What do I do when my loved one gives up?

If your loved one stops eating and drinking and really doesn’t want to do anything  it may be when you hear “Failure to Thrive” from a medical professional. Failure to thrive is a term to describe the decline of a loved one with weight loss, diminished appetite, and inactivity.  you might say to that your loved one has “given up.” When the care for a loved one gets to this point it is hard on the family. Many families may think that their loved one quit, they have given up and that they don’t want to be here anymore. Family members will get frustrated and angry at their loved one. This is a time when you need to step back and breathe. Your loved one might be giving up or it could be caused by another condition. Sometimes the best thing to do is try to get them seen by a physician.  Adult FTT  effects about 35% of older adults and there are different steps you can take. There can be more than one reason for your loved one to get into this condition. There are physical ailments like cancer,  stroke, and infection or a simple medication adjustment is needed. With FTT there can be an increase in risk of infection. Infection being the cause or symptom may not be known unless treated. There may also be psychological reasons for this as well. Depression can play a major factor in someone “giving up.” Cognitive impairment or dementia can play a large factor in the decline. Get to a physician and get these things ruled out first and hopefully with some proper medication or therapy your loved one can pull through this. To really get the best care for your loved one when FTT is caused by an untreatable issue it is good to start with hospice. Your loved one will need to get the care and relief that hospice can offer. Hospice can make this time much easier by giving comfort care and giving the family the support needed in the end. If you are hesitant about hospice care the option to discontinue hospice and go back to regular care is always available. Some people want to leave on their own terms one last act of independence. Some seniors just want to move on and be done.  It is hard and there isn’t much you can do except be supportive and get the help needed to make it as comfortable as possible.  This is a one situation that will be hard and there is no easy answer that anyone can give you.  The best thing to do is be there and enjoy the time you have with your loved one and make them as comfortable as possible.