Alzheimer's mother age 93; how long can this last?

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My mother is in the final stage of alzheimer. She is in wheelchair, sleeps all the time, has to be fed and does not respond verbally or with facial recognition. She has lost a lot of weight and is on hospice for 10 months. How long can this last???

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My Mom had Dementia. Her decline started 2 wks before her passing. First came high anxiety. Meds for that to calm her. For a day or two they had a hard time getting her up. She closed her eyes and never opened them again. She was responsive. They allowed her to stay in bed. I got a call telling me they wanted to send her to the hospital because she wasn't swallowing. I told them no, att this point she didn't need to be poked and prodded. Hospice was called in and she passed a week later. In that time she lost a lot of weight. It gets to a point food does not help because it no longer gets absorbed. The body is shutting down. Talk to the nurse to see what she thinks.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Madtoe Oct 11, 2018
This’s exactly what happened to my dad right after I found out that he had invasive lungs cancer. He was 90.
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I’m so sorry you have to witness your mother's decline. The first rule about Alzheimer’s is that there are no rules. No one can predict when someone will die. What does hospice say? The last time I saw my mother, 3 of us couldn’t wake her. That was on a Thursday and she passed the following Tuesday. But my mother-in-law was in that state for the better part of 6 months. Rely on what Hospice says.
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My husband was diagnosed 11yrs ago w long life in family. I asked w family long life how long can it last.? Neurologist said I hope you have lots of .money. He is not incontinent, eats well, walks slower. Awake 7 hrs a day & 30 sec memory. When awake does jigsaw puzzles & dot to dot. I still wonder how long. I have heard some hang on until you give them permission to pass on. My sister in laws hubby said to wife let me go. She told she’d be ok. Then he was gone.
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Maybe, subconsciously, she needs your permission to let go and you will be fine. Tell her that you love her (if you do). Perhaps, that’s all she needs right now. Ask the hospice. They will talk you through about the stages of dying process
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I know this must be so hard for you. It sounds like you have done all that you can. Her condition sounds a lot like my LO too, except for the age. I'm relying on what Hospice reps tell me. I'm prepared for anything.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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If she has to be fed....balance quality of life with comfort. Is it time to stop feeding? Although that's a hard way to go. It should be under lots of painkiller, but the US is leery of that sometimes. I wouldn't want to live like that.
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msbaldi Oct 11, 2018
she is in a facility
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How awful for you to see her with no quality of life.
are medications keeping her alive? Once she stops eating and drinking, it doesn’t take long. Heart meds can prolong life.
No one knows for certain when the “time comes”- but I know one thing for sure- I think we take better care of our pets’ end-of-life comfort. We allow them to go in peace and comfort, yet we prolong the inevitable, and watch in horror as our loved ones suffer. (I understand completely why we cannot decide that though!)
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Anniepeepie Oct 16, 2018
Isn't that the truth.! I am so exhausted emotionally and spiritually and physically from watching my mothers prolonged life. It is horrible to watch and endure alongside!
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Once someone can no longer eat or drink, or doesn't want to, they will usually enter into a coma within a week.....unless they have a lot of adipose tissue to live off of. That's the way it was with both my mother and my husband, and I hope it will be with me. However, I seem to be disgustingly healthy at 81 except for gluten sensitivity. I have stopped taking "life extenders" like statins or blood pressure drugs because I believe I have lived long enough. I still travel and enjoy life, but I don't want to extend it any longer than necessary. I'd like to leave something financial to kids and grandkids, not have it go for LTC to someone who doesn't know what is going on.
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CaregiverL Oct 11, 2018
That’s such a smart attitude! Did you have to get your wishes in writing & witnessed?
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My mom was diagnosed 10 years ago, at the age of 71 with AD. She has been in LTC for 5 years and on hospice for 8 months now, losing weight and declining. Yet in the last 2 weeks she has become slightly verbal again with appropriate responses! I too am thinking ‘how long?’ I worked in a LTC years ago and I remember people in my mom’s present state the 2 years I was there. I am hoping it does not last much longer, but bracing myself for the long run.
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Reply to fantasmagorical
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This could be my mom's story. She struggled with dementia for 12 years. Was in a facility for 8. She was on and off hospice for 2 years. The last year was the worst with her decline. HAVING to be fed, non verbal, no expression except for the few times I want to believe she recognized me. She had 3 seizures in that year. Had never had a seizure in her life but I'm told and have read that sometimes the brain does this at this stage. Sometimes they seem to rally for a few days before everything starts to go. I also would rely on hospice. They are experts at knowing when and how the body breaks down. One of the few times in 8 years my husband and I went out of town for an overnight trip to see friends, I got the call she had passed within a 3 hour window. We hadn't been there more than 8 hours. I believe she had a seizure at night and aspirated. They said heart and who knows. I am glad I told her I loved her before I left and I know there's not one thing I could have done but still feel a little guilty I wasn't there. Anyway, I'm so sorry that you and your mom are having to go through this. I prayed everyday that my mom didn't know a thing. I just hated seeing her like that. Good luck to you and may God Bless you both.
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CaregiverL Oct 11, 2018
She waited till you left to pass. I remember when my Father was very sick & in hospital....my Mother & I were there & we didn’t even get home yet...& he passed...like he waited till we left...btw hospital very near to house
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