My 89 year old mom is in hospital with uti on adivan, so sleeping, can't take meds, drink or eat, also has asperation pnemonia. On hospice she would not receive blood transfusions, etc. I feel she will go down fast. In the past 10 years as her 24/7 only caregiver I have nursed her back but with a health decline each time. I feel like I'm almost (putting her down) as you would your pet if i choose hospice. I know from past experience she will continue to get UTI's (aggrivating her dementia), antibiotics, then more transfusions due to the antibiotics dropping her blood count (which isn't reproducing on it's own). If the hospital treats her aggressively, they will have to give her adivan to keep her from ripping out IV's and disturbing other patients. I don't know what to do!

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In meshed, First thing did you & your Mom ever talk about what to do as she aged & got more I'll? If you did then you have your answer if not then you have a decision to make. My brother was 41 when he started hospice be caused of aspirated pneumonia, he was in the hospital almost two months they scraped his lungs twice loosing most of his left lung he lasted three years on hospice. What you need to think about is would your Mom be more comfortable at home it sounds like she's gone through plenty already If it was me I would bring her home. Let the doctor put her on hospice ( end of life care) no they won't medically treat her for the uti or aspiration but I know they will keep her comfortable and out of pain. It sounds like she needs that. Just remember when on hospice and she's going downhill don't panic, educate yourself about hospice I did. A couple of times the last 3 months with my brother I thought maybe if I take him to the hospital just one more time he'll get better but I knew better and I am thinking you know what to do. Take care.

I agree that it's a personal decision, but understand this. You are not "putting her down" so to speak.. If she can't eat or drink, she is already dying and unfortunately there is nothing you can do. I just went through the same thing with my mother-in-law. Her health declined, and she had no quality of life anymore. She actually "wanted" to die because of that. We fought a good fight as long as we could for her but eventually had to place her on hospice. It's very sad, but some people die quickly and some people die slowly. And hers was a slow death, but it was important to us to have her on hospice so she could die with as little pain as possible. She wasn't drugged where she didn't know what was going on. Just enough so she wasn't in constant pain. That's actually what the goal of hospice is - to help them be as comfortable as possible as they pass from what's already causing them to die. Not to give them drugs to die. I'm sorry for your mother and for you. It's very hard to be a caregiver and trying to do what's best for them is even harder to deal with sometime. Whatever you do, remind yourself that you're doing what's best for her because you love her and that's what she would want you to do. Good luck and lots of HUGS!

inmeshed, if you feel that putting your mother on hospice is "putting her down" like you might do for an animal, and that is wrong to do for people, then I encourage you not to do it. It is a very personal decision.

Do you happen to know what your mother's views on this matter are? Does she have an advance health care directive? Knowing and respecting her views can often help you deal with the real trauma of having to make a decision.

For example, I was with my mother (late 80s at the time) when her doctor told her she had an internal growth that could be explored with further tests and a treatment plan decided. My mother said, "I have lived a good long life. I am going to die of something, sometime. If it from cancer, soon, I'm ready. I would not go through treatment, so there is no reason for me to know any more about the growth." That gave me a very clear picture of my mother's attitude. I would not choose to put her through aggressive treatment against her will.

I knew my husband's attitude, too. I knew that his disease (Dementia with Lewy Bodies) was eventually terminal, if he didn't die from congestive heart failure first. As long as there was hope for continued quality of life, we went all out to pursue it. When it was clear he was in the final stage of the disease, I called in hospice. I have no regrets at all.

But as I say, it is a personal decision. If you know that your mother would want to fight every inch of the way with all the artillery medical science has, I hope you can see that that happens.

Warm hugs to you as you come to decisions.

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