I see many questions and responses about how to handle our loved one with dementia. Call me Debbie Downer, but I just have to say that it’s one of life’s cruel tricks for someone to end his/her life with this disease. We take all these measures to live a good, long life, but for what? My mom is 92, and her dementia is slowly progressing over the past 10 years. I was caring for her in my home, but recently placed her in Assisted Living. There are lots of issues like delusional thinking and the inability to truly engage in conversation. Her memory is nonexistent. I honestly cannot perceive that this is the same woman who raised me. She is just waiting to die. She liked living with me, but the constant stress of her verbal repetitions and other characteristics were impacting my health and sense of well being. Here she is, healthy as a horse at 92 except for osteoporosis and balance issues, but her mind is gone. She is a stranger to me. It’s painful for her and for her children; it would be a blessing if God took her out of her misery.
However, I do understand that you have "lost" your mom, the woman you knew. This is harder for family and longtime friends who see the disability because they remember the vibrant person that "was". Try to remember that in the latter stages, the folks with this disease do not feel the "loss" or regrets that you do.
I think there should be a law that when a person reaches a certain stage of no return whether it be Alzheimer's or cancer or some other devastating disease a person should be able to have their life ended in a dignified matter. There should be a back up like a doctor or someone else to help with that decision if the person has no one they can trust or living relative that can if the person is unable to make that decision their self. I live in a senior community and we have had this decision many times especially when someone in our community passes away. We all feel we should be able to end our suffering on our own terms. None of us want to end up in a nursing home sitting in our own waste and tied in a wheel chair, that is no life.
Not being able to return to his home, we finally got him settled into a highly recommended memory care. I told him it was like going to camp. He actually adapted and enjoyed the company and activities. He seemed to thrive.
An early morning call announced that he was going back to the hospital. Doctors determined that he had a bowel blockage and suggested surgery.
I read his health care directive and followed his wishes. The hospice care offered at the hospital was inclusive, sensitive and supportive. His decision took the hard part away from me.
Yes...he is gone. But he was not what he was. The man who single handed his sailboat, ran with the bulls and loved me is in my heart.
Sometimes I regret keeping them here on this earth by good medical care, when Heaven is waiting for them. Keep praying. I am praying for you.
So many people eat a lot of meat and/or processed foods, that lead to many of these diseases.
Think of it this way, if a lot of people did not have serious health issues that would lead to a hospital, NH, AL stay, how many people would be out of a job?
What I remember the most about those last years is her looking at me with those blank eyes. There was nothing there.