My Mom (88) sadly passed away this week after spending just one year in assisted living.

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This site has been a huge help to me the past few yrs dealing with her delusions and dementia which led her to Assisted Living from living independently her whole life. Though she passed in her sleep, I can't help believe that the assortment of drugs she was given led to her death. I know that they aleviated the delusions and psychosis but at what expense? I just want to say that anyone in this situation needs to pay very close attention to the signs of change from the drugs. We did but we also believed that the dr knew best, however it seems that some AL doctors just keep the patients medicated. My beautiful mother was not the same person this past year and it hurt to watch. Thank you to all who contributed to the numerous questions I posted. I am eternally grateful for your help and knowledge through this difficult time.


BAG331, my heartfelt sympathy to you and your family with the passing of your mother.

Dementia is so very complex. My Mom is in final stage of dementia which was caused by a bad fall and she is so restless, seeing things that aren't there, very confused by everything... if the doctor takes her off the medicines that keep her as calm as can be, she has really bad delirium. It's a tough balancing act. And how much more time would my Mom really gain in the physical/mental condition trap that she is in. I hope my Mom passes in her sleep, sooner than later. Plus it is so hard seeing the heartbreak on my Dad's face seeing my Mom like that :(
Bag331 I'm so sorry for your loss. My mother, 89, passed away in a nursing home a few weeks ago. She'd had parkinsons, strokes, falls and increasing dementia for very many years. Apart from parkinsons meds and blood thinners she was given vitamins and protein shakes. I paid the itemized meds bill each month and researched. In the end she gradually stopped eating and drinking and just faded away.

My feeling is that without the meds your mother's psychosis and delusions may have caused her to injure herself in some way, as mine did with falls and trips to the ER, and so hasten her passing. Take some comfort in the fact she lived to a ripe old age, only needing care in the last year of her life. Like my mother, her body was worn out and she is now at peace. God Bless you.
I'm sorry for your loss. You say "My beautiful mother was not the same person this past year and it hurt to watch". The drugs may have changed her personality, but the woman you knew was already lost due to delusions and psychosis. Hopefully the medications gave her some peace in her final months, and that is what we all want for our loved ones, isn't it? And to have die in her sleep, it may sound callous of me to say it, but how wonderful! That is what I hope for for my own mother, and even for myself some day.
(((hugs))) to you and your family
I'm so, so sorry for your loss. I understand your comment about being overly medicated. This is a difficult balance because there are doctors who will over medicate as this is their training - but not all doctors are trained the same way and not all doctors have the same view as quality of life versus extension of life. There are doctors who over medicate because they feel it's in the best interest of the patient. There are doctors who over medicate as a "preventative" based on their experience with other patients in a similar condition. And finally, there are doctors who over medicate because they don't have time to offer personalized care and figure the elderly will die any way soon, so what if he/she is zoned out. And, not to sound callous, traditional healthcare is all about making money no matter the condition of the patient so some doctors will push this and that drug and test until the very end of the patient's life to rake in the money. People who have experienced the ugly and dark side of medicine understand what I'm talking about. The most important thing, I feel, is that your mother was not in any pain (physical, emotional, or both) in her last months/days/minutes. If this means being overly medicated to numb the pain, then I think the onslaught of drugs is worth it because the disease process was slowly taking over your mother years ago, well before her actual death came. I hope my mother passes away in her sleep! To consciously know that you are dying and, possibly be in so much pain that you can't take the suffering anymore is so, so cruel. So, maybe for your mother's final peace it may have been best for her to be zoned on drugs to finally be free from the prison of her disease.
I too extend my condolences on the loss of your mother. I hope the answers here help in offering understanding the use of medication in late stages of life so you can be comforted and remember the better times in your mother's life.
I am so sorry that your mother passed. It was a blessing that she passed in her sleep without suffering. My mother was in Assisted Living for four years. It was a long-slow process full of suffering and tears along the way until she passed at 97. She was on Hospice for the last 18 months. I wish she would have passed peacefully in her sleep.

The drugs that are administered while in Assisted Living make your loved one comfortable. I did not want my mother to suffer as much as she did, but she held onto life as long as she could despite the drugs. We just never know when their body will give out.

Things will get easier as time passes. Do not dwell on what might have been. Concentrate on yourself.
I am rather a 'newbie' on this site compared to some who are SO helpful with the experience and knowledge, on this site, but I do want to send my condolences for the loss of your mother.

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