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Dad refusing to eat and drink any ideas?

SallyB

Registered User
May 7, 2005
60
Hi Everyone,

Another problem! Dad is now refusing to drink as well as eat. Since going into the residential home he hasn't eaten but had been drinking. Yesterday the Deputy manager wanted to call the GP as she was worried about this. When I arrived last night I managed to get him to drink a build up (if anyone i can so not really a good sign)

What I don't understand is why he has suddenly decided he doesn't want to drink either. He can swallow as when I told him I would take him to bed last night he drank half a beaker straight down. I am going in this morning to check on him as I am wondering if he has a chest infection again.

My main worry now is that the senior carer said last night that if he doesn't drink he will have to go to hospital and then be moved to a nursing home. He has only been there for a few weeks but has deteriorated. When he left hospital he was eight stones now he is six.

I really hate the thoought of him going into hospital again, as some may remember the last experience was awful. But am I wrong lettting him go on like this?

Really don't know what to do again. Any Ideas or advice of things to try would be greatley appreciated.


Sally
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
Hiya Sally,
Maybe dad just feels that he has had enough. As he just swallowed half a beaker straight down when given the option of that or bed, sounds as though he knows what he is doing. Maybe just needs gentle persuasion, and loving, and time to adjust to all the changes - unfortunately if he doesn't drink then more changes are going to have to be made.
Hope you find him a bit happier this morning.
Love,
Helen
 

daughter

Registered User
Mar 16, 2005
824
Hi Sally, I hope, as Amy says, your Dad's a bit happier today. My Dad went through one of these not eating/drinking/taking medication phases and was whipped off to hospital for an assessment recently, so I know what it's like. I say 'phase' because I know that one day it won't be a phase, it will be finality and I'm not sure how/if I'm going to cope with that, but for now I like to see it as 'phases'.
Really don't know what to do again.
Sally, this should be my signature! We seem to go from one crisis to the next. One minute Dad is in hospital for another assessment, while my Mum is saying she doesn't think Dad has much longer; next he's back at his home, shaved, playing ball and recognising us; and then we're back again to him not eating and another hospital stay looming. They are saying that they will get him some 'build up' (is that what they call it? - so many things I've never heard about) but not sure if we'll get him to drink if he doesn't want to.

Although this disease is a gradual deterioration there are so many individual differences and ups and downs, with no apparent rhyme nor reason, no wonder we don't know what to do! :( Sorry, this is in no way helpful. Take care,
 

Sandy

Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
6,847
Hi Sally,

Has a dentist checked the state of your dad's teeth/dentures? Just another possibility.

Take care,

Sandy
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
I hope he can be persuaded, and not give up altogether as my mother did.

Lila
 

Helena

Registered User
May 24, 2006
715
I would believe its your Dads only way of expressing his wishes

He has had enough and his only way out is to stop eating or drinking

Maybe as a society we should take a leaf out of animals behaviour book .and not interfere

for e.g

I was devastated when my georgous little dog kicked out of the nest one of her 5 puppies .......i kept putting it back when the vet assured me there was nothing wrong with it not once but 3 times ........i coaxed it and drop fed it supplements and its Mother gave it tasic acceptance .......imagine how devastated I was when at 12 weeks old the puppy collapsed and died in my arms .........it had a massive hole in the heart .........hence its Mother knew from day one much better than the vets
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Helena said:
He has had enough and his only way out is to stop eating or drinking
Would someone at that stage be able to make a 'conscious decision', determine what action needed to be taken and pursue it? Surely, there has to consideration given to that fact that the very concept of, or enjoyment of, eating and drinking has simply been 'lost'?????

:confused: Karen (TF)
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
I would like to know how much of my mother's decision at the end was conscious.

In theory I think people have a right to starve themselves to death, if that is really what they want to do, but they should have counselling first and make their intentions clear so that doctors and nurses and friends and relations aren't all left blaming themselves and each other.

(If she'd been nearer, if they'd warned me so that I'd been able to visit more often, if if if ...)

Lila

Tender Face said:
Would someone at that stage be able to make a 'conscious decision', determine what action needed to be taken and pursue it? Surely, there has to consideration given to that fact that the very concept of, or enjoyment of, eating and drinking has simply been 'lost'?????

:confused: Karen (TF)
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
On the 21st November my mother announced quite plainly that she was never going to eat or drink again, somehow between us we managed to persuade her to keep going for the next 5 months, sometimes better sometimes worse.

I don't think the staff at the hospital had time to make the effort, and we were too far away. If they'd told us the truth we would have been there.

Lila
 

Helena

Registered User
May 24, 2006
715
The problem is most people do not make out an EPA and nor do they clearly set out their wishes in event of succumbing to dementia or any other devastating illness which robs them of free choice and dignity

We do not know just how much a dementia sufferer knows or has the ability to make decisions but do we actually also have the right to tube feed them or persuade them to eat or drink etc if they do not want to

Thats the huge dilema facing so many carers and families

What offends one person will be quite sensible to another
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
Hiya all, Just want to ramble a bit here.

