I took care of my Mom for 5 years after my Dad died...numerous hospitalizations, rehabs, etc...there 24/7. She moved in with me 3 years ago- but the hospitalizations continued as her chronic illnesses worsened - CHF, osteoporosis, liver failure, stroke/heart attack, left side paralysis, etc. After her last hospitalization, she was too weak to come home and SNF discharged her after she maxed out of PT/OT...she was a two person assist, 24/7 care, and still wanted to try PT/OT to get back to a one person assist...then she said she would come home. I got her into a wonderful Restorative Care Assisted Living on a month by month basis. She enjoyed the company of the other ladies, and loved her therapists, and most of her caregivers...her progress was up/down - and I kept encouraging her. I asked her to come home when COVID hit, as I knew she would not do well in quarantine, but she did not want to - wanted to finish her therapy..said she would talk to me about it once that was done.
She developed autoimmune hepatitis and was hospitalized 2.5 weeks ago as her pancreas, liver, etc. were failing. She refused and feeding tube and the doctors said she was too weak for steroids. For the 3rd and final time, she told me she was ready to go - was in pain and to please let her be with my Dad. We did hospice at the hospital and I was with her 24/7 her last week until she passed. I know I did many things right and was a devoted daughter and advocate, handling all her needs these last years, but I can't process of guilt I have for not realizing she was terminal, and not MAKING her come home to be with me in her final weeks. I begged her during COVID lockdown, but now in hindsight, I know her refusal was to spare me the pain of her final weeks... I did not know her death was imminent, and being with her her last week and a half in hospice is little consolation knowing that I urged her to stay in restorative care a few extra weeks...How do I ever forgive myself for my lack of awareness and denial of the severity of her condition?