How long does it take to die from untreated Congestive Heart Failure?

(I am long distance). My dad has congestive heart failure now from alcoholism and someone made him go to the hospital. He stayed there 2 days and left AMA - against medical advice. He told the nurse that he "doesn't drink and doesn't smoke." For a man who hates lying, he is lying his butt off.

My brother goes over there after work every day and verbally and emotionally abuses my father. My brother did get a nurse to come in, but my father refuses to take any pills. He is only allowed 3/4 cup of liquid per day. My abusive brother took away his car keys and his alcohol and cigarettes and now my father wants to die.

He can no longer shower himself at all. The rest of the family (long distance) thinks the nurse will do it (NO).

How long does it take to die when the congestive heart failure is this bad? He might get his wish, finally. My poor dad; he wouldn't allow me in even if I could manage to go there.

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You are so right! Had similar situation here.
Wish my sibs had acknowledged that in any way
--they instead played right into Mom's madness, spewed more of her garbage back at us, and took Mom's word as a mentally ill, substance abusing DQ.

Please take heed: make sure you do not keep Dad's behaviors going within your already injured family; put Dad's behaviors and words into the framework of his illnesses!

am i right in assuming that all of your information is being fed to you by your father? because then i'm going to guess that less than half of it has any truth. and alcoholics are drama queens to boot.

your brother taking away the alcohol, cigarettes, and keys is spot on, not abusive. as to whether or not there was verbal abuse, we really have no way of knowing. this is only your father's word.

It is hard for most folks to think of these things.
Unfortunately you are not in a position to do much about, being at a distance.
AND, it sounds like you would have some trouble if you were able to be there personally to help Dad, related to his habits and behaviors--
HE chose, HE decided.
YOU have NO cause for guilt, for being too far away to physically help out.
If you were there, he wouldn't let you in.
HIS choice.

COPD is terrible to live with, a slow death.
Not being able to breath, is one of the worst conditions I can think of.
Even when a person takes the prescribed meds, AND gives up the substances they abused, it is still terrible.
It requires knowledge of his overall body condition to have any means of predicting life expectancy, though.

From your description:
1. Dad left hospital AMA.
2. Dad refuses meds.
3. Dad still drinks/smokes if has access--even though those pose danger to himself and others;
4. Dad cannot bathe self;
5. Dad is shutting some people out of his life;
6. Dad is depressed;
7. Dad has severe liquid intake restriction;
***When someone does/has all that,
AND chooses to keep his bad habits,
AND been doing that for many years,
he already chose his method of slow death.

Your brother's removal of the alcohol and smokes did NOT cause Dad to suddenly "give up" and say he wants to die.
Dad was already thinking it, and used [ANYone] else removing the substances, so he can point a finger and blame someone else for his own failure to be able to stop himself/change his own behaviors.
TRUTH: Dad would blame ANYONE else the same way, no matter how good the rationale is for removing those substances, or who it was--but a target person he believes is more vulnerable, will get blamed first, and it is common for siblings raised that way, to get sucked into believing another sibling is at fault for those kinds of statements from a sick, substance abuser like your Dad.

NOone needs feel guilty when Dad puts on blackmailing, accusatory statements.
He would point at anyone else, and find any reason to state same, given his choices and habits.
IT is NOT your fault, nor anyone elses', that dad is depressed.

Damage has been created in Dad's body by Dad himself, unlikely reversible; when he is down to that 3/4 c. of water per day, that means his body systems are shutting down, and rather irreversibly, according to medical knowledge [not barring huge miracles].
Dad not letting you into his life, perhaps means he fears you might intervene and take steps to prolong his life--he does not want that.
He does not want Docs/Meds/care.

BUT...even when people do that, they still wish for people to support their choices in an unconditionally loving way
--supporting a person's choices that lead to an earlier death, is one of the hardest things for anyone do do for another.
We rarely have people in our society who teach "permission is granted" to allow a loved one to choose to die. Truthfully, we do NOT have to force a person to live, when quality of life is drastically, permanently reduced. Indeed, if an adult who can think for himself behaves and chooses ways that lead to early death, despite knowledge of how to stop that, known for decades, means they make informed choice.
Sick, but informed.

---IS it a question of letting Dad continue with his alcohol and smokes, as his only means of comforting himself? [his version of "quality of life"]
---IS Dad endangering himself or others, using smokes that could start his housing on fire?
---IS Dad a danger to others and self if he keeps driving his car?
---IS brother taking those substances away from Dad, to prevent worse accidents, or to be spiteful?
---ARE you bothered that Dad's alcohol and smokes were removed, or that dad said he wants to die?
---DO you hope for a remote chance at resolution or reconciliation with Dad? Is that realistic?

If Dad has a nurse to the house to look after him, the nurse ALSO knows he needs bathing, and would [in the normal, expected nursing scope of duty] recommend home health workers come in to do baths for him
--just as that nurse would make sure food comes to the house for him to eat.
---IF the nurse fails to do that, family can contact the home health agency, and tell them Dad needs bath assist--even long distance, this can be asked about.

It sounds like brother is at the end of his rope, too...overwhelmed by Dad's bad behaviors all his life.
---Brother taking Dad's car keys = a GOOD idea though.
Dad most likely should NOT be driving, he endangers self, and certainly others, if he did; if Dad cannot bathe self, he cannot properly operate a car!
---brother's verbal abuse = how helpless brother feels in face of Dad's choices: dad couldn't be the parent brother needed/expected, now Dad shows weakness, there might be a tiny opening to force Dad to change, to be the Dad the kids needed---BUT, it ain't gonna happen;
---brother is doing what he can to do some care, against terrible odds, and not able to carry it off very nicely--he needs help--brother needs counseling himself!
----The brother now verbally abusing Dad , waiting til the last minute before he dies to do it, shows how badly the brother has been damaged by growing up exposed to Dad's behaviors--kinda like your own damages from Dad.

Sick. And no matter how bad Dad treated his kids, he needs protected too--he may never have been protected when he needed it as a child, himself.
Brother needs help, help him process all those issues
--yelling and abusing Dad is NOT going to make him feel better
--it will actually end up making him feel worse for doing that, for the rest of his own life.
Wish it was easier. It is not.
It is gritting one's teeth, and doing what can be done, and letting go of what cannot be done, with as much Grace as one can muster.
Kids of substance abuser parents, are easily hooked into dysfunctional behaviors the parents promoted for a lifetime.
We must do what we can to prevent our carrying on those behaviors to next generations. Waking up to that, and taking steps to change ourselves, could be the last unwitting gift our dysfunctional parents leave us.


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