"nor do they clearly set out their wishes in event of succumbing to dementia or any other devastating illness which robs them of free choice and dignity"

If my mum had known, what would she have said; if I knew now that I was going to suffer with dementia, what would I say? I don't know. Has my mum been robbed of her dignity by dementia? No, I do not think that the illness robs our loved ones of their dignity, people do that. If I continue to treat my mum with respect, to love the whole person, to ensure that she is clothed nicely, and ensure those that care for her do the same, then she still has her dignity. If society and we as individuals do not value people who have dementia, then we take from them their dignity. Dementia is part of living and part of dying, dying is part of life. All stages of life have value for those living it, and for those sharing the journey. My heart ached last night as I fed my mum and she choked on her food.
Don't know why I have said all this. Sally when I said last night, 'maybe dad feels he has had enough' - I just meant that heavy feeling you get when you just can't be bothered - nothing more, nothing thought out, just tired.
Ramble over.
Helen
 

Helena

Registered User
May 24, 2006
715
"just cant be bothered " is a phrase my Mother has used repeatedly over the last 18-24months

So is it an extention of the Dementia ? or is it part and parcel
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Sally, I feel for you - and sorry this thread seems be going off 'off track' to help you personally.... whilst I feel I must 'pick up' on some comments, can I just reassure you I really feel for you - 'light years' away in some ways - but seeing my mum (in such 'early stages') already suggesting she has eaten, then find food 'in the bin' unless I have physically sat and watched her eat... of course..... 'hear what Lila has to say' - pray Daughter is right....... etc etc

Helena said:
The problem is most people do not make out an EPA and nor do they clearly set out their wishes in event of succumbing to dementia or any other devastating illness which robs them of free choice and dignity
Unless I have this completely wrong (please all SHOUT if I have) an EPA does NOT cover wishes regarding medical intervention or not - merely financial responsibilities - but legislation is to be changed 2007?????

I beg to differ on this point alone, Helena. My parents both told me clearly - almost in jest - 'if I get like that shoot me' - well, dad did, mum hasn't (quite yet) but I know I'll do everything to preserve life - who am I to judge the quality of another person's??????
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Helena said:
We do not know just how much a dementia sufferer knows or has the ability to make decisions
Helena, will you PLEASE re-read some of your OWN recent posts and offset that remark against them???????
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
HIYA SALLY,
I am going in this morning to check on him as I am wondering if he has a chest infection again.
How was your dad this morning. Maybe you are right, if he has an infection he may just be off his food. Can you get his GP to have a look at him
But am I wrong letting him go on like this?
Really don't know what you mean by this love. You are doing your best to make sure that dad is being cared for properly. Are they giving him any supplement drinks? (Sorry just reread your post - you say that you got dad to drink one last night) Mum has the drinks as well as meals to try and maintain her body weight - the problem is that as the dementia progresses the digestive system is affected, so that it cannot get the nutrients from the food. Does your dad eat anything? Can he be tempted by icecream, or chocolate - anything?
Would a Nursing Home be a bad move? Could he not be moved straight into a NH, does he have to go via the hospital?
Take care.
Love
Helen
 

daughter

Registered User
Mar 16, 2005
824
After we were told that Dad wasn't eating at the home the other day, he said something to us about "hungry". Mum went to the kitchen (the home obviously have said we can do this) and made him a jam sandwich. Dad ate every crumb. I discussed this with Mum - wondered if may be Dad sometimes just doesn't fancy eating when everyone says he should and when he's surrounded by lots of other people. (Just a thought). What a picture Mum and I must have made, watching him out of the corner of our eye (we didn't want to put him off), pleased with each mouthful he took. Thinking of you, Sally.
 

Michael E

Registered User
Apr 14, 2005
619
Ronda Spain
Sally hi,

My experience suggests that 'taste' in food changes for people with AD and certain sorts of sweet things become delicious and meaty - gravy type stuff does not.. I buy 'flan' for Monique and she will always scoff it - I can slave over a hot microwave and produce a delicious e numbered meal and she will simply not touch it... Mind you...??

I think also there are moods - depressions - feelings of off form that also stop the hunger pangs - then they change - but mainly I suspect for Jam butties and flan and M&Ms!!!!

Michael
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
Glad your mother was allowed to make the sandwich and he enjoyed it.

Lila

daughter said:
After we were told that Dad wasn't eating at the home the other day, he said something to us about "hungry". Mum went to the kitchen (the home obviously have said we can do this) and made him a jam sandwich. Dad ate every crumb. I discussed this with Mum - wondered if may be Dad sometimes just doesn't fancy eating when everyone says he should and when he's surrounded by lots of other people. (Just a thought). What a picture Mum and I must have made, watching him out of the corner of our eye (we didn't want to put him off), pleased with each mouthful he took. Thinking of you, Sally.
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
(Who shot whom?)

When my parents went to lunch with one of my mother's colleagues whose wife had early onset dementia and went into respite every 8th week, my father said afterwards, "how does he manage, looking after someone in that state?" My mother said, "you won't have to anyway because I'd rather be dead". (But she said "rather be dead" so often, how do you know when to take it seriously?)

Over 20 years later, that colleague is still looking after his wife, and they are still going on caravan holidays, and she still goes into respite every 8th week.

When he had to have an operation (and couldn't get the respite time changed or increased), his wife suddenly recovered temporarily enough to do things she hadn't done for years.

Lila





Tender Face said:
. My parents both told me clearly - almost in jest - 'if I get like that shoot me' - well, dad did, mum hasn't (quite yet) but I know I'll do everything to preserve life - who am I to judge the quality of another person's??????
 

Lila13

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
1,342
I talked to the support nurse at the first memory clinic about my mother going on for so long about dying and she suggested call her bluff, if she says she's going to die say "go on, die then!" but in my mother's case I don't think she was bluffing.

Lila
 

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