Is MIL dying?

Discussion in 'End of life care' started by Cinder, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. Cinder

    Cinder Registered User

    Dec 14, 2014
    66
    Ok, maybe a stupid question as I know alz is eventually terminal. However my MIL is still scoring fairly high on MMSE tests (23 out of 30) and we expected to be caring for her for many years. The last 3 months she has stopped eating almost completely (maybe half a bowl of soup each day under duress) and is drinking very little- a few half cups of tea & a little orange juice. She is struggling with her ensure drinks, but manages 2 each day with a lot of nagging by OH & myself. She sleeps almost all the time- takes herself back to bed each time she goes up to the toilet it dozes in her chair the rest of the day. The doctor assures us there is nothing physically wrong to stop her eating.
    So is she dying? And if so, how long can she survive on so little nutrition?
    I'd be grateful for advice from anyone who has had the misfortune to go through this...


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  2. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    356
    I can't really tell you if your MIL is dying, but I do know that lots of Alz sufferers do sometimes go through non eating phases, and then for no apparent reason they seem to stay awake longer and eat more. Not always good meat and two Veg but cakes, biscuits etc as sweetness is the last tastebuds to go on the tongue. My mum sleeps at opportunity like visiting the loo next to her bedroom and I think sometimes when she sees the bed she can't resist it, but I don't know if that's because she is always cold and the bed is warmer. She also sleeps in the chair often too.

    You may find your Mil improves for no apparent reason, but as someone else says in their confused mind it's easier for them to sleep than to deal with everyday life etc.
     
  3. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    6,839
    Suffolk
    Several years ago OH lost a third of his body weight and kept going on fresh orange juice and dark chocolate. No amount of persuasion worked. At the stage where I gave up on him, he wanted something to eat! However stomach too small by then to take much, so very slow buildup to get him eating. He put on most of the lost weight and eventually died earlier this year.
    So it is possible. They really don't need much on which to survive!
     
  4. Cinder

    Cinder Registered User

    Dec 14, 2014
    66
    Goodness, so she could hang on for years yet by the sounds of it.
    We were wondering whether we should let her slip away, but if she could snap out of it maybe we should keep fighting her corner.
    Thank you both for your replies.
    And Spamar, I'm so sorry for your loss.


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