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She quit eating food all together about 3 months ago but would drink ensure plus. Now she's fighting me every day about drinking it. I don't want her to go to a nursing home. I want her to stay in her home. She has severe dementia. She still remembers everyone but that is all. She barely walks and sleeps 12 to 20 hours a day. Do I have to put her in a home or can I just let her pass here?

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She had a stroke 2 1/2 years ago which through her into more sever dementia. She just quit eating food six months ago and sleeping 16 to 20 hours a day. She is starting to be incontinent, in depends but for the most part goes on her own, and walks very poorly. She won't walk much longer. She has vascular dementia. Every time she looses something it literally comes over night. She ate one day the next she didn't. Good luck to you, it's very hard.



the next she quit.
good luck to you.
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Red, you said that she had this for 2 years and 6 months, right? Are you referring to her dementia or eating problem? I'm curious.

What kind of dementia does she have?

You said she still goes to the bathroom on her own?

I'm just curious about her diagnosis and progression. My cousin has Vascular mixed with AD. She is advanced too, but has a good appetite, but she's fully incontinent and wheelchair bound.
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I don't think her doctor will think she quite ready for hospice yet but I'm sure its coming. Once she won't drink at all it's just a matter of time. I watched a lady in our community go through hospice but she had cancer where my mom is sever dementia. It was horrible just like this is. I do see a counselor and that helps but no one really understands unless they have went though it. Nothing but good thoughts coming your way. You take care of yourself. Thanks so much.
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My mother is the same. She eats about 4 bites of jello or ice cream a few times a day, and sips water. Now totally bedridden. We called hospice in 3 weeks ago, and they have been a blessing (for the most part). Reduced eating / drinking is a normal end of life process. They are not starving. The body produces ketones to survive, until no longer needed.

This is a very difficult transition to make. Take all the help you can get. Learn everything there is to know. My mom just had her first major muscle contracture, because no one told me that she needs to have her joints and all exercised (passive range of motion).

Hospice will bring you whatever equipment you need (hospital bed, etc.), all meds for comfort, diapers and wipes....they are amazing. They even offer 5 days of respite for you, when they take her inpatient so you can have a break. AND YOU NEED A BREAK! Or, trust me, you will break DOWN.

My advice....come here often. Make time for yourself. Find someone, at least one person who will ALWAYS be there for you when you need anything, 100% of the time.

Best wishes to you.
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Thanks to all. Yes this has been going on for 2 years and 6 month and it's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. She was my best friend and now I know it's her but I feel like I've already loosed her. The thing is health wise nothing is wrong, I mean for a 86 year old she's doing pretty good. She's so week though if she goes to the bathroom she can't hardly breath. Of course I know she will go down fast if she quits drinking. We go to the doctor the 30th so we'll see then. Thanks everyone. Good luck to all.
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Red .. same thing, essentially, with my dad. He's not hungry, the food tastes awful or too hard to chew. Bottom line is he's not consuming even 300 calories a day and is losing weight dramatically. Most of which, now, is muscle mass. Sadly, brains and hearts are muscles. So, lots of things will start going wrong. It's time for an evaluation for hospice.

Fair warning: Hospice can no longer accept a "failure to thrive" evaluation, so there has to be some combination of underlying conditions that merit the hospice care. Talk to the primary care doctor and hope s/he is aware of the criteria.

My heart goes out to you .. it's a miserable thing to watch and deal with. Just remember (in the hardest of times) that you love your mom. Even if the shell of a woman in front of you doesn't really resemble her. And, don't push her. I forget where I read it, but, the truth is: swallowing (eating/drinking) is the last voluntary thing we do. She's telling you she's ready.
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Red it sounds like it's time for hospice to come in. It has to be so difficult for you. You've been a great caregiver to get your mom to this point. Hugs to you...
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I am not putting her in a nursing home in less someone says I have to. I don't want her to be feed with a tube either. She has no life, she like a two year old. She can't do anything for herself. She would never wanted to live like this. She hasn't quit drinking ensure all together yet but I can see it coming. Thanks all
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At this point be prepared for the health care team to suggest tube feedings. It is a decision that can be painful to make with many pros and cons. It is a decision made by whoever has POA for the patient. So if you or your mom have given any previous thought to the matter just be prepared that the subject may be brought up. In my mom's case it is a matter already addressed in her advance directives. But I have seen in my work many families who are unprepared when the situation arises and feel pressured to make decisions that might not be in the best interest of the patient.
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Red, if you have been able to handle Mom's care at home up to now, you can probably continue to handle it at home. I think it is time for an evaluation for hospice care. Mom can stay home but you would have some help, especially in understanding what is happening in her body.
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Red, even at a nursing home your Mom might not want solid food. I am dealing with that right now with my Mom. She also does a lot of sleeping. Mom had a bad fall where she had hit her head, so I bet she is doing what your Neurologist is saying that your Mom is doing.
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Yes her Neurologist say it's in the part of her brain that tells her shes not hungry and making her sleep all the time. She loved food but won't eat anything now, nothing.
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A diet of Ensure Plus for 3 months might be pretty boring. Perhaps she just needs a change of diet. Have you tried other liquid supplements, or solid food or even just soft foods again?

If you think she' close to a terminal stage, talk to her PCP or other trusted doctor, ask for a home care evaluation unless you can get her to a doctor's office for an appointment. Brief the doctor's staff before to let him/her know that you're wondering if it's hospice time.

If so, you can bring hospice into your home until the end.

I'm wondering if your mother has been evaluated for anything since she stopped eating and if the doctors found any other issues.
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