Mum Not Eaten Or Drunk For 4 Days

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DarceyK123 | 22:16 Sat 22nd May 2021 | Body & Soul
42 Answers
Mum 84, has recently come home from hospital after fracturing her hip and having a half hip replacement.

She was ok for a week or so but over the past 4 days she is refusing to eat as it makes her feel sick and has only a few sips of juice.

Myself or the nurse cannot get her up, she point blank refuses saying shes too scared and just wants to die anyway. Doctor has sent over anti sickness tablets but she says they dont work.

Really at my witts end, she spends all day lying on the daybed we have for her but when i try to go to bed at night,

as im exhausted, within 2 hours shes shouting for me, so i settle her down, go back to bed and the whole cycle starts again.

Really dont know what to do. How long can she go without food and drink for before she becomes ill again? She had Covid in January also which has taken its toll.

Have spoken to our GP a couple of times who just says if she feels that bad send her back to to hospital, but she refuses to go.

The Nurse comes in most days and says her vital signs are ok.


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Very difficult, sounds like your Mum has had enough and that's very tough to watch.
How long ago was the actual surgery? Was it done under GA
I agree with mamya.
She refuses to eat, refuses to go back into hospital and just sips juice. You cannot force looks as though she has given up.
Could she have a urine infection? Does she have physio.? Could be delayed reaction to general anaesthesia. Is she on anything with codeine for pain as this could cause nausea
Question Author
She didnt have GA it was like an epidural type one (dont know what its called)

she is supposed to have physio which she did for a few days but is now refusing to get up when the lady comes.
/////just wants to die anyway. /////
With that negligible fluid intake she will get her wishes by next weekend.
Can she have any visitors, maybe grandchildren who might be able to cheer her up and coax her to eat something?
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Sqad, how would that manifest itself?, she had her vital signs done yesterday and they were fine,.. what should i be looking out for?
Tiredness, drowsy, not passing urine, breathing getting shallower but more rapid and finally unrousable.
In your view does she have capacity to decide not to eat or drink? Does she understand the consequences of refusing intake?
Instead of anti-sickness tablets that she says don't work could you perhaps try an anti-sickness in liquid form. That would be easier for her to get down.
Leave sweetened fruit juice ice chips in reach, she may not see that as drinking just making her mouth more comfortable, she won't take in enough from a fluid requirement point of view but a few calories might just lift her enough to change her mind about starting to drink
One other strange one, how well does she understand the surgery, does she trust it , and is her pain adequately controlled when she moves, not just when she is sitting or lying still. If when she was first mobilised it was painful she might just be very very scared.

Question Author
Thank you Sqad.

Elliemay, yes, i have asked a couple of her grandchildren to visit her tomorrow, maybe that will help.

Barmaid, yes ive spoken to her about what might happen but she says its what she wants. She even asked me to 'help'her but, of course, i refused.
Would the GP prescribe an anti depressant and would she take it?
Question Author
Rowan, she says the hip does not hurt but she is scared of falling which is how she did it in the first place.

Woofgang, shes been antidepressants for a few years now.
in that case maybe a review?
When my nan stopped eating she was put on anti-depressants. They can increase appetite.
It depends what is causing it... she may need antibiotics, antidepressants, antisickness or better pain relief. But unfortunately, if she has got to the point that her body no longer requires food or fluids, you can't do any more than keep her comfortable.
Yoghurts, jelly, fortifies, are the easiest consistency to eat, just little and often. Good luck x
// How long ago was the actual surgery? Was it done under GA?//
irrelevant. any gain from local is lost by six weeks post op

hope it goes OK
Sounds like your mum has had enough. Don't bullly her into doing anything she does not want to do, just be there for her in case she changes her mind, and keep her comfortable.

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