1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. Westlou87

    Westlou87 Registered User

    Nov 1, 2015
    3
    To cut a very long story short...
    My Nan has had dementia and altzhimers for 7 years, this year has been the worst- more so these past 4 months were she has had to have 24 hour care, (by family members only), she doesn't eat and hardly drinks, can no longer walk to be honest can no longer stand pull herself up the bed etc.
    She would sleep for sometimes 20 hours straight, after a distressing weekend a couple of weeks ago - hilicanations, panic, distress and falls she was admitted to Hospital, after scans it has been revealed she has lung cancer (a large tumour) obviously she is too weak for treatment as she is on her 90's, she was offered a bed at a local hospice for end of life care, however doctors have now said she is to stay in hospital until the hospice is really needed (people only go to the hospice with 2 weeks to live)
    Now I'm just so confused by the whole situation as one week ago we was told she had roughly one week left of life! We go for visiting every single day, and she is getting weaker and weaker.
    She keeps saying she wants to be in heaven...
    So really I just need some advice of anyone has been in similar situations and how long can someone go on for with all what she has yet no intake of food/drink??
    Thanks in advance
     
  2. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,045
    Male
    North Manchester
    Without any fluid intake life expectancy is a few days, however with fluid, especially fortified drinks, people can live for a considerable time as long the intake is sufficient to prevent dehydration. This amount depends on the weight of the person and factors like excessive sweating it would be best to ask a medical professional about this, the
    absolute minimum could be between 1l and 1.6l per 24hr.

    My wife was given minutes or hours to live by an A&E registrar, she survived nearly 3 months being offered sips of fortified fluid every 2 hours day and night usually managing around 1l per 24 hr. for much of this time she was in a coma.

    A lot will depend on the progression of the tumour and your nan's general health.

    Is it possible for a palliative care expect, maybe from the hospice, to visit her and give a prognosis.
     
  3. Westlou87

    Westlou87 Registered User

    Nov 1, 2015
    3
    thanks for your response. Her intake of fluid is literally sips of water/diluted juice, she doesn't even drink a full cup a day....when we have questioned this in hospital (as she is unable to get the drink herself) they say she says no when they offer her a drink....

    The palliative care team do visit every day and have had meetings with the family however none of our questions are really being answered as she has her 'up' moments it can be classed as improvement.
     
  4. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    19,045
    Male
    North Manchester
    Unless there are medical reasons I think they should be offering a fortified drink rather than water/dilute fruit juice.
    A mug is around 200ml, a cup will be considerably less, are they recording an estimate of 24hr intake?
    Are they just offering or trying to persuade, as distinct from forcing?
    Have you asked the palliative care team if, considering her general condition, there is an ulterior motive in keeping hydration at the absolute minimum to keep her comfortable?
     
  5. betsie

    betsie Registered User

    Jun 11, 2012
    253
    I think you would be surprised how little the body needs to survive if the heart is strong. My dad lasted 19 days with no food or fluid at all ( just wet swabs to keep his mouth moist).
    It is awful seeing a loved one in pain, knowing there is no hope but you can not do anything to put them out of their suffering.
    I can offer no advice, just be there with her as much as you can and pray her suffering is over soon.
    My thoughts are with you xx
     

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