My papa (94) has been having excessive bowel movements and no change in diet. Could he be shutting down? - AgingCare.com

My papa (94) has been having excessive bowel movements and no change in diet. Could he be shutting down?

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He is very unsteady on his feet. He fell a few weeks ago. Backwards over his walker. Fractured his rib and hand. He heals very fast. Just a few months ago he had double pneumonia. I still do daily breathing treatments and he is on nocturnal oxygen. His pulse ox drops when he's asleep and they are worried his heart was working too hard. He is slowing down more and doesn't want to leave the house out of fear of falling and embarrassment of having an accident. I moved in with him. I have to work but I come home at lunch to check on him and I'm home by 3:30 daily. What is best for him at this point. I have home health coming in but I am scared all day of coming home and him having fell possibly. His mobility and bowels and eating has all went downhill the last few months and I'm trying to prepare myself. I don't want him to "go" due to illness or pain or an accident. If the natural is approaching what is next to see a sign. I'm emotionally exhausted. My family is little to no help and says the option is full time in home care or a nursing home. I feel like it's the least I can do to make him comfortable and get to be in his own home till he gets to see Jesus and my grandma again.

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Dad needs to see the Doctor asap. There is treatment for the diarrhea and it sounds like he needs an overall checkup.
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Caring for someone is very exhausting and worrying about them falling all the time makes it even more exhausting. What put my dad in a NH was he fell while I was at work and he laid on the floor all day. He didn't injure himself but he was very dehydrated and confused when I got home.

Diarrhea isn't really a universal symptom of someone beginning the dying process but at his age anything out of the norm should be noted. His diarrhea should be treated ASAP so he doesn't become dehydrated. If your dad is taking a daily stool softener ask the Dr. whether you should hold it for a day or so.

Unfortunately, at age 94 he has nowhere to go but downhill and I agree with Pam's suggestion of calling his Dr. and starting hospice. Your dad will begin to need more help and that's exactly what hospice is there for.

You're doing good, keep paying attention to his condition and treating his symptoms.
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He should not be left alone at all. Ask his doctor if it is time for Hospice Care, the MD would know the best solutions.
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