Follow
Share

I'm helping my parents care for my 91 year old grandmother and it's been a difficult journey over the last year. Just recently she's lost her ability to walk, pick up things and move for the most part. Over the past few days, she's slouching forward and no longer sitting up without help, so today she's become bedridden and the hospice nurses have started morphine to help her constant pain from her bones. In anyone's experience, is there anything I can do to help? I know it's hard on my parents and I can't do much for them or my grandma, but is there anything I could do to help them through this? At this point is she nearing the end of her life?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Midkid58: Here's how it might be playing out in your husband's mind--he's aging as we all are and perhaps his perspective on his uncle has changed. He realizes that his uncle in the bed will be him one day. I'm just taking a guess here and perhaps he is too prideful to say he was wrong with his relationship with his uncle in the past. He is moving forward.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My husband's uncle is now on morphine and is slowly dying. I find it a little ironic and a lot sad that my hubby basically ignored this man for the last 40 years, and since he has been in a NH, has been to see him 4 times. He told me today he's going to be "devastated" when he dies. Seriously? He has no relationship with this man! I met him once, 30+ years ago, and hubby expects me to change travel plans to visit a daughter if the uncle should pass and the funeral be held when we would be out of town. No way. I will pay my respects to his kids (I know one of them) and go to visit my daughter. I asked how his uncle looked and he was so upset he couldn't talk about it. I guess he really just has a few days left. Sad that we wait until someone is dying to "remember" them.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

She most likely is on Pallative Care (that keeps her not free of pain, but the closest thing to it). Stay close to grandma.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Yes I believe your grandmother's life is coming close to its end. I just went through all this last week with my mother who passed peacefully with family present. She was in the care of hospice and started on morphine the night before. She lapsed into a coma for several hours and peacefully slipped away. The best gift you can do for her is to stay with her. Let her know you will not leave her and that someone will be with her and she will not be alone. This will bring her much comfort even when on the morphine. Hearing is the last to go so even though she may not respond, she will hear you up to the end. You will not need to have a medical background to know that she is actively dying and Hospice (medical Angels) will help guide you through it all.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Went through this with my mom six months ago. She was pretty good, sitting in a wheelchair, until she fell and broke her pelvis in three places. After that she was bedridden and on morphine for the pain. She was pretty much out of it, and I spent most visits just sitting watching her sleep. I wanted to do more, but she was deaf, couldn't hear me, so I held her hand. The last day, I visited I knew the time was near and she passed quietly in the night. She had lived two months, but the decline was visible day to day. With the morphine, she did not suffer and the aids in the NH were kind.
What you can do is keep her comfortable. Make sure she gets some fluids so her mouth doesn't get dry, use a wet sponge if she won't drink. Hold her hand, play music, tell her you love her, read to her if she can hear, stroke her cheek. She will probably stop eating and drinking. Don't try to force her - its the body's way of shutting down slowly and painlessly.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

So much experience with the above posters! I too found the death experience with my 2 parents, calm, emotional and beautiful. In both cases, my 5 siblings and I were able to be there as the took their last breaths, so expertly managed by the health care team, no apparent pain, simply slowing down and going to forever sleep. I know that it isn't always this way, but thankfully it was for us. In the end, and for our families dynamics. They brought each of us into to the world, and they gave us the privilege to see them out of this world. Beautiful.

Follow the experts advice, allow Grandma to have as much Morphine that makes her comfortable per their orders, even if it means that she is unconscious, carefully reposition her frail body every 2 hours, and keep her mouth moist with the lubricating spongettes. She will decline food and water slowly, as her body can no longer process it, and continue to speak to her, give her love, rubbing her legs, arms and shoulders, but mostly, understand that this is the very normal part of life, cherish it, cherish her, and give her a calm and respectful space in the manner in which she chooses to pass, it may be with loved ones near, or maybe alone, and that is her choice. Let her go in peace.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

One thing you can do to help your parents, is to make sure they get healthy food, and some sleep. I was with my mom almost continually until her death. After sleeping in chair for a week, eating from vending machines or McDonalds, I was about dead myself! My dad and husband insisted we set up a schedule whereby I got away for 12 hours, and others took over the 12 hours I was gone (sleeping and otherwise refreshing myself). This helped me regain some perspective, and I was then in better shape to handle the funeral. Support the caregivers in basic ways, and gently suggest they take a long break from the dying person.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Agree with all above, help keep it quiet and peaceful. This is NOT the time for family drama, should there be any...just quiet and let the patient guide you as you watch their progression. Once urine output ends, and the extremities become cold and gray, due to the circulation being "pulled inward" to keep the heart and brain and lungs functioning, the end is very near. Morphine makes it easier for everyone. Daddy passed between one breath and the next, surrounded by his family. It was quite beautiful.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

