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Thank you for your stories. I love my almost 100 year-old mother dearly, and see to her material needs as I can, but I could not lie next to her, or play scrabble, or reminisce with her, or massage her, now or when the time comes. You tender care givers of your dear ones are inspiring and make me envy your relationships with your parents. You should be proud of those relationships and let them give you comfort!
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Reply to Alderroost

I know what you mean. My father (now passed) used to say the same thing. Depending on your fathers beliefs, we would always tell our dad, "When God is ready he will be ready for you, but not yet". Does your dad like to look at pictures of birds, trains, anything that he used to be interested in? If so, find a book with pictures. Does he enjoy movies, I am sure they have "movie" time at the facility where he is at. I know most men don't enjoy bingo, where my dad was they played bingo a couple times a week. My dad didn't play but some people did. Winter is a bad time for alot of people as the days are shorter in daylight and cold/dreary. Maybe engage him in stuff that he remembers when he was little, how they lived, what he did for jobs, what kind of cars did they have, etc. I would talk or ask my dad about some of the cars they had, etc. (I did this when he got frustrated over something little). Just let him know that when the "higher power" is ready for him, it will then be time to go. Tell him that the "higher power" is getting things ready but he will have to be patient. I wish you luck. its hard to hear them talk like that but it is what they think about at times.
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Reply to wolflover451

I think we are always trying to find something that will "interest" a person of advanced age, but he expresses it well: "I'm not interested in this program". There is hardly anything "new" that interests a person who is ready to die. His life is all in the PAST and he knows it. So talk to him about his PAST.

What was your first job? What was your boss like? Where did you meet your wife? Where was your first home as a couple? Did you move often? What advice would you give to young people about marriage? Do you remember when Pearl Harbor was bombed? What Presidents do you remember best? What job did you enjoy most in your life (or dislike most) and why? How would you advise a person following your line of work? What advice would you give to parents in today's world? Where were you the day Kennedy was assassinated? Where were you when men first landed on the moon? What do you think about the space program? Its future? Where did you learn to use computers (if you did).

There is no end of questions to ask. Let him re-live for you what has been important to him. That's where his interests lie. Then the only thing you need to do is listen. You may have already heard his stories and opinions, but he won't mind repeating (if you can be patient enough to hear them again). There is nothing people enjoy more than talking about themselves. That doesn't change with age.
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Reply to Dosmo13

Your dad is 90 yrs old. Times have changed. His “good old days” were simpler, slower paced, more predictable. What he sees now in society doesn't interest him. There is nothing to look forward to for him. He's witnessed a lot in his 90 yrs and I'm sure he believes his was a life worth living. For him it's time to call it a day. He's ready to move on, you have to be ready for him to do that also.

Several others have mentioned reminiscing. That's a good idea. Talk to him about his past. Talk about his childhood, how he met your mother, page thru albums, if you have some, make your talks about him.
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Reply to sjplegacy

ask about hospice...

yup one doctor had it right... the right to die.... dr. K?
anyway, hone his wishes... keep him comfortable. My LO isn't moved out of her bed anymore. Everytime you touch her, it hurts... "ouch".. I barely put a finger on her knee. :(
At this point, I don't ask the caretakers to move her... it hurts her.. physically? not sure... but her first response is --- ouch... stop that.... so, it's okay... don't move her any more than is necessary...keep her clean, fed, and clean...
ever since she got the vaccine.. she is asleep every time I see her... she is asleep.. I don't want to wake her... I touch her knee when she is asleep... it doesn't hurt...
only when she is awake and she sees me touch her knee, it hurts :(
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Reply to MAYDAY

Our Mother probably felt the same way, but we couldn't understand her speech. She was actually waiting for us to tell her it was ok to die. As soon as we did . . Well, you know the rest. We were also of the mind if she wants cake - let her eat cake. I always had a candy in my hand when I visited, and she knew it. She checked out my hands every time. I'm sure you've been told that they usually remember the past. Mother had a lot of happy times traveling. When I talked about that stuff - she responded sometimes, and at the nursing home where I volunteered they loved music. We'd sing and then we'd laugh. Sometimes there is sadness with music. I'm sorry you're having such trouble. How old is he? Can you take him out in the car? Does he eat alone in his room? One suggestion - don't argue with him. I would always discuss Mom's grocery list with her. She'd look at me like she understood every word. Before I'd leave the facility, I'd give her a kiss to fold in her hand, in case she needed it for later. I never saw her open her hand after I put the kiss there.
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Reply to ilovemyson
FarFarAway Feb 25, 2021
That is the sweetest thing - giving her a kiss to hold on to for later. I will remember that.
The last year has seen many of us become depressed, more so than usual. While you’ve gotten a lot of feedback about right to die, etc. is it possible a mild antidepressant might actually improve his outlook? After my FIL died in 2012, my MIL said she was “ready to die,” which shocked and worried all of us. Today, at nearly 98, she will still say she is ready to join him, but also says she will make it to 100.
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Reply to VeronicaJo

When will people realize that older people feel this way - their lives are over and all those close are gone. They are lonely and filled with pain and can't do much. Instead of fighting the issue, consider it would be a kindness if he found peace. I am at this point now with all that is happening and I just want to be "understood" and not argued with. It is my life. Let him have peace by just listening and understanding. It would be the kindest thing you could do. Be there for him so he knows you love him.
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Reply to Rusty2166

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