My dad is 86. He was healthy and helping on the farm 2 years ago. He got one small thing after another and gradually went down hill in his walking skills. He now live in a group home next to his residence and my mother 82 and me and my sibling visit him daily. He has some sun downers but usually is pretty sharp. He asked me today to not to step in and I wasnt sure wha that meant but when going inside and talking to the caregiver I found he refused his medication. How can i support him as he makes this decision when I will miss him terrribly and it will be very difficult to watch him die as I know it isn't easy because it alsmost happen a few months ago after he was pourly treated in another home. Watching him not be able to drink and not eat was heartwrenching.

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Thank you all for your answers. I was worried that he would end up with more disabilties, like a stroke that leaves him unable to tell me his wishes. But I have found some peace in all of your answers, so thank you.
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You come to grips with the reality that some day (maybe soon) dad is going to die. That's the long and short of it. Your job isn't to focus on how you're going to cope when he's gone. Your most important job is to help him as best you can on his journey home.

Care givers are pretty darned good at cajoling their charges into taking their medication. I saw them in action when mom was in a nursing home for 2-1/2 months after she broke her hip. Unless dad can't swallow, odds are he'll start up his meds again.

But if he doesn't, try to understand that he may be done with this old world and ready for the next chapter. Hold tight, LoveMyFather. Sometimes we must truly love them enough to let them go...
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I agree with Jeanne that it is important to know if the medication has palliative benefits. What I didn't see in your question was whether you asked him why he is refusing medication.

You said that he's usually sharp, so I would expect that the question would give you reliable information. If he has made the decision not to prolong his life, this is the time to begin saying goodbyes, expressing gratitude, asking for forgiveness, etc.

In my hospice experience I've found that the initiation of these end of life discussions are not only important for the person who is preparing to die, but also for their family. I've written about these topics in the form of articles on my website

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What medications is your father refusing? That makes a huge difference here.

I take a lot of medications. If I stopped them all tomorrow it would NOT bring about my death, but I would gradually become miserable with symptoms.

If your father has made the decision that he doesn't want his life artificially extended, that is one thing. But to turn down relief of symptoms is something else.

If it were my loved one, I'd want to know what the consequences of stopping each drug was and to explain it in terms he could understand. Perhaps going over each med with a doctor and deciding which ones he could drop without impacting his quality of life would be a good idea.

I think that Dad is entitled to make his own decisions, but they should be informed decisions. Many times pills are really keeping us alive -- they are just keeping us comfortable.
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