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 mom refuses to eat 
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Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:29 pm
Posts: 15
Post mom refuses to eat
My 91 year old mom is refusing to eat. Two weeks ago she was doing better than normal, relaxed and enjoying activities at her nursing home. She was walking more. Then six days ago she become severely psychotic with many hallucinations and refused to eat or drink. The only change in meds was the addition of celebrex. The doctors applied Ativan for the first time 3 days ago. She is now relaxed and very sleepy, but still refuses to eat or drink. It has been about 5 days and she has had little to drink and only one great meal. She is headed down hill fast.

Has anyone else had loved ones that refused to eat? DId you have success turning this around?

Thank you for your time and advice on this.

B McKibben


Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:02 am
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Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:07 pm
Posts: 247
Post Re: mom refuses to eat
My mother has had a couple of episodes, and I have also seen this in the special care unit with other patients. The first thought is to check for a UTI, as that might lead to dramatic change in her well-being. Another idea is to try something really sweet, mild, easy to eat (ice cream, if she likes that - some flavor without nuts or other hard-to-eat components.) But sometimes this really is a sign that her body is starting to shut down, and eating would just make her feel worse.

It's so hard to know what to do - seems one just has to be super sensitive to how she feels, encourage but not force, and be relaxed about the specifics of what she eats. As my neurologist (also a colleague and friend) said the other day, "If she just wants ice cream, that's fine - you can live a long time on ice cream!" Also, they are so still that they do not need a great deal of food. My mother does not seem to be losing weight, especially, and she eats very little.

My heart goes out to you - tough time, and all you can do is try your best, and know it is done with deep love. That matters most of all.
Laurel

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Laurel - mother (97) diagnosed April, 2011, with LBD; died May, 2014.


Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:34 am
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Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:29 pm
Posts: 15
Post Re: mom refuses to eat
Thank you so much for your kind reply, Laurel!

Yes, that is a great idea. Let me tempt her with some ice cream. I hope she is not shutting down, but that is a possibility with how much she sleeps how.

I appreciate your helpful reply,

Bernie


Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:54 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3406
Location: Vermont
Post Re: mom refuses to eat
Hi Bernie - is she receiving hospice services? Or has she been evaluated lately by hospice? If she is sleeping a lot, not eating or drinking much, she may be in the very end stages. They will be able to give you a better idea of what's going on so I'd ask for an evaluation ASAP. Best, Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:09 pm
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Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 1:25 pm
Posts: 14
Post Re: mom refuses to eat
My Dad is now suddenly refusing to eat also. (Hallucinations have increased with him lately as well. He thinks I am there when I am not, etc., etc. No med changes, this is just happening for no reason we can figure out.) He sleeps a lot too. We thought he had a UTI, but ER tested him, and he didn't. Does your mom like sweets or ice cream? My dad does. Our neuro told me not to force him to eat, just to keep offering protein drinks (he loves chocolate drinks (Boost)) and to mix it with ice cream (he loves choc ice cream) and just try to keep the protein up in the form of what he likes to eat/drink, which is mostly just Boost now. I guess maybe sweets are more attractive now to them??!!! He simply refuses dinner. I guess all we can do is feed them what they want to eat/drink and provide calories. Maybe that will work for you and us too. Good luck and hope we all can work around this issue. This is such a tough road.

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daughter of father with LBD, age 84
present stage described by neurologist as moderately severe
presently receiving several hours of professional care in home


Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:27 am
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3406
Location: Vermont
Post Re: mom refuses to eat
Debora - is your dad receiving hospice services? If the person is at the end of end of life, they won't want to eat or drink usually. It is the body's way of more comfortably shutting down. Hang in there, I know how hard it is to see your LO not getting many or any calories in. It seems like the only way we can comfort them is to feed them at this point, and apparently it is better to just let nature take its course. Hugs, Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:59 am
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Joined: Sat May 25, 2013 3:53 pm
Posts: 282
Post Re: mom refuses to eat
We also found Boost to be a great way to get some nutrition in when Mom didn't feel like eating. That was on and off for years. At the end though, she just refused to eat and we eventually just had to accept that. Hang in there! There's bound to be lots of ups and downs.

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Gail, Forum Moderator & daughter of Doris who passed away Dec. 2010 after living with LBD for 7 years.


Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:22 pm
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