As death approaches, there will be a gradually decreasing need for food and fluids. The body naturally begins to conserve energy and requires less nourishment. At this stage, there is increased risk of choking due to confusion and/or the inability to swallow properly. Difficulty swallowing occurs first with solid foods and progresses to difficulty swallowing fluids.
Contact the hospice nurse to plan with you an alternate way to give medications. Frequent mouth care helps to avoid a sensation of dry mouth. Offer fluids in small sips, but do not force. Allow your loved one to choose when and what to eat or drink even if this means little or nothing will be consumed.