View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:47 pm



Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
 Weight loss measurement by arm circumfrence? 
Author Message

Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:51 am
Posts: 43
Post Weight loss measurement by arm circumfrence?
Hi Everyone,
I've been away from the boards for a while, as mom has been "status quo"...no major changes, just getting thru each day.
She was assigned a new hospice nurse last week. I asked her to determine her current weight, since she is unable to stand on a scale. I guess the measure her mid-upper arm circumference in relation to what it was at the time of admission to hospice. In less than 3 months, she has gone from 23 cm to 20 cm. 3 month average loss is .5-.75 cm. I am assuming this is a significant weight loss.

She is still eating, although much less than before, and her lethargy is getting worse.

Hoping someone may have some insight as to what this all means? How much time does she have?


Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:02 pm
Profile

Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3123
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Weight loss measurement by arm circumfrence?
So hard to know what this means without having other information too, and even then, it is really hard to predict when the end is near. I'd talk with her health care professionals, ask them if they think she could be hospice-eligible. If so, I'd get a hospice eval. and ask them for their materials about the stages of end of life. That was really helpful to me, and unfortunately my dad didn't qualify when he should have so I didn't get their very helpful pamphlet until just a couple of months before he died. When I read their pamphlet I realized that he had been going through those final stages for quite a while. Big hug, Lynn

_________________
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.


Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:55 pm
Profile

Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:51 am
Posts: 43
Post Re: Weight loss measurement by arm circumfrence?
HI Lynn,
She has been on Hospice since June (she had a hip fracture in April, and upon arrival home, had pt for a while and was admitted to hospice). The hospice just said it was part of the process, but was unable to clarify. I have a call into her primary to see if putting her on ensure will help at this point, or just prolong the inevitable. She has been eating...she usually finishes her breakfast and dinner (although they are small portions) but not much at lunch. She doesn't seem to be absorbing nutrition.

Thanks so much for your support!


Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:08 am
Profile

Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3123
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Weight loss measurement by arm circumfrence?
Has hospice provided you with their booklet about what happens in about the last year of someone's life? If not, I'd suggest that you ask for a copy. One of the things the body starts going through is the inability to digest and absorb food & meds. It is easier on the body to not be forced to eat and also get off many or allmeds (this part you'd really need to rely on hospice's advice). It's part of the shutting down process, as it has been relayed to me, so having someone drink Ensure or trying to get them to eat more when they don't want to may not only be prolonging the inevitable, but also making it harder on them physically. It's tough - I remember during ith my dad's huge, unintentional weight loss the ALF put him on Ensure and I questioned why they were doing that. He was only getting worse in so many ways and had no quality of life despite everyone's best efforts. Then when he was accepted by hospice I read about the last months and what that involved. Given his situation, the ALF should not have forced the Ensure on him. It may have saved him from several months of suffering, and he was suffering A LOT. This is all so dependent on the person's general health.... All the best, Lynn

_________________
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.


Fri Sep 28, 2012 10:52 am
Profile

Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:51 am
Posts: 43
Post Re: Weight loss measurement by arm circumfrence?
Thanks Lynn!
I don't have the hospice booklet....I'm sure my dad has it stashed away somewhere. He's the "deal with each thing as it comes" , I am more of a planner..need to know what to expect at each turn. I will see if I can get one! Do you know of any that are posted online?

I talked to mom's doctor. He said to make lots of offers (ensure, ice cream..whatever she wants) but not to force anything. I do believe she is at the point of not absorbing nutrition, based on what I have seen her eat. Usual dinner is about a kids meal portion, but she seems to enjoy it.

The thing that concerns me most, is nobody wants to give my dad any bad news (doctors, nurses, chaplain) as he is the primary care giver. But I feel if we are getting that close, I need to start preparing him (slowly).


Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:30 am
Profile

Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3178
Location: WA
Post Re: Weight loss measurement by arm circumfrence?
This link has been posted before. It's a Hospice video about end of life. Hard to watch sometimes but very informative. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPx-qpos57g. It's called 'Gone From My Sight: The Dying Experience'. I think it's about an hour and half long.

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:40 pm
Profile

Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3123
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Weight loss measurement by arm circumfrence?
Is it possible that your dad is just not able to deal with the reality of the situation and the whole medical team is aware of that, so they are "sparing him" the reality of what's going on? My dad was not able to deal with my mother's dying so he stopped meeting with the drs. or even being at the hospital when she was in a coma for a few days. Until 2 hours before she died he was unable to hear/accept that she was not going to get better, not going to come home and that she would most likely die within minutes. It is very difficult for some people to face this reality, so others have to take over and deal with the real situation. It is hard, but hang in there. Your dad probably just can't do it. Big hugs, Lynn

_________________
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.


Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:01 pm
Profile

Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:51 am
Posts: 43
Post Re: Weight loss measurement by arm circumfrence?
That is exactly the situation Lynn! I fully understand his thought process, and no matter how much he knows what is coming, it will be devastating for him either way. What he knows in his head, is not what is in his heart every day. I feel as if I have spend the last 2 years slowly grieving the loss of the mom that I knew. I just don't want to lose my dad too.
I did have a chat with the hospice social worker. She is on the same page with me, and dad has gotten close with the chaplain, who will be able to help dad as well.


Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:56 pm
Profile

Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3123
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Weight loss measurement by arm circumfrence?
I understand completely. I hope you are able to convince your dad to take good care of himself, that you don't want him to suffer to the point that you do lose both parents in a short period of time. I know several people who have had that happen and it has been so hard for them losing both within a matter of a few weeks to a few months. If you haven't had that specific conversation with your dad and you think his health is in jeopardy because of the stress of CGing, perhaps a conversation between you, him & his dr. would help. I don't know, sometimes they just don't want to listen they are so caught up in their own grief. I do wish you the best in such a difficult and heart breaking situation. Lynn

_________________
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 Oct 01, 2012 4:12 pm
Profile

Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:51 am
Posts: 43
Post Re: Weight loss measurement by arm circumfrence?
Medically, he is ok. Went to a battery of dr appts with him in august...primary doc, cardiologist, sleep study. He has a bit of sleep apnea, but he"s probably had it for 40 years. He doesn't use his CPAP , as he is a bit hard of hearing and is afraid he won't hear mom if she gets up.
I'm more worried about his emotional state. Being the true dad that he is, is still trying to be strong for the family. The hospice social worker has given me some peace, and that she and the chaplain will help him in any way they can as things get closer, but for now, he is ok.
Thanks so much for your continued support Lynn..it means the world to me!


Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:00 am
Profile

Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3123
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Weight loss measurement by arm circumfrence?
You take care of yourself, and come back here as often as you need to. There are so many compassionate and knowledgeable people on this forum to help prop you up when you are down or provide you with some piece of info. that helps you and/or your LO. Big hug, Lynn

_________________
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.


Sat Oct 13, 2012 4:31 pm
Profile

Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:56 am
Posts: 14
Location: Mukwonago, WI
Post Re: Weight loss measurement by arm circumfrence?
I read this post and was so glad to see the link further down on the progression of dying. My mom is at a stage where the dr said not days or weeks but months - - - she too has lost weight which I can see just by looking at her. I really really needed to know what steps (I do realize that every person is different) are going to happen and what we can expect as things progress. Guess I am just the type of person that needs to know the how, why, when. Breaking my heart watching her with this slow progression but am thankful for every day and now have a much better understanding on her daily condition. Hope things are going well for you.
Sue

_________________
Sue


Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:59 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 12 posts ] 

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware for PTF.
Localized by MaĆ«l Soucaze © 2010 phpBB.fr