Hi..I've written here before about my 74-year-old mother with Alzheimer's - stage 6 now. Over the last 4-5 days mom has been eating less than usual, and she's had to be fed - mom would eat by herself before. (At first, we attributed that to the summer heat, but there seems to be more to it.) Mom has lost weight and grown frail and more unfocused. She's also incontinent, and doesn't head for the bathroom. (Well, we use diapers, but it is concerning that mom has apparently lost all conscious awareness of using the bathroom. )What can we do? Thanks.
You can contact a Hospice and ask for an evaluation, I am sure she would be eligible. Hospice staff will help with supplies and equipment but most of all would be there to support you and let you know what the next stages are. The primary goal will be to keep mom comfortable.
Do expect that at some point she will stop eating and or drinking all together.
PLEASE resist the urge to have a feeding tube put in.
Nearing the end of life the body does not utilize food as we do. The energy that food provides sill go to keeping major organs going. The heart, brain and excess food/calories can be more of a problem.
Using a swab to keep the mouth moist will help somewhat.
Breathing will change and there will be noises from fluids that she will be unable to swallow. Turn her on her side to allow them to drain. Or use a swab to absorb some. But do not put a swab back into the throat as that can cause a gag reflex. The noises sound bad but are not painful to her.
((hugs)) and prayers.
It is important not to give her too much food; and I agree with Grandma 1954 that it is best not to use feeding tubes. If she is in pain, small doses of morphine will relieve the pain and help her to decline and die peacefully, but that could be many (or few) months away.
Try to get help help at home. There is a franchise called "Home Instead Senior Care" that will send in caregivers for whom you pay a reasonable charge per hour. They are many local branches in both the USA and the United Kingdom. You could see if they can help. Also, hospice care might be necessary later, but it is difficult to know with dementia how long the process of slowly dying will last.
Take care, give care is somewhat a guideline for living at this difficult time when COVID is still dangerous.
Love and prayers
Lots of hugs...