My mother in law was no longer able to be cared for by her 99 yr old husband, was a huge fall risk and was exhibiting signs of dementia so we placed her in a nursing facility where her sister resided. Her sister passed about 8 months later whereas my MIL’s agitation seem to raise with her calling out her sister’s name constantly. Deemed ‘a disturbance to her roommate and anxiety ridden’, the nursing home began prescribing a sedative which made her zombie like. We demanded they take her off as we did not ok it (nor were we consulted prior to). They took her off and her alertness returned, no calling out. They suggested hospice come in to evaluate her as they may find some other suggestions to help, stating they were not just about dying. This being our first time dealing with this, we ok’d the consult. They made the hospice sound like they were a visiting org pre any end of life process. We felt since we lived in another state that it would be great to have someone go in regularly to visit and keep a check on her. BIG MISTAKE. Mother’s Day we visit and she is slightly medicated due to agitation and calling out again, but she was sitting in wheelchair and conversing (not completely lucidly however). 4 days later we learn she is being administered morphine, Ativan, and is officially in End of Life process.
What?? She hadn’t eaten or drank since the day after mother’s day according to them (no call to us at all), and she was being kept ‘comfortable’. We were so blind sided. The finger pointing began between hospice and the nursing home as to who should have called us earlier in the week. We got an elder advocate involved from the state. Definite problems with what transpired. She is now Day 14 without food or water, morphine scheduled with Ativan to keep her comfortable and I’m horrified, disturbed to my core and in shock with the entire experience. THIS is barbaric. If a 96 yr old can last 14 days without food/water, clearly she wasn’t in the ‘active dying’ process as they insist. It would be different if she had terminal cancer or some other terminal disease. This, I believe, is 3rd party euthanasia and I can’t believe it’s the ‘norm’ and rampant in our society. Complaints have been submitted to the state by us on both hospice and the nursing home. Little comfort as we watch our mother die a slow and disgusting death (aka murder). I wouldn’t treat my dog this way. Things have to change. As we get older....are we next?