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Hello. My mom is 93 with Alz and lives in a wonderful board and care facility. She is on hospice. Has been there for almost a year. Due to her agitated behavior, hospice is constantly changing her meds on almost a monthly basis. Physically there is nothing wrong with her. She is heavily medicated most of the time. Hospice has expressed surprise at the amount of meds it takes to “control” her behavior. As she has always been difficult and demanding, I do not blame the caregivers for asking hospice to medicate her into calmness (often stupor). I am so grateful for her care because I could never handle her at home. However, sometimes I wonder if she is so heavily medicated that she can’t mentally progress to the final stages of her life. I know she would hate living this way. Is it possible the meds are keeping her so blotto that she can’t even form the will to “let go”? Oh, her one pleasure is eating which she does with gusto for the three nice meals a day they provide for her. Thanks everybody me for your input.

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Why do you think she is "ready to go" or "wants to go". Has she expressed this? Because it is unusual to eat with gusto in one who wants to go. No, the medications are not going to make any difference in this. Being "ready to go" doesn't kill us, unfortunately. As a nurse that is the one thing here I can promise you, for I have seen patients not only "ready to go" but begging, literally BEGGING to be put out of their misery. Our wishes about going and not going to do not figure in this. Only our heart, lungs, kidneys, etc have that power. And I am sorry, but we cannot shut them down by our will. I am so sorry for you both going through this.
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Centone Oct 8, 2019
Thank you so much! I think she's "ready to go" because she is so miserable and seemingly tortured a lot of the time, hence, the ever-increasing medication prescribing by hospice. But you're right. I don't really know. And thank you for clarifying regarding the still-present interest in eating. These two extremely helpful replies have caused me to realize that what I really need is acceptance of where she is on a daily basis. Yes, it's hard to see her suffer, but at least she's not in physical pain. And I am lucky for a wonderful hospice team that is trying to minimize her mental pain. This is a hard journey, for sure, but what I am learning is the difficult task of "letting go" and accepting the process. And most importantly, that I cannot help her. She often looks imploringly at me and asks to "go home," I know I can't care for her many needs, and that I am extremely lucky to (so far) have the means to keep her in a great board and care with wonderful caregivers. The guilt is what I fight most. And the powerlessness of not being able to help her and not being able to care for her myself. I also am learning that the very typical plea to "go home" can also mean her longing to go back to "that place" of sanity, where her brain works again--A place that is not so confusing and scary all the time. Prayers to all of you who are going through this. Thank you so much!
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Grandma1954, Thank you so much for your kind and instructive reply! I will definitely find that pamphlet. That all makes sense and makes me feel so much better. 🙏🙏🙏
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Medications like that will not "keep" your mom alive. They will make it easier for her to deal with anxiety, it will make it easier for the people that care for her to do their jobs well.
And if she is still eating with "gusto" she is not at "EOL" (end of life)
There is a real good pamphlet that you can read on line called Crossing the Creek. There is a great section that explains about sleeping and this might also apply to your mom. The gist is ..a lot of "stuff" is processed in the mind while sleeping and time is compressed so more can be done. (Just like our dreams a lot seems to happen when the reality is the dream is very short) It is possible that her "stupor" is her processing and resolving issues she may have.
Please have a look at the pamphlet, it does explain a lot and it does not take long to read.
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