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My Mother is in a nursing home. She has had dementia for at least 10 years she lived on her on for about 3 of those years and then moved in with us for 5 years. She started falling alot so we decided to send her to rehab and she has been in a nursing home since. She recenlty had a upper respiratory infection and since then she has completely stopped eating. She didn't eat much before but now she has completely stopped. Her drinking has slowed down too. I just don't know if it is because of the respiratory infection which is gone now or if I should call hospice in.

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Be thankful that you can go direct to Hospice now. When my husband was dying,
his doctor said he was NOT dying and refused to call in hospice. That was the day before he died. The night he died, he was in the ER before I took him home where he died 3 or 4 hrs later. The dr. nurse came into ER and apologized to me for her Dr's misunderstanding and said that hospice would start tomorrow. Unfortunately, my husband suffered in terrible pain and died before hospice could start. I was very fortunate however as my pastors wife was a nurse at the hospital and knew the hospice person. She call her and she drove over 30 miles to get to our house. Legally, she could do nothing as her job did not start until the next day. But, she was there to witness the death, therefore the sheriff did not have to be called to report the death. It was horrible. The doctor is a good doctor but just misjudged this one person, My Husband.
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I just went thru this, and 100% get on hospice care, they were angels of mercy for me. Yes, let nature takes it's course, accept that she lived a full life and let hospice give her drugs to make her comfortable while her body shuts down. For my mom, it took a month from when she entered Hospice care and five days for her to pass after she stopped eating. Each case is different, but our hospice team told us that how it went is very typical.
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I agree, call Hospice. Why isn't she on hospice already? Or maybe she is...Be at peace as are spending what could be your last days with her. She may be talking to all of her friends and loved ones in Heaven... and too busy to talk to you.
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Veronica, it is my understanding that "a doctor" must sign the order, but that it can be the hospice doctor. It does not have to be her PCP or the nursing home doctor.
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Agreed about hospice but if she was given a lot of IV antibiotics she may just not feel like eating for a while. Will she drink nutritional drinks? Try her with a straw she may be having trouble swallowing. Does she seem to understand when you speak to her or maybe just answer in a single word. You can ask hospice to do an evaluation and if they feel she is appropriate the Dr does have to sign the order before they can admit her.
All the signs you report can indicate approaching death but they may just be because she has been very ill. Remember it takes the elderly and sick a very long time to recover.
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I agree that calling hospice for an evaluation is appropriate at this time.
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Carol, I would have her evaluated for hospice. When they stop talking and eating they are entering the final stages of the disease. Then she may start eating tomorrow. A doctor's order is required for hospice evaluation I believe. I am so sorry your mom has gotten to this point. Try to stay strong for her.
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