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Refusing Food, Drink, and Medications
Posted: Friday, November 18, 2022 8:53 AM
Joined: 11/17/2022
Posts: 1

Hi everyone! 

My mom has had EO dementia for about 10 years now and it is progressively declining. She suffers from severe paranoia. Over the last few weeks, she refused to take medication to helps with the hallucinations and anxiety and now also refuses to eat or drink. We are going on Day 5 with no medication, no food, or drink. We continue to offer but can't force it and are a bit frustrated and no concerned. 

Any advice is appreciated. 


Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Friday, November 18, 2022 9:52 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4456

It sounds to me like she has made up he mind to give up. I would make sure she is given things that will help her be in comfort with out pain or dry issues in gher mouth or face. I hope you have already reached out to hospice.

Jo C.
Posted: Saturday, November 19, 2022 8:31 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 13593

Hello Nikalet and a very warm welcome to you.  I am sorry for what is happening; it is very difficult and can be heartbreaking to see the advancement of dementia with someone we love and have to face the dynamics that come with the decline. Ten years is a long time.

(Before I begin my overall response, you mention your mother's anxiety and upset and her refusal to take any drugs.  Ativan comes in a cream that can be absorbed through the skin giving the same calming results. In that way, she would not have to be forced to swallow anything and may achieve some peace for her.)

Your message does not indicate whether your mother is being cared for at home or in a care facility, but from what you have written, I will try to address both settings as the approach would be pretty much the same.

If your mother has been active and high functioning, if this were me, I would in all probability have her urine checked to see if she has a UTI or not.  Many of these UTIs our Loved Ones (LOs) develop are "silent," that is; without any overt physical symptoms except behavioral changes which can range anywhere from mild to very significant.  Once treated, the behaviors usually return to their baseline function prior to the onset of the UTI.

However, if your mother has not been high functioning and her condition is highly compromised with significant decline, that may be a different scenario. If that is so and if it were me, I would consider her dementia may well have progressed to the end point at which it is all about comfort measures and not force matters which would affect the quality of the time she has left. As dementia advances to the end stage, some persons will refuse food or drink and if in the last stages of disease, the patient wishes are usually honored.

What I would do and do very quickly would be to contact a Hospice in my area.  You can find them online, or you can call a local hospital and ask the Discharge Planning Department which Hospices are in the local area.

You do not need as doctor's order to call a Hospice to request they assess your mother for service.  A Hospice RN will come out to the house (or care facility) and do an intake assessment.  If she fits Hospice criteria for one diagnosis or another, they will accept her into service and right away, that very day begin their care; they move very fast.  The Hospice nurse will contact the physician, either the patient's own doctor if they still have one, or the Hospice MD and will get the order to commence services.

If at home, Hospice will provide at no cost to the family, a hospital bed and any other equipment needed for patient comfort and care.  They even provide lifts, wheelchairs, and guerney chairs as necessary amongst other items identified as necessary.  Some provide incontinence supplies, others do not.  You will have your own RN for your mother who will see her at intervals and be your guiding support; you will have access to call an RN 24/7 for any issues needing to be addressed.  A medication kit will be provided so you have meds at hand if needed for physical issues.  A Social Worker will be assigned as will be a bath aide who will come two to three times a week to do bathing and other light care.  If one wishes, a Hospice Chaplain can also be assigned.

The Hospice staff is also there for family members support which can be really excellent.  If your mother is in a care facility, Hospice can also follow her there with their support services.  All around, it is a win/win situation.

Please let us know how you are and how things are going; we will be thinking of you.  And as an aside, this particular Forum is not well attended; if you Post on the Caregivers Forum, you will get more responses.

We are all here in support of one another, and that now includes you too.


Amy Joy
Posted: Monday, November 28, 2022 1:57 PM
Joined: 9/5/2022
Posts: 56

 Hi nikalet!


I’m sorry you’re having a hard time with mom!

My mom’s mom had dementia for 10 years and died in a nursing home at 84.

My mom is now In a home with more than likely the same type of dementia her mom had.

I was diagnosed with early dementia at 49 and my dementia is more then likely progressing.

Hope you have a nice day thanks.

Best luck

Posted: Saturday, December 10, 2022 6:54 PM
Joined: 12/10/2022
Posts: 1

My partner was diagnosed at age 53 about a year ago. She has become extremely paranoid and is angry all the time. I don’t know how to handle this.
Jo C.
Posted: Sunday, December 11, 2022 9:38 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 13593

Hello HRMan and a very warm welcome to you.  Since you are new to this wonderfully supportive site,  I would like to suggest that you place this Post on the, Spousal and Partner Forum.  That forum is very well attended and very robust in their interactions; you will get much input and support there.

Looking forward to seeing you on the other Forum; we are all here in support of one another and that now includes you too!


Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2023 3:47 PM
Joined: 1/26/2021
Posts: 41

My husband became very angry as his AD progressed and it’s very hurtful and hard to deal with. His normal calm quiet nature changed. I could tell when he walked in a room if he was upset. Rarely was there something that brought it on. Often it would bring me to tears and sometimes he would be shocked and concerned because he had no realization what things he had said or done. It was like the person I knew was slowly fading away.  I was fortunate to have people around me who cared and would come over at a moments notice and often that changed his mood. Distracting him with treats or a ride in the car going by places from his childhood seemed to calm him but often he’d tell me to leave the house so I’d sit outside for a while hoping the mood would pass. He liked music and I’d ask if he wanted to listen to a group I knew he liked and he’d say No but I’d put the music on and sit and listen and often he’d come sit and listen for quite a while, it seemed to sooth him. These are things I did maybe they will help you sooth your loved one also.