Nutrition plays an important and changing role throughout our lives. Food and drink reminds us of time spent with loved ones and provides physical pleasure and relief from hunger and thirst. It’s not uncommon for a person approaching death to find food and drink less important.
The patient should eat what they desire without feeling forced or guilty. It is important to remember that eating and drinking less is part of the natural process of dying.
The patient may experience any or all of the following:
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Lack of appetite and feelings of fullness
- Changes in taste with or without dry mouth
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Fatigue, depression or dementia that interferes with eating
The OSF Hospice dietician:
- Evaluates dietary needs
- Provides education about high calorie, high protein foods
- Addresses issues like taste of foods and mouth care
- Is available for consultation when desired by patient and family or nurse