What can you do when your aging parent has a sharp mind but the doctors agree that there is not much more that can be done for her?
Mom is 94, her body does not manufacture hemoglobin as it should anymore - she only has one kidney that is still functioning and her bone marrow is not doing it's bit. Last year she had to have transfusions about every 4 weeks, then it became every 3 weeks, then two weeks, her doctor told me some weeks ago that the treatments will eventually become useless. This past weekend she developed a nosebleed that would not stop and her platelet level nearly dropped out of sight. They gave her at least 8 units of pure platelets over the weekend and into Monday but her platelet level did not rise much at all. Resident doctor at hospital (in their wisdom the hospital now has it's own doctors and if your general care doctor does not chose to be a part of the hospital staff, they are not allowed to attend their own patient while admitted) and her specialist that diagnosed the original problem have both said that they can do nothing more for her "It is like trying to fill a sink with no stopper" - she will continue to get weaker until ????. We have an appointment with her general provider next week. How do I approch dealing with her imminent death as far as keeping her spirit level up. Don't worry about me, I have known this was coming for some time, I will deal with it in my own way, but I am concerned that she go out as quietly as possible. PS - it has been hard to keep her entertained for some time as she cannot do much of the things she has always liked to do, cooking, cleaning, etc. she is not much interested in reading or TV, she used to do crosswords but has lost interest in that even, she can't crochet because of her arthritic fingers, can't walk very well, and has no particular religious convictions or affiliations. Hospice has been very good about offering to help with case workers and social services, but she does not even like strangers trying to entertain her. In fact, one of the biggest mistakes social workers and even nurses make is to try and get physically too close to a patient. I know they are trying to establish a sincere, intimate and helpful bond, but some people do not like to be touched or breathed on. They are strangers, not family. I must admit, I would not even like that.