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My mom has recently qualified for hospice. She has vascular dementia and COPD. I notice often she seems to be staring up--when nothing is there. Is this a sign of end of life symptoms?

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Yes, I understand. My husband who died in November, stared at the ceiling a lot. He only answered everything with...yeah. I called this the "Raymond" syndrome after the man in "Rainman". He also saw many people and I often had "six or more guests" for dinner. He was pleased....I never saw them. TV frustrated him as he thought they were visiting him and he wanted me to feed them. The last four days, he didn't do anything except struggle to breath. I miss him terribly. I had him in our living room in a hospital bed for nine months, but wouldn't change a thing. I had my pastor tell him that he was dying as he didn't know it. He just took Bob's hand and said...I envy you...you are going to see the face of Jesus. Then Bob smiled the only smile I had seen in months...his face beamed and we sang two hymns to him. After the prayer, he let go of the pastor's hand and went back to staring. Precious moments. Grab them as you can. God bless you and give you strength. Hugs.
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Hospice told me that at the end people will often see and speak with deceased loved ones. I said, "That's so beautiful." Weird reaction, I guess, since most people find it frightening. I think they are glimpsing over to the other side.
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Hi Frances. I don't know that I can answer your question, but it made me think of my experience with my mother when she died. My brother and I were both there with her. She had been pretty much unconscious for the past week or so. But just before she died, she opened her eyes and I could tell she was aware. She stared straight up, I don't know at what, but I could tell she was conscious and alert for the first time in days. I will never forget it and I cherish it because it gave us a chance to say goodbye to her and know that she heard us. I believe it was a Godsend, a gift to us, that God allowed us that moment before she left. Does your mother seem to be aware? Do you speak to her?
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My dad and grandmother stared into space and would smile and wave at the wall. I believe it is God's way of comforting them in their last days.
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There is a book called Final Gifts - it was written by two long time hospice nurses who noticed several common behaviors and thoughts among people during the final stage of life. I was given a copy by one of the people on my dads hospice team. I was too exhausted and distracted to look at it during my dads final few weeks but did glance through it after dad passed on. I was surprised that several things that my dad had been experiencing were described in the book. The one that struck me the most was that in my dads last few weeks he was convinced he was going on a ski trip - dad was an advid life- long skier snd mountaineer. Dad was often adgetated that her needed to finish packing and/or he couldn't find his car keys. The book described this phenomenon in amazingly accurate terms. I wish I had kept the book but after dad passed I was anxious to be rid of anything that reminded me of daddy's suffring and threw the book out. I m planning to get another copy before it's my moms time. God bless.
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My mom spoke to family members who had passed on in her final days before slipping into a coma four days before going on to her glory. She had told me and my sister she would be leaving on Thursday.....starting at midnight on Wednesday a took a chair and sat next to her. At 5:20 Thursday morning she slowly lifted her hand up and then closed it as if taking someone's hand. She ever so gently brought it back down to her chest and breathed one last time. I believe my dad or someone she loved just as much, perhaps even Jesus, took her by the hand and helped her into heaven. It was very peaceful and I feel honored to have been with her at her passing.
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Some of these answers brought back memories of Bob. Toward the end of his life, he was obsessed with his car keys. Then he wanted to know why the train on which he was riding was so rough...and also why he was lying down. I told him that our son-in-law had gotten him an upgrade to a sleeper. He wanted to know if I had one also. I said yes. He asked how he would know when to get off. I said...when I saw my aunt and uncle...I got off. When you see your Mom and Dad and Gramma, it is time to get off. He asked if I was getting off with him. I said, no, I am going on, but I will catch up with you. Then he asked if he would walk off the train. This was hard for me since he had been paralyzed for nine months. I said, Yes...you will walk off the train. Then I went in the bedroom and cried. These are moments that you cherish, especially if you remember that you have them with you in your home to see and hear them. God bless you and give you an extra measure of strength. Nancy
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Yes, my wife stares. She is in end stages of FTD. I have her at home and I put on fun movies, cooking shows and older sitcoms. She stares at the TV all day. She will look at people if you stand in front of her. She still smiles back at you.
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I have noticed too that My Mother dreams an awful lot. When I ask was it a pleasant dream Mom? Mother tells Me that She was dreaming of xy and z. People Who She was very close to but Who died some years ago. I came to the conclusion that People Who are approaching the end of Their Lives can connect with Those They love on the other side.
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My grandmother saw my dad and aunt about two weeks before she died. My dad died ten years before she did and my aunt nineteen years before. She had a conversation with my dad and it was comforting to her. She did not have dementia. From what I've been reading on here, it's quite common for dying people to see deceased loved ones.
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