Not eating or drinking

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by elaineo2, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    I'm so sorry Elaine. I guess this is why most carers develop a defence mechanism against caring too much.

    It's wonderful that you care so much for your parents, but it does leave you very vulnerable.

    Do the family only visit at weekends, or will they be there again tomorrow?

    Love,
     
  2. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    945
    leigh lancashire
    Hi allylee,I agree wholeheartedly with your post.However,the resident refuses to eat.My previous post to Skye re:family trying to force feed,for me says it all.If a person won't eat theres no way on this earth I would try to force food in their mouth.i believe this resident is being served an injustice,and no matter what the outcome of the CPN visit,thier care would be better served in another setting other than residential.love elainex
     
  3. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    945
    leigh lancashire
    Dear Skye,the family visit daily,daughter am,eldest son pm,youngest son early evening.its only on a sunday that the eldest son has started to come at lunch time to try to feed their parent.elainex
     
  4. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Oh dear!:(

    Well, at least they care!
     
  5. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    945
    leigh lancashire
    Skye,they are a very loving family who praised the home to the highest until the problems with their parent were outlined to them.don't get me wrong,i understand their torment and the fact that they want their parent to remain with us in the home rather than have to move on.But it does fell like they are "shooting the messenger" sometimes.love elainex
     
  6. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    I'm afraid it goes with the territory. We're all stressed, and anxious if we think our loved ones are deteriorating. I know I've been very critical of the hospital this weekend, but it's not the nurses' fault, they've been terribly understaffed, and they're run off their feet.

    It's very difficult not to let fly at the only people we can let fly at, even though we know they're doing their job to the best of their ability.

    I try not to, but perhaps some people don't appreciate the difficulties and constraints of your job.

    You're doing a wonderful job. Good luck for tomorrow.

    Love,
     
  7. Hi Elaine,

    Working with the elderly Elaine, you must have had lots of experience with end of life scenarios. Could the ill person have decided not to eat or drink and it is not the family? There is a huge difference between the ill person not wanting it and the family not wanting to nourish the ill person.

    I have heard there are many reasons for a person not eating (or drinking). Dislike of food attributed to texture, colour or taste. Drugs interfering with muscles and can’t swallow, suspicion of the food or the person giving the food (One lady I knew thought there are bugs in it (pepper)). Its just too difficult to swallow (sore throat), too hot/cold, or cannot use a fork. Sometimes they have a sore in their mouth or an abscess making putting any thing in their mouth upsetting. Are they constipated or in pain? They could be just plain not hungry or that part of the brain that controls hunger doesn’t work well anymore.

    The liquid supplements (meal in a can) were mentioned (Ensure?).

    I have also been told by the staff working in my mum’s home that this can also be a latent stage before passing. The person just stops eating. One staff member explained that the body knows how to live, and it also knows how to die. She said the person does not experience discomfort. It’s like fasting. Organs will eventually shut down. Is this person at this point Elaine or are they active otherwise? Every where I know staff must always offer food and drink (never force), but always offer different types and encouragement should the person still want food and drink at any point.

    The family refusing food to an ill person is who won't eat opposed to can't eat for other reasons is wrong.

    Different techniques can be tried if all avenues have been looked at and there is not other reason they do not want food or drink; they do not want it, but this should always be encouraged. Will the person eat ice cream? They all love ice cream…

    Jennifer Sierra
     
  8. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,425
    Unless I misread Elaine's post, I believe that she has said that this refusal to eat is entirely down to the resident: in fact it sounds as if the family are attempting in an overly frantic manner to force the poor woman to eat, which is why they had to be asked to leave.
     
