I think my Dad has given up............


Registered User
Nov 1, 2007
My Dad is 85 and had dementia for about 5 years. He's been at home with a carer and myself looking after him.

Last few months had been getting impossible for the both of us, so we had my father taken in to care. He has been there 2 weeks and in that time has eaten vitually nothing, and drunk very little. A doctor saw him last Friday and refered him to hospital.
They sent him back to the home untreated, saying he was would not accept treatment. Why could they not sedate him to re-hydrate/tube feed him. :confused: Someone said they dont/wont sedate elderly patients in case of legal action. :confused:Now he's back at the home and he's lost a lot of weight and is more confused. He is in a lot worse state than when we took him there. This is a man that ate 3 good meals a day when at home. I think it was the shock of being taken out of his element.

Of coure it being Xmas, the social worker and Dr's are on leave although the Dr is back tomorrow. I was sorely tempted to bring him home although we would be in the lurch if he suddenly deterioated.

If he doesn't eat soon, he's going to die. :(

I curse this disease. It's the sheer helplessness of it all.


Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
Dear Tixeross,
Finding the right words at this paticular time is so hard. Due to the nature of A.D. Doctors when being honest will tell you they are in the dark a lot of the time, as so many things happen, it is knowing the best way to deal with.
Have you checked on the A.S. Fact sheets ?
Sometimes, for what ever reason the patient pick up and is a big more perkier, then starts having liquid and food.
Later in the day someone will come on line and tell you there experience and give you some answers to your anguish.
As my husband is in the last stage, I understand what you are going through and at this present time I send you love and best wishes.


Registered User
Dec 1, 2006
Hello Tixeross, I'm sorry to hear about your dad. There are often very good reasons why they won't try to insert a feeding tube. They did so with my mum, but she pulled it out again and they said it was too dangerous to try again. Bits of the tube can break off, apparently, and get left inside the body. My mum hated it and didn't understand why she needed it so she ripped it out..

If your dad is in a care home with no nursing, then it's highly unlikely they'd try to rehydrate using a tube. I'd say don't worry too much about the food side of things. Fluids are all important though, if you can spend some time trying to get your dad to accept these. You could also try soft foods, yogurts and creamy desserts, custard with banana mashed up, soups: anything that is easy to swallow. Also, they might try to test urine for a urinary tract infection which can cause confusion and send people into a downward spiral.

People can survive quite a remarkable time without much food, especially if they aren't active, but fluids are really really important.
Best of luck and all good wishes, Deborah xx
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Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
I believe that sedating someone and feeding them, knowing this was against their wishes, would be legally classed as abuse.

I don't know the legalities of whether such a thing would be possible if the person were sectioned, but even then, it might not be lawful.

Unfortunately what seems to be such a clear course of action when it concerns a loved one, is not so clear when the law says that the wishes of tha patient take priority, despite what their relatives and loved ones feel should be done.


Registered User
Nov 1, 2007
Thank you all for your kind words.

I returned to the home the following day, 27th. There was no nurse available, and the Dr. was on answer phone.

My dad was in a state of severe confusion. I dressed him and somehow he walked out of the place. Went to A&E, and 8 hours later was admitted to a ward, which is where he is now.

He's been re-hydrated via drip, but still not taking solid food. But at least if he's going to go, he'll go with a bit of dignity.

SServices were a bit perplexed that we'd taken matters in to our own hands, and were more concerned whether we'd be making a complaint, than of the welfare of my Dad. :confused:

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Well done Tixeross,
Taking matters into your own hands is not always adviseable but it obviously was in your father`s case. Feel proud of yourself.
I hope your father is comfortable now.
Love xx


Registered User
Jul 24, 2007
My mum is exactly the same, but still at home, but she hardly eats and openly says she wants to die, and I think in her own way she thinks maybe if she does not eat and drink she will, and no doubt your dad feels the same way, Ensure drinks and Enlive drinks are very good, and one little drink contains various vitamins and is about 350 calories each, they apparently taste nice, and we get them on prescription - try that - and good luck, and Happy New Year (although even thought its only the 1st of Jan, I can't see it being a Happy New Year

Its hard work on all of us, try your best and tell him you love him every day x