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My mother has been in SNF since Jan, 2013 after a heart attack and fall that broke a rib, and in hospice care since Feb, 2013. Her decline has been slow but steady during this time. She has steadily lost weight from around 105 lbs to approx 80 lbs (nursing home no longer weighs her) at my best guess. The weight loss is due to her sporadic appetite and advanced dementia/Alzheimer's. There have been at least 2 prior occasions when nurses, hospice and family have thought she was nearing the end of her life. She has rallied, gained a little weight, and been more alert for a short time after both occurrences. All of us involved with her care, can't get over her resilience - most people of her age, medical history and genetic background would have passed years ago. She is, once again, in a decline-and this one seems to be worse than any before. She no longer responds and any sounds she makes are unintelligible. She has been on 5mg Roxanol 3 times in 24 hrs, sleeps most of the time, and refuses most food & water. In the past three days, when she is successfully awakened, I have observed her vigorously biting her sheets, a small hand cushion (to keep her nails from puncturing her palm), and a hospice volunteer's unzipped hoodie. It was difficult to get the hoodie material which included zipper out of her mouth. I am concerned if someone gets too close she may bite skin since she has bitten people twice in the last four years. Has anyone else experienced this type of behavior?

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cjetjeta, I am so sorry your mother is gone. I know you will miss her. I hope that soon you'll remember the good years and not the suffering that she went through. ((((cjetjeta))))
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Thanks so much for your responses. I received a call from hospice shortly after posting this, and was able to be at my mother's bedside, holding her hand, when she passed. The biting is over.
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I am so sorry you and your mother have to go through this. It's heartbreaking on so many levels. As for the SNF, they should post a large sign above her bed that indicates she may bite anything within reach. Just like the hospital will post signs about patients being hard of hearing or other conditions. If they don't do it, I would put up my own sign, to warn visitors and employees/volunteers.

Hugs to you...this has got to be very difficult for you and your family.
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cjetjeta, I haven't gone through this, but yes, biting things is something people sometimes do in the late stages of Alzheimer's. It may be that as brain damage gets worse that the primitive functions keep working and the inhibitions no longer work. Is there any agitation along with the biting, or just biting? If it is just biting, it will probably be up to people around to stay out of the reach of her mouth. I feel so bad for her, since I know in her real life she wouldn't have wanted to do this. Perhaps it would be good to make sure she has something good for her to bite when she wakes. I know that you are praying for a peaceful passing for her. She and others around her have gone through so much.
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