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I don't know where to start. A little over a year ago my father (83) was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. In the last few months he has really started to decline. My mom, (65) is his primary caregiver. She is very overwhelmed. My father is now bedridden, he is at home right now a nurse comes in 2 times a week and he used to have an aide that came in 2 times a week but for some ungodly reason the nurse cancelled one of the days. Why would she do that? I'm dumbfounded. Especially when the social worker just told my mom she was going to up the aide to 3 times a week.
My father has recently started with Sundowners ( he is good all day long until the sun goes down then it is like a lightswitch).
I love my parents with all my heart, and would do anything I could for them. I feel horrible for my mom who is nearing her wits end. She feels like she will be failing my father if she "puts him in that place" (hospice facility).
I know there is something called respite care where they take him for 5 days so she can get some rest. Has anyone done this? I know she is afraid that if she lets him go, and he passes away she will feel like a failure. And she doesn't deserve to beat herself up.
I am there for her for whatever she needs. I just don't want her beating herself up on any decision she makes.

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I just read this thread while looking for Hospice care on here. So sorry Amy. I have my husband in a hospice facility and like your mother, I tried to take care of him at home but it was more than I could handle and felt inadequate although having nurses, aides, etc. come in. The bulk of the care fell on the caregiver I was glad when the Dr recommended Hospice and he is now being well care for and is very comfortable while going through the dying process. It is heartbreaking to watch this happend to someone you love...but easier to do it in a facility than at home (for me).
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Amy, I am sorry for your loss. I lost my dad to lung cancer too...sending you and your mom and family thoughts of peace and comfort.
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Amy, I'm so sorry for your loss. It was so kind of you to come back and post so we know how this worked out. Be kind to yourself, and hugs to your mom.
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I want to thank everyone for your answers. I wanted to let you all know my father passed away last Sunday. It was bittersweet. Hes no long fighting but i will miss him so much. My heart is broken. But i will survive.
My mom is doing ok. She lost her husband of 43 years. She has a great support system with family and friends.
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AmyatWI, reassure your mother that she did all any one person can do. It really does take a TEAM of nurses and aides to care for a patient. He will be much more comfortable and she can get a decent night's sleep. If she needs anti-anxiety meds, be sure she gets them.
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I got her to agree. Hes in acute hospice care. My mom is distraught but i think this is the best thing for everyone.
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Nurse's aide.
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Call the hospice social worker. Tell the hospice sw that your mom has a serious case of burnout. Find out how often the aide can come and find out about respite.

look, not even a young, trained , energetic nurses side can take care of a terminally ill bed ridden patient 24/7. sounds as though your mom is beyond the "exhaustion " phase and into the "unreality" phase. Please get her some help very soon.
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Even with nurses and aides the majority of the care for any one in home hospice falls to the family, in your case your Mom. That is a heavy burden to place on anyone, not just physically but emotionally, because it can be so hard to know if you are doing the right things. My own plan is to keep my mother at home with me, but I have a back up plan too in case I find it too overwhelming. Encourage your mother to confide her fears and wishes to you, and then support her, even if it means placing him in a hospice facility. I think once they reach that point where they don't really know where they are or what is going on around them then as long as they are safe and cared for it doesn't matter where they are.
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AmyatWI, so sorry to read about your Dad. Even with respite care, your Mom will be overwhelmed all over again once your Dad is back at home. Is your Dad able to communicate what he feels regarding having your Mom be his prime caregiver or would he want to move into a hospice facility?

I think if it was me who was in hospice care, move me to the facility so I could have 24 hour care by people who are trained in hospice care, to give my family a rest.

Otherwise, if your parents can afford to do this, have a paid caregiver from an agency come in to help out for a few hours a day. Ask for someone who is familiar to helping with hospice care. That caregiver can do the heavy work since your Dad is bedridden. The cost will be well worth it.

As for your Mom, she comes from a belief that her "job" was to keep her husband happy and healthy. And if the husband becomes ill, the wife would feel she didn't do her job correctly. My Mom was like that, I remember when my Dad had a heart attack, Mom refused to believe that because what would the relatives and neighbors think? Oh good heavens, why would they think it was "her fault"? We couldn't convince her otherwise.
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I'm sorry he is in home hospice right now.

I think right now her issue is that she feels like she can't do this anymore. He has been in home hospice for about a month but even before that he has needed help with everything.
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I'm a little confused. With all the caregiving being done, nurse, social worker, AIDS. It almost sounds like a hospice schedule. If not it sounds like he is close to needing hospice. Is this being recommended?

Your mom needs to understand that dads comfort should come first before her own sadness or guilt. If he is suffering and it's clear the end is in site he needs to end his days in comfort and with dignity. Talk to your mom about how she would want to be treated at the end of her life.
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