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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board

Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Board Index

My dear MIL was in the mid-stages of Alzheimers when she suffered a massive stroke in March of 2007. They didn't think she'd make it through the night, but when she did and then began to improve (SLIGHTLY) the medical team suggested an NG tube and then a G-tube was placed before she was discharged to rehab, which turned into a permanent NH placement because she had no further recovery. She spoke a tiny bit in the beginning, but none at all now, and we used to be able to tell that she recognized us, but not now because I know the Alzheimers is also progressing underneath the devastating aftermath of the stroke. Before the stroke she could walk, talk and feed herself, if you were there to prompt her ... I was taking care of her personal needs and dressing her and I could tell the Aricept was no longer working and the decline was moving along more quickly, but she was no where needing a feeding tube due to the AD, so my husband consented. She has a DNR, but it did not address the feeding tube specifically, just no to a vent/excessive CPR ... we had agreed we would never go with a feeding tube if the AD had progressed to the point where she could not longer chew or swallow, but I understood my husband's anguish that if he said no to the feeding tube, what if she COULD have made more of a recovery and had a better quality of life. But she didn't, and now it just breaks my heart to see her because she never would have wanted this. And now my dear husband will ultimately have to decide it's time to tell them to stop using the feeding tube, but he's not there yet. He knows I will support his decision and our pastor has counseled him to do what he feels is best for his mother. So I think if you're just dealing with the AD, I would never want a feeding tube for myself or a loved one. It just delays the inevitable, and since they can't tell us if they're in pain, it might be caused them pain, fear, anxiety ... when they can't chew or swallow, that's typically when Hospice can come in and help the family with the final stages of this horrible disease.
God Bless you and your family ... I hope you find some peace for your loved one and yourselves.

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