84 yr old in hospital is getting better, now she told us to stop treatment/food. Could regain health, but wants to give up. What can we do?

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Receiving treatment for pneumonia, on dialysis, kidneys shut down, but could come back. Mentally is still sharp, but wants to give up. Says she is a burden. My brother is caregiver and does not see her as a burden, there every day to help with her care.

She could recover and go home and with physical therapy be in better shape then prior to hospitalization. She says she'll accept treatment one day, then she changes her mind. Without dialysis she will poison herself and not have her mental ability. We believe she can have a good worthwhile existence and she is instead choosing to die.

What can you say to someone in this situation. How do you cope with this decision?

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Of course she is a burden to you and herself but one you and your brother are happy to carry.
Tell her how much you love her and don't want to let her go, but do it with physical contact. Don't just sit in a chair or stand at the bedside. Sit beside her put your arms around and say it with true meaning.
This is a decision only she can make but now may not be the best time to make it. She is totally exhausted from being extremely ill in a hospital. little sleep, nauseated, hooked up to everything imaginable, a nurse fiddling with something all the time, having the dialysis, on and on. she just wants it to be OVER. the one thing she can control is stopping everything.
My approach and it is only MY thoughts on the subject is to buy some time. Ask her if she is prepared to stay the course until the pneumonia is better and come home but continue dialysis if necessary from home. This will be totally exhausting for everyone concerned and tell her she can stop at any time and you will have hospice come in then and expect her to pass within two weeks. She wont be inclined to eat much or drink so offer but don't push. try and get her to commit to a time frame and then make her decision. A month would be a good time but if she clearly is not making progress and I mean medically then let her go.it is the kindest thing to do and she will do it with her loved ones at her side. Blessings
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Frankly I don't see an analogous situation between the captain's situation as told and your Mother's as you have related the situation. You seem relatively certain that your Mother's condition will improve greatly at home and with physical therapy, and I feel like she needs and is asking for a ton of loving reassurance that she is not a burden to the family. Please between your loving and caring brother and yourself see that she is given that reassurance. My grandmother went through a great depression when she was diagnosed the second time with breast cancer at 81. She had a marvelous doctor and two loving daughters to help her through the surgery and the depression, and she lived a relatively healthy life, to the age of 100 years and five months. Your Mother can and will come through this trying time and will some day thank your brother and you for your love and commitment to her. May God bless you all.
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Well said, capn.
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my mom knew she was dying hours before hospice acknowleged it. there aint no reversing dying, let your mom give up when her misery outweighs her joy and hope.
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I understand her feelings. Dialysis reduces the quality of life so much. I don't know if I would opt to continue living if I knew I would have to be on the machines three days a week. Not much of a life if there is no hope for recovery or transplant. I would let her know how much she is loved and wanted, but respect her decision about whether to continue life as it is for her now. Pstiegman said it well -- dialysis is hell. She has been blessed to have such caring people around her.
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Your mother is scared. She obviously wants quality of life and is unsure with continued dialysis. Perhaps if she has a better understanding of her future with dialysis she can make a better informed decision. Whatever her choice, respect her wishes and make whatever time she has happy for her.
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If she is of sound mind and doesn't want to go on with treatment, I don't know that there's much you can do to change her mind. If she's making that decision because she doesn't want to go through treatment, that's one thing. If she wants to end treatment because she feels she's a burden (and you don't feel that way), then trying to get her to understand she's not is another thing. Does she have a minister who could speak with her, or a social worker or counselor? A lot of hospitals have pastoral care, see if one of those folks could talk to your mom.
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God bless you all.
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Dialysis is Hell. Support her decision, she is not the first patient wanting to stop it. Make her comfortable and tell her you love her, but don't try to talk her out of it.
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Wow. I don't have an answer for you, but I want to extend my sympathies for this very difficult situation you are in. There are probably no "right" answers. Do your best to live your own values.

The one thing I would try to convince her of is that she is not a burden to others, and that no one hopes she will be gone soon. Whatever decision she makes she makes for herself ... she cannot control how other people feel.

Is she depressed? Is she on medication for depression?

I am so sorry you are facing this situation.
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