My husband and I care for my mother who after 8 years is well into the final stage of Alzheimer’s. She was changed to “Hospice” status this fall - though this sort of hospice can go on for even a few years. You never know when God’s time i, and we don’t try to anticipate it but take one day at a time. This status means we have a lot of involvement and help, home care aides and nurses coming our for visits and aides. She just left for a 5 day respite stay (our first) at a local nursing home, and they want me to fill out their own DNR. I believe my brother, executor, filled one out for the hospice and checked off everything for the DNR. I didn’t realize that til today, and want to reconsider this, and I do not expect him or my other sibs to have a disagreement with changing it. At any rate I have to fill one out today or tomorrow, and I am not comfortable with withholding liquids or food. It seems wrong.
She is very skinny because feeding her has long been a problem. Since hospice, the advice has been don’t try to give her more food and water than she wants - and that’s very little. She has become frighteningly skinny, It is hard to give her water and we are working with hospice on various ways to try and will continue to.
So, the DNR form asks about whether or not to allow intravenous water and food. What about that? Apparently this can be considered “extraordinary” means of resuscitation. Yet - it’s food and water! We are not going to go with lung machine etc., but the food and water thing has me concerned. She is never going to get better, only worse, but I do not want her last days/months/years to be suffering ones, Aren’t intravenous feedings/water necessary in order to relieve suffering?? It seems it might be.
I tried to find these answers in old forum posts and the DNR ones seem to be focused on the lung machine sort of things, the sort of extra interventions we would not do anyway. Yes, she is in the slow process of dying but I do not want to hurry it, and certainly not make it less comfortable for her.
So my question is particularly about intravenous food and water.
Hospice seems to say this not wanting more than a bite of food now and then is okay, and a normal part of the dying process, but then i wonder if there is a euthanasia influence in their professional training that influences what they say?
Is there a website that discusses these things. I do not want the DNR to be a sort of euthanasia.