If your parent can't swallow anymore, how does one keep them nourish and alive? - AgingCare.com

If your parent can't swallow anymore, how does one keep them nourish and alive?

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I'm the one taking care of my 97 yr old mom who now is failing her swallowing test at the hospital that i reported earlier as of 6 days ago she was eating great, and taking drinks in until the pneumonia hit they (hosp) fought hard to get it under control, but they think mom isn't passing their swallow test which the next one were going to be there for it because we were able to give her some nourishment and she took it without choking. the doc said tube feedings of any kinds isn't the way to go. so starve them is the only way. shes alert, talks in her own way shes been dx for 8 yrs and is a fighter so what do i do. don't like the starving method not ok with me, watching her want drinks and food and not giving it to her while she starve.

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My mom was just admitted to hospital. She's 94 and fractured her spine from a fall. She cannot eat or drink at this point. Don't know if we will persue with feeding tube. Very sad.
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Both my dad and my husband stopped eating; dad was getting diarrhea and then refused food for several weeks. My husband was having swallowing difficulties; what he tried to eat came back up and I would find his pillow soaked in the morning. They offered a feeding tube, which I hoped would help, but he pulled it out the first night. What happens is that some of what they try to eat goes into the lungs, and sets up aspiration pneumonia. When the digestive system stops absorbing food, you could try vein feeding, but that is usually done in cases where there is a reasonable hope of recovery. Both them them had late-stage cancer, and passed peacefully within a week or two of not eating.
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Momcare, observing a patient means sitting with them. A good trained professional is looking for oxygen saturation, hydration, signs of liver or kidney failure. If they see signs of muscle contraction, they will suggest pain relief. If they see delirium, they have meds for that too.
I was glad to have those meds for my daughter. Think it over.
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Momcare, hospice is all about easing the final months toward a certain death. It isn't about the money, it is about having the tools in place if the need arises. The hope is that we all slip away quietly in our sleep, the reality is that most of us do not and both patient and caregiver can use a little support through both medication and on call nursing.
If you don't feel your mom is dying then why would you enroll with hospice?
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Disappointed with most of the medical community. From the hospital that said my 84 year old mom all of a sudden had COPD -no not close to hospice, only her PCM has been on top of things. I have cared for my mother 6 years at home with the assist of private paid care and at ALFs - which mom had frequent UTIs and hospitaled for poor care, those were the nice expensive places. Mom is now back home and not swallowing, so I contacted hospice. I am mixed on this $170 per visit billed to Medicare and they could not do anything except maybe sit with her. They offered all the things they could also bill to Medicare (free of charge is the term but it's our tax $$) at about 4-5 times the cost. What really bothered me is that she cannot swallow yet they wanted to get her a " just in case" preset group of drugs. Morphine, suppositories etc why? This seems like it's all about the money. I just wanted support and found I get more online than hospice for profit.
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Fetich ka: Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You are so right about hospice.
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Thank you. He had many of the classis signs of approaching death; do look for them. Hospice was good to us. Don't put your loved one on too late! Use me as a resource pls. Funeral tomorrow evening and burial at Quantico National Cemetery Monday (my wedding anniversary). We lost my MIL two months ago, too. God bless, and Christ is Risen!
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Detuchka I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope I can go out as peacefully as your dad did when it's my time. Hugs...
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Detuchka, please accept my condolences on your Dad's death. I am so glad he died peacefully.

Even if this outcome was expected and was the best thing under the circumstances, it is still a huge loss to you and his entire family. Be kind to yourself.
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Tube feeds make sense when the dysphagia is due to something that specifically causes swallowing trouble, like a brain stem stroke or ALS, but not so much when it is part of a larger picture of progressive dementia. The NEJM published a study indicating that the downsides of a feeding tube under those circumstances - the surgery itself ("PEG" tube, you really really don't want a chronic NGT in place) , the need for restraints if any, the aggravation of reflux - on average meant that you did just as well medically and life span wise to hand feed whatever amounts possible of the best-tolerated food consistencies instead.

One thing I did not see mentioned here is the Frazier protocol, which allows for plain water to be given between meals after really good oral hygiene as long as it does not cause distress to do so.
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