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Me MIL went into palliative care this morning after eating and drinking very little the past two days. She is refusing food and water by mouth and they are not giving anything by IV other than some pain meds. They have stopped her blood pressure meds, coumadin, chemo meds for MM. How many days do you think she can survive like this?? It is excruciating to watch just a couple of hours! She has advanced dementia just since waking up this morning. Only yesterday it was just severe short term memory loss from the myeloma. Thank God though she doesn't seem to realize what is happening.

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Jilly, so sorry to read that your Mom-in-law has cancer, hopefully the nurses can make her comfortable. As for my Mom, she has high blood pressure but has had that for decades. She is almost deaf and unable to see very well, both of which can add to her confusion. Other than that, for her age she was doing well... except for her stubbornness of not accepting she was aging.

Yes, my Mom [97] will also try to get out of bed to go to the bathroom, too. The facility has place bumper guards on the side of the bed and fall mats next to the bed. Or they will put her in a Geri Recliner and move her next to the nursing station to watch her on those days she tries to get up. Mom will say "I've had enough of this" just out of the blue. Mom thinks Dad [94] is still working and going to meetings.

Anita, I agree with you, before we know it we will have a lot of people in their 100's, with their grown children in their 80's trying to take care of them. The body still works, but the mind has disappeared.
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My almost 93 yo MIL has lived with us for a year, during which her dementia has significantly worsened. She behaves like a 2 yo - on her best days. All I can say - and this isn't an answer for you Jill2015, is that my husband and I have vowed NEVER to go through this ourselves. When I see this coming I'll be taking a pill, and so will he. Our society has to change to allow people a legal choice in how and when they want to exit this life.

What is the point of keeping people with NO quality of life alive - other than making $$$$$$$$ for our profit-focused "healthcare system"? (Some of the best stocks are in "healthcare".) Having had over a dozen pets that I've had to "put down" - most when very old, but some with significant health issues, I can only say that we treat our animals better than our dying human elders.

It's really disgusting. Were there not so much $$$ to be made in keeping dying people alive, I do not believe that we would do it at the current rate. Profit (by hospitals, doctors, Big Pharma, NH owners) is going to be the main obstacle to changing this scenario. As a society we need to face reality: there is no cure for old age, and nobody gets out alive.
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Her cancer is advanced so that in itself is a severe detriment. Good grief 5 weeks?? My MIL wont take crushed pills. She is terribly picky! She hasnt moved her legs yet but she counts...147, 163, "I need to do something", " I really hate that", "I hate that too" in a tiny voice with a far away look in milky eyes. She plucks at her clothes and pushes your hands away when you try to hold her hand and yes she was thrashing her legs around today and didnt have any bottoms on. She tried to get out of bed to go to the bathroom and the nurse said she called "Henry, Henry, come help me, I need you, Henry, help me!" Who is Henry, the nurse asked. Henry is our golden retriever! Lol! He would have helped her gladly if he could! My husband asked her today if she knew who we were and she said yes he was Jill (me). So he said okay so who is she (pointing at me) and she said Leilu (her favorite of our cats). Its funny how their minds work. Freqflyer does your mom have any illnesses other than dementia?
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Jilly, sounds a lot like what my Mom is going through. After a serious fall last month, my Mom also stopped eating.... nurses were able to give her her meds via chocolate pudding or chocolate ice cream.... and Mom would take some water or milk.

Mom's mind also went from being fairly sharp to stage 7 dementia in just days, it was so strange to watch. She went from palliative care to hospice care within a week.

I assume your Mom-in-law is bedridden... while in bed does she move her legs like she is running a marathon? Reaches up with her arms like she's trying to grab something above her? When she talks, does it have to do with going somewhere? Does she sleep like 15-20 hours? Is she tugging at her clothes or the bedding? These are things that my Mom is doing, and has been doing for 5 weeks now. I don't know how on earth her heart keeps going with all the stress her body is going through. She went from 95 lbs down to 80 during this time frame.

With my Mom she will have a day where she is somewhat alert and attempts to talk.... the next day will be zoned out and refuses to have anyone hold her hand... then the day after that she will be alert/some talk... every other day.

This is so hard to watch.
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It depends on many variables, age, illnesses, attitude etc. if she has no interest in eating or taking fluids it could be a matter of a few days or less. It is difficult to watch the dying process. Just make sure she is cared for, comfortable and in no pain. As hard as this is, think about the old days when most people died in great pain and misery before hospice and palliative care became common.
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