Is it normal for my husband to not eat or eat very little for 3 days and then eat some for 2 days - and so on? - AgingCare.com

Is it normal for my husband to not eat or eat very little for 3 days and then eat some for 2 days - and so on?

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My husband has later stage Alzheimer's and was put on hospice last week, but this up and down with his eating pattern is confusing. When he's not eating, I get very worried - and then when he eats OK for a couple of days, I get all hopeful again. He's been doing this not eating/eating thing for several weeks now. I realize that not eating is part of the dying process - but when he eats again, I would think that means he's not really in that process yet. In addition, he won't get or even sit up for several days - and then will sit up (with help) on the edge of the bed for an hour with me for a day or two - and may even sit in the chair next to his bed. He's lost a lot of weight with the up and down of his eating pattern - and speaks very little, but is alert. Hospice took him off all of his medication, with the exception of his anti-depressant. I swear I'm not naive and am not in denial, but I just don't think he's ready to go yet. He rallies regularly, so I was just wondering if this may just be regular behavior with dementia/AD?

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Many times when people hire hospice for their loved ones they tend to think, "Well, I guess it's just a matter of time now." Hospice isn't like pulling a trigger or flipping a switch.

If your husband isn't hungry and doesn't want to eat don't force him. Deciding upon hospice means that it's all about making your husband comfortable now and if he doesn't want to eat that's ok.

The dying process is unique for everyone. What one family experiences may not be what another family experiences. Everyone's different. And while there are many signs and symptoms for the end of a life not everyone on hospice will demonstrate those signs and symptoms. The process can take weeks or months.

Like jeannegibbs dad, my dad died sooner than we expected as well. And in the beginning of hospice, every little grunt, every little movement, every little change my dad exhibited made us jump and rush to his side thinking "this is it". This is normal but exhausting. You have to keep up your strength right now.
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My husband's appetite and energy level was up and down on hospice. His mind seemed clearer than it had been for some time. He died sooner than the hospice staff expected. They go at their own time.
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He is in very late stages, but if you are looking for a prognosis, an end date, there isn't one. Decline is seldom a straight line down, more like a curve with little ups and downs. You just make him comfortable and enjoy the perk up when it happens. One day at a time. God has a Plan.
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