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Dad refusing to eat or drink

Sharonk43

Registered User
May 24, 2015
29
My dad has been living with Alzheimer's for 6yrs now. He lost the ability to walk. Year ago after spending 1 month in hospital with a uti and the staff didn't bothered getting him out of bed. He has been in a nursing home for just over a year and up until about a month ago there were still traces of my dad,still had his sense of humour and apart from his confusion sometimes he seemed to be doing ok. He still knows who we are most times we visit but has resorted back to us being children.
Now he is showing signs of aggression and also inappropriate behaviour. He stays in bed and won't go and sit in the lounge. He won't let staff care for him most days.
The past week his has been refusing to eat or drink and only occasionally sipping water or a nibble of a biscuit. He is now spitting his medication out and he is also meant to be taking antibiotics for a chest infection but they can not get it into him.
I received a call yesterday asking me if I would want dad to be admitted into hospital to receive intervenious fluids and meds. They do not tube feed anymore so he would still be not getting any food in to him. I believe dad is doing this because he has had enough and doesn't want to carry on suffering with this cruel desease.
He has made it very clear that under no circumstance does he want to be admitted into hospital and as a family we are respecting that. I am his power of attorney so I do have to make this decision but I have full support from my brothers and sister.
He just sleeps now and hardly opens his eyes, he has shut down I guess.
It has been agrees that my dad will be cared for for as long as needed in his home and will receive palliative care.
So now I am just trying to face the realisation that I will have to watch my dad die unless he suddenly perks which I don't think will happen.
 

Cat27

Volunteer Moderator
Feb 27, 2015
10,943
Merseyside
It's so horrible having to watch as loved one fade away. My thoughts are with you.
Take comfort from the fact that you're following his wishes.
 

Agzy

Registered User
Nov 16, 2016
1,120
Moreton, Wirral. UK.
My dad has been living with Alzheimer's for 6yrs now. He lost the ability to walk. Year ago after spending 1 month in hospital with a uti and the staff didn't bothered getting him out of bed. He has been in a nursing home for just over a year and up until about a month ago there were still traces of my dad,still had his sense of humour and apart from his confusion sometimes he seemed to be doing ok. He still knows who we are most times we visit but has resorted back to us being children.
Now he is showing signs of aggression and also inappropriate behaviour. He stays in bed and won't go and sit in the lounge. He won't let staff care for him most days.
The past week his has been refusing to eat or drink and only occasionally sipping water or a nibble of a biscuit. He is now spitting his medication out and he is also meant to be taking antibiotics for a chest infection but they can not get it into him.
I received a call yesterday asking me if I would want dad to be admitted into hospital to receive intervenious fluids and meds. They do not tube feed anymore so he would still be not getting any food in to him. I believe dad is doing this because he has had enough and doesn't want to carry on suffering with this cruel desease.
He has made it very clear that under no circumstance does he want to be admitted into hospital and as a family we are respecting that. I am his power of attorney so I do have to make this decision but I have full support from my brothers and sister.
He just sleeps now and hardly opens his eyes, he has shut down I guess.
It has been agrees that my dad will be cared for for as long as needed in his home and will receive palliative care.
So now I am just trying to face the realisation that I will have to watch my dad die unless he suddenly perks which I don't think will happen.
At 84 my dad had Parkinson's and dementia and he did the same by simply clenching his jaws whenever nurses tried to feed him and would only let us wet his lips with wetted cotton buds but wouldn't drink liquids. As sad as it was we accepted it was his wish and quite literally sat holding his hand for the three week it took him to die. Knowing how he hated the Parkinson's disease the end was a release for him if not us. Stay strong is all you can do x


Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
 

LadyA

Registered User
Oct 19, 2009
13,563
Ireland
Sharonk, it's a very hard time for you and your family. There are other threads on this subject, if you'd like to have a read through those, it may help. Many others have faced this very difficult decision on behalf of a loved one. It comes down to the best interests, doesn't it? I know I've said it before on the forum many times, but at times like this it's worth reminding ourselves: What purpose would the hospital and treatment serve? Would it prolong your dad's life, or just prolong his death? If he is kept comfortable, then at "home" among familiar faces in his nursing home would be better for him.

Usually, a person doesn't die because they stop eating and drinking. They stop eating and drinking because they are dying. It's part of the process of the body starting to shut down. They can't process food and drink anymore. It's best to keep their lips and mouth moist, but that's all. If he wants a little something, give it to him, but he may not swallow it. It's heartbreaking, and I feel for you. Do keep posting if it helps. We can do nothing, but be here, and understand, as many of us have been on this path already. xx
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
2,990
West Hertfordshire
Is he in a nursing home and going back to his own home now for the palliative care?

Could the food/drink refusal be his only way of getting what he think he wants ( out of N home) in which case he might start again when he gets home

Sorry think I have misread, His home is the nursing home, he'll stay there rather than hospital................... Doh! Ignore all the above
 
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Sharonk43

Registered User
May 24, 2015
29
Is he in a nursing home and going back to his own home now for the palliative care?

Could the food/drink refusal be his only way of getting what he think he wants ( out of N home) in which case he might start again when he gets home

Sorry think I have misread, His home is the nursing home, he'll stay there rather than hospital................... Doh! Ignore all the above

Yes he has been in a nursing home for just over a year. We cared for dad at home for 3yrs but it became impossible to give him the care he needed
 

Sharonk43

Registered User
May 24, 2015
29
My dads passing slowly

Well it's been 2wks and my darling dad is still hanging on. No food, no fluids and no meds and he now is totally unaware and just a shell. I can see him slowly going, colour draining and breathing becoming raspy and laboured. He is not expected to hold on much longer and I am just waiting for the call to say get there or he has gone. Feeling useless and lost.
 

MomaLoz

Registered User
Mar 22, 2017
11
Clitheroe
Refusing to eat or drink

Hi my dad did the same when he was at the end and as a nurse caring for dementia patients I see a lot of my patients doing this it's hard but I do think it is their last choice they make just make sure that he receives regular oral care and if he takes a drink let him have it make sure it's available to him
 

Sharonk43

Registered User
May 24, 2015
29
R.I.P my dad

It comes with great sadness to say that my dad passed away peacefully on Friday 24th. He is now at peace and not suffering anymore .
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
8,791
Yorkshire
sad news Sharonk43
thank you for letting us know
I hope it's some comfort that your dad is now at peace - and that you find some peace for yourself