How do you convince a parent to go to hospital when they are so afraid they won't ever come back home?

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It's so scary! Mom has to have a scope run the 23rd but she's to the point where she can't eat very well which means she's getting weaker and also she's down in her back. I'm here on my own so I have no help All I can do is make sure I stay with her when she's getting up to go to the restroom. But my problem is I work 2nd shift and she's home alone. Do I just make her go ?? Guess its just scary watching her waste away In front of me. Feeling soooo guilty! Any suggestions?

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Much depends on what quality of life your mother will have after this test. Will a diagnosis help her or just give the doctor information? It sounds to me that she may qualify for hospice care whether or not she has this test. I'd have a serious talk with the doctor about where this test will lead, the risks of sedation to do the test, and whether or not he or she feels that your mother has six months or less left to live regardless of the outcome of the test.

Your mother's concerns are legitimate. My dad went into the hospital and never got out except to go to a nursing home. Not too long after, my mother needed a colonoscopy for suspected cancer but she knew that even she could get through the tests she couldn't withstand the surgery. She declined and I told her that I'd do whatever she wanted. I feel that our elders have the right to make their own decisions on these matters unless dementia is advanced. Mom still lived many years so I feel she made the right decision.

It doesn’t sound as if your mother should be left alone. If in-home care is not an option, I'd look into a nursing home where you can be with her for a time each day when you're not working. When people need to work, which is most of us, we often have to make very hard choices about how best to care for a loved one whose health is failing. Extended families close by aren't an option for many, and even if they are, they, too, must work. A trained "stranger" is better than nobody.

I’d talk with the doctor about how your mother would benefit from the procedure. If the doctor feels that a diagnosis could truly help your mother live a better and perhaps longer life, then talk calmly with her, explain the facts and try to convince her. Otherwise, I’d look at comfort care.

These decisions are very, very hard, I know. Keeping your mother's overall wishes in the forefront can help.
Take care of yourself, too,
Carol
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Think this through yourself before you try to convince your mother of anything. I'm not commenting on the tests she has scheduled, you see; I'm wondering whether you have thought through:

what the tests are for
what treatment will be available for your mother following the tests
what the likely outcome would be.

Once you've thought about all of it, then rethink whether or not you agree that your mother should undergo this procedure. Quite apart from her being afraid that once she steps inside the hospital she'll never get out again, the tests themselves - I assume this is an endoscopy, is it? - are no fun.

But you also say she can't eat very well, and that she is getting weaker. In your place, I think I would call her main doctor and have a down to earth discussion about mother's options and prognosis. Are you able to take any compassionate leave from work?
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No she does not have to go, but she does have to choose between the hospital and hospice. Gently explain that to her, and support her decision.
Either way, she can not be left alone any more, unless you are willing to accept coming home to a deceased person.
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My Mother went into a hospital two and a half months ago with a broken hip. She died last Monday in a rehab hospital waiting for a nursing home placement. I have so much anger at how she was treated. But I am not opening that door. I am going to join an organisation that phones elderly people once a week. This way I will make a difference, as I can't fight the world wide trend of elder ----------? what ever word we want to put. Just stay vigilant of her treatment, and be there as much as you can. Beverley
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I would suggest getting hospice if she gets the test or not. Hospice workers will help her to process her fear and help you work through your worries. Hospice will help you work through many aspects of the situation with compassionate professionals.
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Thank you Carol for your validation. My mother's funeral is this afternoon. It rained all day yesterday, and I asked God if it would not rain today. I woke to a glorious day, and I felt like phoning my mother to wish her a happy birthday. And we are now going to celebrate her life. As she starts on another journey. I send love and warmth to all the adult children like me who struggle to care for their elderly relatives. And especially to the faithful members here who continue to read, answer and encourage everyone. Beverley.
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You don't say why she won't eat. If it is because of her condition that she is having an (either endoscopy or other procedure) try puddings and anything that she likes to keep her fed. It is getting close to the procedure, so keep her well hydrated with water, electrolyte drinks (like Propel) soups, etc. Most people have the fear of not returning from a hospital once entered, but it is common, so stop stressing about it. She won't die before the procedure and the doctors will find out what her issues are by doing the procedure. You might want to check into finding someone to stay with her while you work just in case she chokes. She will need supervision until you find out what is going on. Good luck!
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My mother did not want to have to go to the hospital because of circumstance with my father when he was in years before. The nurse explained we have much different rules now & what happened then could never happen now.
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Yes I agree with rest of people saying , I she wasting away either to hospital or hospice staff to work with her. Probably a feeding tube such as peg and get her to gastric doctor to this. There is medication to increase your appetite.
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What soft foods does you Mom like? Try different kinds: well-cooked vegetables, jello, pudding, in case she has difficulty swallowing. You did not mention her age. For example, my Mom was 92 two years ago when she was taking pain medications for an injured back. I provided ground meats with soft foods and managed on to help on my own (family willing to help lives out of state) for over a year until Mom fell again and had to finally go into assisted living.
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