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Last Stage - Not Eating
Posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012 11:10 PM
Joined: 1/5/2012
Posts: 2


When someone is in last stage AD and forgets how to eat or won't eat, what happens to their appetite?

Are they still hungry but don't know what to do?




Posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012 11:19 PM
Joined: 12/1/2011
Posts: 625

QUOTE:During the dying process, the body's systems shut down. The dying person has less energy and begins to sleep more and more. The body is conserving the little energy it has, and as a result, needs less nourishment and sustenance. In the days (or sometimes weeks) before death, people eat and drink less. They may lose all interest in food and drink, and you shouldn't force them to eat. In fact, pushing food or drink on a dying person could cause him or her to choke -- at this point, it has become difficult to swallow and the mouth is very dry


As the person takes in less food and drink, he or she will urinate less frequently and have fewer bowel movements. The person may also experience loss of bladder and bowel control. People who are dying may become confused, agitated or restless, which could be a result of the brain receiving less oxygen. It can be disconcerting and painful to hear a loved one so confused in his or her last days.

The skin will also show the effects of slowing circulation and less oxygen -- the extremities, and later, the entire body, may be cool to the touch and may turn blue or light gray. Some skin may exhibit signs of mottling, which is reddish-blue blotchiness. As the person gets closer to death, it will become harder and harder to breathe. Respiration will be noisy and irregular; it will sometimes seem as if the person can't breathe at all. When there's fluid in the lungs, it can cause a sound known as the death rattle. It may be possible to alleviate the gurgling and congestion by raising the person's head. If the dying person is experiencing pain, he or she will usually be given medications to manage it. END QUOTE 

 I found this John, I hope it helps. I hope you have hospice or family support.  Hugs as you go through this difficult time. 

Posted: Thursday, January 5, 2012 11:47 PM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 2431

My mom is not in the last stages, but has eating issues after her surgery for her hip....


She doesn't seem to be hungry at times...but when offered food she loves, she IS hungry!


It's one of the most frustrating things in the world...trying to work this out...because it is part of the last stages, it's extra upsetting...


I realized I wasn't drinking as much water as I have in the past, when I felt a little dizzy...I'm sure I was dehydrated...I can't imagine what these poor ADLO's are going through!

Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 12:06 AM
Joined: 1/5/2012
Posts: 2

One day my mother woke up and forgot how to swallow.

After approx 1 hour, or less, she would remember and be fine the rest of the day.

6 months later she passed.


Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 12:29 AM
Joined: 12/21/2011
Posts: 2431

That's always so upsetting - I can see my mom sometimes ''forget'' a very basic thing... But then she realizes she has ''forgotten'' and it bothers her.
Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 5:13 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 403

One day my dad couldnt swallow and started choking on water. 12 days later he died without even swallowing a zip of water.
Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 5:33 PM

I recommend downloading the PDF of "Hard Choices for Loving People" here:

It's the best resource I've found for understanding the dying process, including the cessation of eating and losing the ability to swallow.

Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 6:47 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 3707



My mother in the final stages lost her physical ability to swallow.  It was happening for several months off and on and then finally she could not swallow anything.  I think everyone is different though.


God's Peace, Veronica

Posted: Friday, January 6, 2012 6:49 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 3707

I read the book Hard Choices the one AlphaLeah suggests.  It was given to me when my mother couldn't swallow anymore.
Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 7:29 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 740

I agree that Hard Choices is an excellent resource.

However, our loved ones can stop eating for all sorts of different reasons, sometimes long before their bodies start shutting down.  There's an article on how to figure out why our loved ones aren't eating, and how to help them get enough nutrition, at: