How do I cope with my father's recent transition? I didn't sign up for this.

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I have been caring for my terminally ill father for 5 months now. He was in assisted living until his metastatic cancer got the best of him. he is on hospice and alomst lost him at the home. He made a fluke recovery and I decided to move him back to his home where I would care for him and allow him the dignity he deserved. I miss my family at home in another state terribly.
although bedridden and terribly overweight, my father and I would sit and talk lucidly or watch movies etc. Recently, there has been a change. He is more confused than normal, and tends to lash out or say mean things to me. I understand that he doesn't understand what he is doing, but I am starting to miss him already. He can't follow a sentence and he acts dopey all the time. Part of it may be the increase in pain meds we have had to implement, but I see this as a very frustrating and lonely road ahead. any suggestions on how I can cope with this rather than fall into a depression?

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Top Answer
First, I am so sorry about you situation. I can only imagine how difficult it is for you especially doing this alone. You need some support. Please, for your own well being, contact the hospice service you had for you father. Tell them of the changes that are occuring and that you need some support. The support could come in the way of some respite care to give you a break from time to time and you definitely need someone to talk to that can give you some counseling and emotional support. I'll be keeping you in my thoughts.
JKR is right on. You need to talk with hospice about the change in his condition; it could signal more complicated things going on like drug interaction or lower blood oxygen levels. There may be some kind of treatments they can administer to keep him more lucid. That said, confusion in terminal patients is often part of the dieing process. Hospice nurses might be able to help you understand what to expect and how long it might go on.

If possible, I would also suggest that you ask friends or family to visit, even for a few hours. Even if your dad is unable to participate, that's okay YOU need the support. Hospice can also hook you up with respite volunteers to sit with your dad so you can get a away for grocery shopping etc. Seeing someone through this is one of the most generous, selfless and difficult things we can do. You are a blessing to your dad and what ever is condition or ability to understand, that man that raised you appreciates your love and concern now. You have to keep telling yourself that. Once you're on the other end of this, you'll be glad that you were there for him. All the best to you and your father.

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