  9. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    68,920
    Kent
    The fact that this lady will still eat cereal, seems to me that dementia is the cause of her refusing other food.
    If she was ready to give up on life, she would refuse he cereal too.
    It is a very distressing stage and one I would never wish to be faced with.
    I am not surprised her family, and carers like you Elaine are frantic. I accept she can`t be force fed, so what`s the alternative.
    Fibre or not, I would give her small portions of cereal for every meal.
    Love xx
     
  10. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    945
    leigh lancashire
    Hi everyone,thanks for your posts.I tend to agree with Sylvia that it is the dementia that is the problem.I sat with them for two hours today,encouraging them to eat.All they had was 4 spoonfuls of soup and a bite of a sandwich.Then i tried the cereal about an hour or so later.Still no joy.They just kept on telling me they had eaten it whilst staring at it.I have contacted the s/w and CPN again today.The S/W said it was "out of her hands" until the CPN visited.CPN is on leave but htier secretary told me they would be out to see the resident early next week.I have also noticed that the residents daughter is no longer visiting on a daily basis as before.Perhaps it has all got too much for her and she needs a break.Hope this is the case,like i said previously they are such a loving family.love elainex
     
  11. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    1,213
    south lanarkshire
    Hi

    Sorry if this has been asked before, but will she drink the nutritional drinks or juice in cartons, with a straw, which are available on prescription

    Alfjess
     
  12. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    945
    leigh lancashire
    Hi alfijess,thye won't drink anything apart froma few sips of anything.I gave them some tea and cranberry juice this morning and was at a loss as to where the glas s had gone.I found it hidden between the breakfast menu.Also,yesterday a team leader looked through their care plan and came across a document the family had to fill inwhich says their parent has dementia.neither staff or management were aware of this on admission,otherwise they would have been told we are not licensed for dementia care.Battle has commenced with the s/w on not revealing medical history in its true entirity.Its a shame that an elderley person is subjected to this through no fault of their own.Honesty is always the best policy, and being honest to our loved ones and ourselves shows we care.love elainex
     
  13. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    3,725
    North Derbyshire
    Elaine

    Gee you are a caring person, my heart goes out to you and praises you for your efforts. No-one can do any more than you are doing. They are lucky they have someone like you taking notice.

    Whatever happens, you will know you have done your best.

    Love

    Margaret
     
  14. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    1,213
    south lanarkshire
    Hi Elaine

    It appears that the family have not been entirely truthful, which hasn't done their relative any favours, but where was the SW?

    I would have thought that SS would have had to assess the needs of the client before placement in an appropiate care home?

    Is a CPN involved? If so should h/she be consulted?

    If not could a Cpn be appointed? I have found the help of a CPN better than any SW.

    Alfjess
     
  15. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    945
    leigh lancashire
    Thanks Margaret,I owe my nature to my upbringing and my parents deserve the credit for the way they have taught me respect for all and the ability to understand others and the different needs we may encounter in life.love elainex
     
  16. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    945
    leigh lancashire
    Dear alfjess,through the problems we have been encountering with the resident we have had S/W in to assess,She says the resident is residential but she would contact CPN for an emergency assessment.That was 3 weeks ago.I rang S/W yesterday and she said to contact CPN myself if i was that concerned about the resident!So thats what i did(you don't dangle a carrot in front of me and not expext me not to bite it!)the upshopt being that the CPN is paying another visit early next week.love elainex
     
  17. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,425

    Elaine: what a great expression!
     
  18. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    945
    leigh lancashire
    dear jenniferpa.its a popular expression where i work.especially when it comes to working overtime.They offer double time to do it !love elainex
     
  19. janetruth

    janetruth Registered User

    Mar 20, 2007
    563
    nuneaton
    Hello elaine

    I read your thread with interest, as has been mentioned you seem to be a caring person who works in a residential old peoples home, where ther is no dementia.
    Is it a private home?

    You came across a bit mercenary on your last posting by saying your insentive for overtime, was double pay.
    Does that mean any thing you do, that is seen to be extra caring, is double pay.

    Would you still be working with old people if they ALL had dementia?
    There is a shortage of people who work in these kind of homes and I truely take my hat of to these people.

    I do not mean to come across as if i am being critical of you or your work, as you could be a benefit with your caring nature in one of the homes who has to deal with dementia patients everyday.

    Take Care
    Janetruth x
     
  20. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    945
    leigh lancashire
    Hi Janetruth,i am sorry,i didn't mean to make it sound like you think.The fact of the matter is,we are very short staffed being the holiday period.The company i work for would rather pay their own staff extra time rather than have outside agencies who do not know the home or the resident.
    The double time is offered,not asked for by staff.The companys way of thinking makes sense and also saves them money as agency fees are very high.As for working in a dementia unit,yes i would love to but not until i have had more training.love elainex
     

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