9, 2024
Same thing with my mom and her sister. After several months, they wither away and it is usually from their bodies not wanting to eat. One was fully intact mentally and the other had dementia. Both expressed to me that they would not be around next year or much longer and they kept their promise. Both went on hospice and lived only a few days after that. I get the sense that once on hospice, they were at peace with themselves
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From your profile:

"I am caring for my mother Deanna, who is 74 years old, living in my home with alzheimer's / dementia, anxiety, depression, diabetes, and sleep disorder."

Are you her PoA or legal guardian? If not, then I don't think you can remove her from the NH without the permission of whoever is legally managing her affairs. Not sure you even have the authority to request a doctor visit in the facility for her.

Your first discussion should be with her PoA or legal guardian. If she doesn't have one, or you are it, then the lead nurse for her floor, then the admins of the facility.

Please understand that the staff cannot legally force someone to take meds or eat. The most they can do is come up with creative ways to encourage her to do those things. But if you see her regularly and have noticed her weight loss, this is a problem. If you are just now visiting her after a year, then maybe this isn't the emergency you think it is.

People with ALZ do come to a point where they eat less and sleep more and disengage (my cousin won't open her eyes, even when she talks to you, she's very thin and in hospice care at 71).

Maybe it's time for hospice care for your Mom. But her PoA or legal guardian is the one that sets this all up.

More info about who is legally able to make decicions on her behalf would be helpful.
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After 27 yrs working in dementia and nursing homes as the nutrition counselor..I realize stopping eating and refusing meds is how our elderly are saying..I AM DONE! I plan to step back and let my mom choose when to go! She is in year 6 of Lewy Body dementia. P.S, Living in some family homes where neglect and anger reside is way worse than being in a loving AL, MC or nursing home!
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CaregiverL May 13, 2024
Sadinroanokeva, Not all family homes are filled with anger and neglect. But the caregiver must also have respite time. This is a more than full time 24/7 job. It’s a major commitment putting everything else like vacation, full time work, on hold. It’s not for everyone & you have to get a financial & caregiver plan. As a side note, imho, I don’t think these facilities are loving. They get paid & it’s a job. Family doesn’t get paid & does everything anyway.
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My Mother had dementia and decided to quit eating. I was told by the Nursing director it was nature way of letting go of life. She began sleeping around the clock. I would read Psalm to her. She ending up dying peacefully in her sleep just the way she always said she wanted to go home.
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Reply to EmeraldFriend77
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Jackie,
What discussion have you had with your mother's doctors?
What recommendations/choices/options have they discussed with you?
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Talk to staff and find out what is happening and come up with a plan. It's hard to say what is happening to her, she may be at end of life.
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Kartyjb May 9, 2024
I would check in with Hospice as well. They deal with these issues every hour, every day - with compassion.
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Is the medication Available in a patch?
Maybe she could drink her nutrition in a protein shake..Sometimes loss of appetite could be end of life.Hospice can be very helpful.
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Reply to Bubba12345
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Prayers to you & your Mom.🙏🏼

Both of my parents lost weight, refused medicines, then food, shortly thereafter..They were ready to move on to their next chapter.🕊️🕊️ Hospice taught me how end of life unfolds peacefully..I miss my Mom & Dad, but know they are in a better place & whole again.❤️😇
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Reply to cinzim281
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The only advice I can give is for you to find a way to accept the situation.

That's difficult because we want to do as much as we can and it feels like neglect when we can't persuade our loved ones to eat. However, your mum (like mine) is in decline. There is no getting better.

My mum stopped eating properly after a stroke. Now, 13 years later, with vascular dementia, my mum rarely eats at all. Some days she'll eat an ice cream lolly, or half a toasted teacake, but mostly she eats nothing all day.

Mum will reluctantly drink the supplement milkshakes, and she's still swallowing her many tablets, but it's getting more difficult for her to do so.
She sleeps most of the time and it's a real effort for her to take notice of what's going on around her.

That's no life.

When my mum finally refuses to swallow the milkshakes (she hates them) and/or her tablets, I will know that she will soon be leaving us. I'm not going to force her to swallow, or give her them another way, and I'm trying to get her husband on the same page.

I want my mum to go as peacefully as possible, and for her to have as dignified an end as possible.

She deserves that.
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