Mom is 81 years old with Alzehemier's moderate stage and dementia, history of multiple UTI 's , bilateral DVT's , lost 60lbs this year (she needed to, she was very heavy), depression, anxiety ( from my sister's sudden death 4 years ago) , and a host of other problems... she really started declining when my sister died suddenly of a heart attack 4 years ago Aug 10th, she just turned 49years old and we were very close, we even worked as RN's together at the same hospital... Mom just got out of rehab after another stay in the hospital... she is not eating well, but I let her drink all the ensure/enlive she can and wants to... and she loves her apple juice... I also have butterscotch ensure pudding for her, but she has become weak and looks like she's aged quite a bit, my heart is broken.. .because I know her time is coming to go be with my sister in heaven... I'm the only person who has any interest in mom, everyone else is living their own lives, when I am at work at the hospital I have a caregiver for my full 12 hour shift... I have a brother who lives in another state and when he calls he just calls to make stupid suggestions or just criticism and complaining... I cry when I get off the phone with him... Anyway... it's coming to the hardest time of my life, I have to let my best friend and mom go... when she passes away it will be the cat and I alone... it terrifies me to let her go... we have been living together when she worked as a nurse... I never married and never had children... she was the best mom ever... now I am going to see her dr on Monday and see what her doc says about palliative care to start then Hospice... It's killing me because I know the end is near and it will be so lonely when she's gone... but she's my best friend and mom and I must always do right by her as she has done by us when we were kids... facing it is so hard... I could cry... she told me she doesn't want to go back to the hospital... so I honor her wishes... I have no one but my cat when mom dies... my sister was the best person ever and she always helped me... it's been 4 years of hell without her... seeing mom decline and yes I'm an RN but when it's your own mom... it is so much different... Is there anyone else out there that had to make the decision alone and face your loved ones death alone? I'm afraid... I'm afraid of being alone and missing mom... but will be happy for her to be free of her torture... the decision is so hard for me to let her go. I'm sorry I'm selfish... but mom never was... thank you for listening.
Sorry to hear about everything you are going through. Life sure isn't easy. You have done everything and more for your mom. I know we all wish we had more supports during this difficult time. But please know in your heart you have done the right thing.
But please do interview and research; I'm doing this now and have eliminated a few palliative care agencies/companies. One was eliminated b/c it only provides telephone support on a limited basis. I eliminated another which can't guarantee that the same staff will be assigned. Assignments are chosen the night before a shift, so whoever is available might come.
I had an agency that did this; I let them go after 10 days. Different nurses and therapists every visit just wasn't good planning; it creates too much confusion and uncertainty for the family.
(Since palliative care is somewhat new, having become an interim step before hospice care, not all companies have thoroughly worked out their programs.)
What you can do now is to cherish your mother by doing the best you can in finding support for her, and know that you're helping and supporting her at probably the most critical time of her life. This is not an easy task; it's demanding, but eventually you will have the comfort of knowing that you helped guide her through the murky and sometimes turbulent end of life waters.
I won't deny that I'm uncomfortable facing the days ahead, but try to divert anxiety into action by planning more positive activities for both of us, and knowing that my being there will be critical to an end to life in which my parent and I take the journey together as far as we can.
Please, do not be alone while your mom is in that final week or two. Having the physical and emotional support is the best thing you can do for yourself and mom
You will know. The hospice nurse told me this. When the downward changes are noticeable from one month to the next, the time remaining is months. When the changes become apparent from one week to the next, the time left is weeks. But, when that downward trend is clear from one day to the next....know there is only days left.
Do not do those final days alone. This is hard enough without being alone too. Sure, the hospice nurse will come round everyday toward the end....but..only an hour or so. You will be expected to call them after your mom has passed. Be kind to yourself...don't be all alone at the end.