My Mom just passed in August and this sounds like what she went through as well. I had no help, except for Hospice coming a couple of times a week. I don't know how old you are but if you are able, get in there and help change her diapers, wash her face, brush her hair, give her hugs and just love her. There isn't much time left for her on Earth.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Yes LittleAngel all the advice given covers the question asked. Your presence with Your dear Grandmother, to hold Her hand and listen to what She says would be great. To give Your Grandma hugs and to tell Her You Love Her. If She's able to talk as questions of Her youth, growing up and going to school, and about Your Grandmas Parents Your Great Grand Parents. You would be amazed at the older Generation the great history and knowledge they posess. Comfort Your Parents too as this is a very tough time for Them. Bless You all.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Lot of good advice given above. The main thing is to make sure Grandma is comfortable. Since she is bedridden it is important to re-position her every couple of hours, if someone is there who has experience with this especially if Grandma has brittle bones.

Grandma may want to stop eating, allow her that wish. That means the stomach is unable to process food and if food is given it would be very uncomfortable for her. If Grandma wants water, that is ok with tiny sips unless she aspirates the water [going down the wind pipe].

Holding her hand, stroking her hair, lavender lotion on her arms and legs [my Dad's caregiver did that for my Dad in his final days]. Grandma may eventually go into a coma like state, don't be afraid to talk to her as it's my understand the person is still able to hear as when they lose their other senses, it makes the hearing stronger.

Don't be surprised if Grandma passes when there is no one in the room... some people prefer to pass without an audience. Others want people around. We never know what they prefer. So don't feel guilty if you weren't in the room.... my Dad did that as I felt he didn't want me to witness his transition.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Never give up which is what life is about.You are already giving the greatest gift you can give ypur grandmother by just being there.I assume you dont have brothers sisters as you did not mention them,if you do have any shame on them for not being there also.iI cry every night over my Mom pasding at 89 from a urinary infection and the Cipro the doctor gave hee for it which blew out hwr kidneys.God Bless You and the kindness you have shown.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

You can listen to their feelings without judgments. When osteoporosis (brittle bones) becomes so severe like you have described, the bones will compress her organs making it difficult to breathe. Morphine is given, but there is little that can be done given her prognosis. Yes, the end is near.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Your presence is the greatest gift you can give your parents and your grandmother.The moment of death is actually very beautiful and your loved one
will hopefully just slip away very peacefully.It is very sad;but beautiful. It is a paradox. I have lost all fear of death as I watched my husband of 55 years leave this earth and transition over to the other side. I am praying for you.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Good answers above. I agree she is near the end. I think it is OK to offer easily digestible broths and the like but don't insist. If she isn't drinking much I would suggest mouth care for comfort. Hospice nurses are usually good about this stuff. Just being there is hugely important. Sometimes quiet, sometimes talking about past good times, playing her favourite music etc. Also for your parents it is hugely helpful if you take over the day to day running of the house. They may want to do some of it as busywork but if they don't have to it gives them a choice. Try to keep things somewhat normal. It is a huge strain on the emotions sitting and watching someone die but can also be very comforting especially afterwards when the general atmosphere has been peaceful but normal. A "good death" can be a lovely thing. After all we do all have to go sometime. It brings a great deal of comfort to us left behind to know it was good.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Just buried my 86 year old husband of 55 years who 17 years ago had prostate cancer and this year it came back into the bones. Much pain, but he continued moving and walking until a week before he died. Hospice at Home was wonderful and provided the morphine needed. He never asked for it, but I knew when he needed it. The hospice nurse explained it like this: A baby knows how to be born - it turns its body in the down position for birth and this alerts the mother that the time is near. A body knows how to die and prepares itself for that. The rule of sevens is that the person will not need food or even water because they are not hungry or even thirsty. We must allow the body to do what it knows to do. After 7 days it will have shut down and dies quietly. The morphine and other drug given by mouth will stop the death rattle which can be devastating to the family but will ease the noisy breathing. I don't mean to scare you or sound crude because it was a beautiful transition for my husband as our huge family surrounded him, singing softly, massaging his feet and body with lavender oil and speaking to him loving words which I know he heard. May you find comfort in knowing someone is praying for you and your family.
Helpful Answer (13)
Report

She is very near to passing on. Hold her hand, sing her favorite songs. Play her favorite music. If she asks for more morphine, let her have it.
For your parents, make a poster with family photos that include grandma in happier times.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.