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Dad is 94+, in declining health, stage 4 kidney failure, at a SNF after having his final/last ever surgery on his crumbling back/bones (severe osteoporosis) with nothing left except to keep him comfortable. He is fighting death, doesn't want to die, wants to continue with p/t fighting to be "normal". He's got dementia, looks terrible, has some difficulty with swallowing, loosing weight and very weak. I really don't know how much more this guy can stand or how much longer his body will hold on. I'm frustrated that he's going out slowly and it's difficult to watch him struggle to "keep going". What is he fighting death so much for? Why does he want to "live" like this? How do I rid my almost every waking hour thinking of him? Giving him a bit more time with p/t but really I'm ready to call in Hospice for his "failure to thrive". The nurses seem to be there with me. His quality of life, barely there. Me & my siblings are ready for him to die. Any advise? BTW this website is terrific - thanks much!! I'm currently in counseling. His prior doc's before moving him to where I live gave him +/- 2 years from May 2014. He's just so damn stubborn. Have requested ministers to see him even tho he doesn't want to talk with any. I feel exhausted. Mom passed back in March. Oh yeah, we're NOT close by any means. Thanks much.

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I don't know if there is a way to flush it from your mind for long. We can get busy doing other things and our mind is clear temporarily. But then we need to do something for them or we see how something needs to be clean and the thoughts return. I also have wondered how life goes on for such a long time after the quality of life is gone. Some people live for many years even when it looks like they are on the verge of death. It is very hard on the person and the people around them.
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Dear Friendly,

I'm so sorry to hear about everything you are going through with your dad. I know its not easy managing he care of an elderly parent. There is so much going on and I know its overwhelming. It sounds to me like your dad is afraid of death. And he does have a will to hang on and live even though it doesn't sound like his quality of life is very good. Its still his choice. I know its not easy to see our parents getting weak. Its frightening and hard to process. I think you are on the right path but getting a pastor or minister to speak with him. I feel he needs more support not less. Maybe try having a social worker? hospital staff? doctor? friend another family member? speak with him. What can be done to make him as comfortable as possible? And for yourself, try to get as much support as possible as well. Thinking of you.
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I am feeling your pain---you see them just fading away in front of you, hating life, yet not being ready to make that final transition. It DOES get to you!
My daddy did the same thing. He wasn't in his 90's--but it seemed his life went on forever after he felt he was contributing.
Sadly, all I can say is to continue with your therapy/counseling. It sounds like you have accepted the inevitable and are OK with his dying.
Hospice is wonderful, and when you get there, I highly recommend the service. It made dad's passing so much easier on him.
My take on this is that you are feeling a lot of guilt for NOT being close to him and now it is too late to make that any different. I think many of us are embarrassed to admit that we are not close to a parent and we don't weep and wail when they go. My hubby showed zero emotion when his dad died. He feels a lot of guilt because altho he loved him, they never had a great relationship, they never "talked" or became close. Now hubs has a lot of guilt--and he still won't talk about it. You're not alone and I, for one, wouldn't judge you for feeling "nothing".
How about a family meeting and a serious discussion about Hospice? If your dad is truly "failing to thrive"--a dr will evaluate and give you advice.
Good luck. I too, am kind of obsessive in my thinking, and almost always find that the person I am obsessing over isn't even thinking about me.
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