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My mother is refusing everything - food, drink, communication. I'm not sure how to proceed next. She's 86, has moderate dementia, diabetic, high bp, a broken upper arm, and lost my dad a year ago. Refused to take her medications, yet her doctor denied hospice care because her vitals are somewhat stable.
She misses my dad tremendously. She's very confused, falls into hallucinations and is frail to the point of not being able to walk. Yesterday, she refused to eat, drink and communicate with us. She hasn't she woken up since 10:00a Sunday. She was very angry when I tried to change her diaper and started crying. I am her main caregiver in her home and my brothers do help whenever they can. As well, we have two caregivers assist during the week for a few hours while I'm at work. She feels that she's a burden and wants to end her life and be with my dad. She has a dnr in place. I have to contact her doc this morning to reconsider hospice care for her. She won't open her mouth for her meds either. My heart aches for her and I just don't know what else to do.

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Aud, I learned about how UTIS in the elderly present differently ( mostly with behavioral and mental status changes) right here, several years ago.

My mom never has what I think of as the physical symptoms of utis anymore, just the " omg, mom has suddenly taken leave of her senses" symptoms.

You'd be surprised how many non-geriatric doctors don't know about this either. So, spread the word! Best of luck, and Happy Thanksgiving .
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Babalou, you know, I never even thought about a UTI. She never complained about pain or discomfort either. Since it hadn't crossed my mind, it was never thought of as a possibility. My mother suffers from many ailments, and I hadn't listed them all. Well, among what I had listed, she does have a prolapsed uterus, bladder and rectum. At one point, her bladder was protruding, and her rectum began to, as well. Since she barely walks anymore, they've both contracted and haven't been giving her any issues.
Freqflyer, she broken her arm just this past Labor Day weekend. She wanted to be in the conversation at the table, so she walked over, sat in a chair. When she went to readjust her bum, her foot slipped out from underneath her, and she fell to her left side (not her primary) onto her arm. Her upper humerus is how they labeled that part of the arm. No rehab, but she is under her orthopedics watchful eye. You see, she's not a candidate for surgery because of her diabetes so basically, she needs to heal over time, on her own, and with the help of one Tramadol before bed. At the last visit, the x-rays showed that she is healing.
JessieBelle, yes, it's been very difficult. You know... I knew I could handle the physical aspect of caring for her. I just didn't realize how mentally and emotionally draining it was going to be.
After Thanksgiving, my husband is going to take me away from it all, but keep me close enough, just in case her condition changes.
And her doctor Finally gave the approval for hospice to evaluate her.
AND, mom began talking to me again.
Thank you all for your support, suggestions and wisdom.
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Audomomma, I know how you feel about wanting to keep your mother home because it is what she wants. It can be a hard thing for a daughter to watch. All we can do is take care of them the best we can, but when it gets to be too much we need to get away for a while. What Babalou suggested about UTI is very good. My mother gets nearly psychotic and very depressed when she has a UTI. If it is a UTI, she may get better after a week or two of antibiotics. If your mother won't go to the doctor, maybe a visiting nurse could give injections since she won't take her medicines right now.
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Audmomma, I noticed your Mom has a lot going on with medical issues.... one thing jumped out at me was the broken upper arm. May I ask when did that happen? Was it recently? Was it over a year ago? Did Mom have rehab? Was it her primary arm?
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Has she been evaluated for a urinary tract infection? Make sure that what sounds like a sudden change in mental status isn't something like an infection.
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JessieBelle, I've held a nursing facility as another option, just in case. I'm still reviewing different facilities. In the end though, it's her home where she wants to be, and I want to try and honor that the best that I can. People always respond differently with strangers, and my mother may, as well.
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Audmomma, even with hospice, much of the primary care will still fall on you and the people assisting you. I know that we want to keep our loved ones at home, but do you think she would be more receptive to professionals cleaning and caring for her in a nursing facility? I wish that none of us ever had to face these decisions.
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The doctor's office opens in a bit. When mom had her doc appt last week, she was eating/drinking, but refused her meds (doc knew this).
Mom stopped eating/drinking 24 hrs ago. I washed her hair as she wanted, then she yelled that I was using dirty water for her hair. Of course I didn't. I was getting ready to give her a sponge bath and proceeded to undress her, and she yelled at me for undressing her outside where all could see, and telling me what a terrible person I am. She's refusing my help with everything. I'm heartbroken, and will call her doc and hospice for further assistance.
Thank You.
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I'm with Maggie, call the doctor RIGHT NOW and demand. He works for you, not the other way around. If he's not receptive, call hospice and ask for their advice. My heart hurts for you, your concern & worry are palpable in your writing.

God bless you and good luck.
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I'm torn between calling 911 and calling the doctor.

Others may think differently, but I lean toward calling her doc and demanding...DEMANDING...that mom be evaluated for hospice. This after you being very descriptive about her condition just as you have here. Use notes.

Her vitals being somewhat stable is not a reason to deny your mom the care that hospice will provide. They won't be stable for long if she's not taking her meds, not eating and not drinking. Swear. Her doctor sounds like an idiot. In his defense, does he KNOW she's not eating and drinking and taking her meds? If not, how's the time to tell him.

You are a wonderful daughter to help mom at this time in her life. It's not easy.

Call right now.
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