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I still have doubts that I did the right thing for my 94 year old mom who passed March 15, 2017. She went from living independently, pushing a grocery cart in December 2016, to assisted living on December 20, 2016, to the hospital for pneumonia and UTI on Jan 25, 2017, to another hospital because the first one didn't cure the Urinary Tract Infection, to a nursing home. The second day of the nursing home they tell me she needs to be in hospice. I agree. A few weeks later she passes. I wonder if I made the right decisions. I think I should have just let her live independently and then whatever happened would happen. But at least she would have been at home. She seemed to go downhill in the assisted living home. Perhaps she already had the UTI and pneumonia before assisted living. Or she could have picked it up at assisted living. She already had stage 3 renal failure and they told me in the nursing home she was in end stage renal failure. But I never asked to see the proof of that. I accepted their word. It didn't occur to me to double check with the doctor. I could see when I visited her which was daily in the hospital for over a month, and daily in the nursing home except for the last week or so, that she was going downhill. Only eating mechanically separated food for breakfast, dementia was getting worse, she was losing weight, all the signs pointed to her body declining. At the end she was pocketing the food in her mouth and couldn't swallow. But I wonder if I had put her on dialysis it might have saved her? I just have these doubts that I did the right thing and doubts about if the nursing home and hospital did their best in trying to save her. This is on my mind constantly. And I'm asking for my mothers forgiveness because I wonder if I messed up? Thanks

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Well thanks. All helpful answers. Still feeling guilty today. She had complained her upper chest hurt a few days before pneumonia/ hospital. It nevrr occured to me that it might be pneumonia. I told her to see the nurse but she didnt want to. If only i made her or took her to the hospital. I think she could have lived.
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Bloomschool, it's terribly easy to do this, and I think we all do it to some extent, but you may be looking through the wrong end of the telescope.

The timeline suggests that your mother went from fine to ALF to hospital to hospital, stepping down each time.

BUT. It is *much* more likely that some rapid increase in frailty, with who knows which of myriad possible triggers, led to her contracting pneumonia and the uti. It was the frailty that permitted the illness to get a foothold, not the illness that caused the frailty; and quite possibly the infections were around long before their symptoms became clear.

Similarly we so often think that people have a fall, are immobilised, and then stroke as a result. But in many many cases it's not so: first comes a stroke or a TIA, which causes the fall, which causes etc.

The root cause of all of these things is the body's reaching the end of its life, and its systems beginning to fail.

I'm sorry that you're wrestling with doubts about whether it would have been better to leave her in place. Two things about that:

1. Many people, when asked, when they are fit and well, say they would like to die at home. I don't have statistics and I'm only an amateur, but I personally know people - strong characters all - who had an abrupt change of heart when they reached end of life stages. Suddenly having lots of people around, and access to equipment, and a call button, looked a lot more attractive.

My mother did die at home, and it was peaceful, and it is what she said she wanted. But she's still dead. I'm not sure I'd miss her more or have even more regrets if I'd been with her in a hospital or nursing home instead. And besides, in the last 24-48 hours I'm not at all sure she knew or cared where she was. If you're about to rejoin the Almighty or the universe, does the address you set off from really matter that much to you?

2. You weren't expecting your mother to pass away. You hoped, and had reason to hope, that she would recover and do well. Sadly it wasn't to be, but how could you possibly be wrong to hope for this outcome? You moved her envisaging that she would have time being cared for and supported in a loving environment. That's not something you need regret, surely.
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As with most of life's challenges, bloomschool, there are no right or wrong answers and for much of the time, it will be the most difficult decisions you ever make. It is only natural you will question your decisions you made. You made the absolutely right choices for your mom. You wanted the best for her and chose with that objective in mind. There is nothing to forgive.
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When I made the decision to place my mother in a nursing home it was not what she wanted. However, what mom wanted was not realistic and certainly was not in her best interest medically, financially nor from a social standpoint- having people to interact with. Moms dementia had long since robbed my mother of the ability to be reasonable or to make rational decisions. I had the luxury of having my brother to confer with - he felt that the nh was the right choice even more strongly than I did.

Mom passed away this past August. I know in my heart and mind that I made the right choice for her. But as the previous reply said - its natural to replay and over think choices that were made afterwards.

Making tough and big decisions for others well being is hard. But ultimately the reason you - and me - were given the power to make these decisions was because we were trusted to act in the persons best interest - when they no longer could. You do the best you can at the time - and then learn to accept to leave in alone. There's no point in second guessing yourself now - unless there is something to be learned by it. But trying to second guess your choices by imagining a different path made on predicting potential - and honestly, unknown outcomes is pointless.
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So sorry for your loss. My father died in 2014 and I think that part of the grieving process is going over our decisions, sometimes over and over. Did I do the right thing? When all is clear and there are no more tough decisions to make, it is easy to second guess ourselves. In the midst of everything, I believe we do the best we can with the situation presented. You obviously loved your mom. I am sure she loved you too and would want you to know everything is ok. I promise, as time goes on, you will see that you did your best and that is all anyone can do. Blessings!
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You did the right thing.

You acted in love, for your mother's best interests, with the knowledge you had. What more could you have done?

Why do you think that the nursing home might have lied to you about end-stage renal failure? She already was in stage 3. Isn't the next stage the last one?

Your mother died of renal failure and its complications. She did not die because of any of your decisions. You do not need forgiveness, but I am sure that your mother would not want you to feel guilty for something that was out of your control.
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