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I understand the significance of kidney infections with regard to dementia, but she's already in the later stages. Why are we continuing to fight an infection when her quality of life is already so poor, and seemingly non~existent? She sleeps 22 hours a day, eats, pees, and poops. Never smiles, doesn't seem to understand anything anymore. I know it sounds terrible, but why not let the damn kidney infection do its thing and bring her some peace? why keep dumping antibiotics into a system that's probably trying to die on its own? (And boy do i feel guilty about this question!)

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Thanks so much to sonswife and vw9729 for your incredibly helpful answers. I didn't have a chance to read them until today, and it was SUCH A RELIEF to find out that not only am I NOT ALONE in this problem, but that other people have experienced it also and have come to the same conclusion that I have. The biggest problem though is that my brother has all the legal power that can be given to another person, and I already do know that she is against DNR, though he hasn't supplied me with any of the paperwork. He lives in another state and she was living with him until I went up there to help and found out how horrendous the situation was (boy, is APS wimpy in some parts of the country!) and so I 'rescued' her, to bring her down here to live with me in my tiny apt. My brother and I are barely getting along now, he's acting like Mr. Boss Man about everything ~ as i said hasn't supplied me with any of the important legal documents & isn't even sending me her entire SS amount for her care with me! But he's the POA BIG BOSS MAN and is acting like he's been given carte blanche by the universe to do whatever the h-ll he wants! I've gone to an attorney who hasn't done anything, and it's been 2 weeks! Maybe I need a new lawyer! Since she has dementia I'm pretty sure it's too late & that nothing can be changed now, legally, and the more time that goes by, will only make it worse. I know that's what my brother is 'banking on', to make sure nothing can be changed and he can get away with whatever he wants. He's also the executor of my mother's fairly large estate, and so I'm sure he's going to "punish" me for being assertive and getting a lawyer. What a messed up loophole in the elder/legal system there is for those who are sneaky, devious, weasels, as I now can see clearly he is. My mother trusted him implicitly, and now he's screwing her totally! I know this might sound like two separate issues/questions (sorry!), but they are connected ~ even though I'm now her primary caretaker, there's nothing I'm able to do legally regarding any health decisions! In the meantime, I'm watching her suffer from constant uti's, wondering why her life is going this way. (Also, I had been told that hospice was only for people who have been diagnosed with 6 months or less to live - no one has said that about my mom.)
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I strongly suggest you talk to her doctor and get her on hospice. My mother-in-law had constant UTIs before and after she had Dementia. They eventually became more frequent, and it was decided to place her on hospice and not treat her UTI again. It's sad but necessary, as I feel you're right - her body is trying to shut down. And please don't feel guilty about your question - that's what this forum is about - we've all either been there or are going to be there and we need to talk about things that we cannot talk to other people with because they haven't experienced it yet. But getting her on hospice will ensure she will not needlessly suffer from any pain until she passes. My sympathies are with you during this difficult time.
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Rosebud58, please don't feel guilty. I had a similar situation with my father. He had to have a catheter placed because he couldn't urinate. I knew it was only a matter of time before he got a UTI. His quality of life was similar to your mother's. His doctor and I talked about treating or not and decided it was kindest to keep him comfortable and let nature take its course. He died within 2 weeks. I had Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care so had the authority to makes that decision. I don't regret the decision. You can decide to stop treating or not treat the next one. Is her doctor accessible for a conversation with you?
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