Did I do the wrong thing?

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My 83 year old dad has been on hospice since October 2011. He had a 2nd major stroke in Feb of 2011. He was left with left side weakness, and needed a peg tube. He has declined so much and I can't help feeling like I rushed in with hospice. I feel like maybe there was more to do to help him. I know it has been 11 months and why am I just thinking about this? Hospice has really been a big help with the nurses and CNAs that help with his bathing, meds, diapers and all. My parents were unable to get any more therapy or home health and hospice offered help for them and of course us that care for him. I keep telling myself that the Dr. would not have signed him off to hospice if he had thought he would get better. Would he? I see my dad losing so much weight, we are unable to move him because his legs have contracted to bending at the knees. He is now on morphine and hydrocordone. He has a catheter because he is getting bedsores that we cannot keep up with...I feel and my mom constantly tells me that we are just watching him die. I know hospice is there to make you comfortable and I guess since he has declined so much, especially these last couple of months, that this constant question is with me...Could I have done more, why did I settle for hospice so soon? I feel so guilty watching him die this slow and very painful death.

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Dear patina, Sending you prayers and to remind you you have done nothing wrong. You have reached out and cared for your folks like many on this site. There is no manual for this. It is out of love and belief in a Higher Power that is with you and your Dad. If you feel he is in pain discuss this with the nurse. Hospice is an incredible service and they are there to let a life die with dignity and in an enviroment full of Love. I too am watching my father slip away. I am honored that he is with me but the pain and sorrow of knowing that there is nothing I can do but support him, put in place a service like hospice to assist with his pain and to make him as comfortable until his spirit leaves and his tired body finally is a rest. Talk Talk to his nurse and caseworker. That is their job to explain the steps and progression of a life ending. What helps me are words my father spoke to many years ago requesting no exteme measures in sustaining life. That is a heavy burden to carry though but I will respect his wishes. I think I am the one he choose to make that call because he did not want my Mother burden with that. I speak softly in my father ears that if you are ready to go Daddy it is ok. We love you and we will be ok. You do what is comfortable for you and know we here on this site are here for support.
A friend of mine always says "hospice is a wonderful gift you give your family". They are full of compassion, knowlege and support. The doctor would not sign off on hospice until all other services are no longer viable.

I can't imagine what else you could have done for your Father. You are loving and thoughtful daughter going through the painful experience of watching the end of a life. Don't be so hard on yourself!

Be thankful you are there for your Mother and Father at this time of their life. God bless!
Hospice is a wonderful service - sparing dying people painful and useless treatments. We are alll going to die - there is no getting around that, but comfort care and freedom from pain is such a blessing. I believe you did the best thing.
I think I understand, Patina. I feel the same way. My Dad died after 3 years of me taking care of him. He was bad off, then we got through all that, then he was good for about a year, then he went downhill in about 4 months. He was 90 when he died, but always of strong and clear mind. I hated bringing Hospice in. I started to, and then I didn't, and then I realized I had to. The Drs said he couldn't get better. But he was such a fighter and I kept thinking maybe... Hospice was great but I also worried about the morphine at the end. I felt like I was hastening things. He didn't want to go. But I think things would have been a lot worse without that and without Hospice - ihe would have suffered more. It would have been hospital and tubes and he didn't want that. I wish I could have saved him. It breaks my heart and I miss him. But I think it was the right decision.
I also want to say, this website has helped me an awful lot. I used to read it when I was the 24/7 caretaker and after Dad died I didn't read it for a while. But lately, I have been looking at it again. I often feel so sad and it has been very good just for knowing that others feel the same way that I do. Thank you all.
Patooski, I too was my Dad's 24/7 caregiver. This site was so helpful to me to keep me sane. I also just came back tonight to check in. Dad died October 2014. It's good to know you and others are there to relate to. :) All the best to you.

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