How long can my Mom survive after being told she is at the end of her life?

Follow
Share

My 82 year old mother was hospitalised 3 weeks ago after a fall at home, she was diagnosed with glaucoma, head injury which was clear after CT scan, she has some dementia, chest infection, and has had a history of alchohol dependency.

Told by doctor that she was prescribed with meds to help her with her life style dependency and anit biotics the first week she seemed to respond the starting to go down hill. Her drip has been removed now as the doctor has told us that she had not responded to the anti biotics, also she stopped eating last week.

For a week she has been having yogurt, honey, some glucose drink and asks for a cup of tea. I visited my mother today she sleeps a lot, but when she wakes she appears to be quite alert, and you can have a conversation with her.

How long can my mother survive like this, in the hospital where she is there is no end of life nurse to talk too, it would be good to know what happens next.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
14

Answers

Show:
JB is right you need a face to face conversation to get clarity. You need to be able to direct the questions you asked us to him/her. I was called in to see Mum at 5am one morning because they feared Mum wouldn't last the day out. 6 months on she is still here and not failing at all - quite the reverse in fact. I do appreciate your situation is different though. When my Dad was dying I asked the doctor and he said 6 months - a year if we are very lucky. Dad lasted 9 months after that and dies peacefully in a morphine induced sleep. There are no guarantees on time left, every single person is different and I truly believe that some of that is down to how much they want to continue living
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

mom29031927, The best person to give you a prognosis is the primary doctor treating her in the hospital. Talk directly to him or her, instead of to "staff."

Ask the doctor whether hospice should be considered at this time.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

my mom is 88 in hopsital with heart failure, chest infection. She gets weaker by the day but staff are not able to advise us on the time my mom has left, its so sad to see her like this what can we expect
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I'm sorry for your situation. Is your mom still in the hospital? or perhaps in a nursing home? I believe your mom should be eligible for hospice if her doctor says he feels she has less than 6 months. I'm surprised the hospital has not suggested this for her. I'm not sure what an end-of-life nurse is but she certainly should know of hospice in your area and how it works. This site will give you great information about it. My mom has been under hospice care for more than 1 year, now. She is 92 and is in the final stage of Alz. and frankly, none of us thought she would last this long...she continues to pull through even when it is not expected. We have been lucky with our hospice care providers as we are taking care of her at home and need the help they provide. My dad is 86 and not that well and I help as much as I can. Just because the doctor says she has 3 months to live (or whatever time) you can't count on it. My mom has been proving them wrong with her will to live. We are very thankful for the hospice community in our area. I also agree with the others that you should check out your church or senior center for those who are willing to volunteer to help you out with taking care of your mom.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I just want to say to all of you who are caring for a parent at home, to seek out and get any help you can. Find out what home care they are eligible for and get it lined up. At first it seems strange to have caregivers you don't know, coming into your home, but soon they will be like old friends. Call in favors from neighbors (my Mom made pies and bread and more, for most of her longterm neighbors) or just ask them if they'd be willing to stay so you can go to an appt or get something from the store.Set up 'family medical leave/small necessities leave' with your workplace. It's your legal right in the US, and probably even better outside the US. Get other family involved. In my situation, both of my brothers have stepped up and are not leaving it all to me or paid help. Our Mom raised us to be useful and work together, but those are values that can be practiced, and skills that can be learned at any age.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I'm in a similar situation, but we have our Mom at home. She was on hospice care (at home) until they discharged her for 'not meeting criteria' for hospice care, and stopped their services. She hadn't become significantly more confused and was still eating, apparently they thought she was gaining weight, which they estimated by measuring her upper arm girth. She is incontinent and bedridden but they said that was 'her new baseline' and not enough reason for them to stay. It was tough.
Re: your situation, Sunnygirl's suggestion is good, to see what papers there may be for your brother being in charge. If he isn't even coming to visit her, perhaps the papers (if any) should be redrawn to put you in charge. It sounds like your mother is still having some periods of lucidity. But you have to have someone present to witness her statement she can't sign, it may be more complicated. Jump in!!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I'm sorry you're having to go through this. It's good your mom has you there. If she has delirium, as the nurse said, she may not even know if you were at someone's house. I think you're doing the right things. Perhaps, someone here who is familiar with this type of situation may offer more information.

Are there papers that list your brother as being in charge?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I need some support please, when visited mum today, I could see the difference in her from yesterday, she asked me for a drink so gave a few sips of glucose drink she also took half yogurt some honey and a mouthful of banana. my mother asked if she could speak to her sister , so I got hold of mums sister on my mobile. I was pleased to do this as they told each other that they loved one another. When my mum was talking to her sister my mum asked my sister if she could go home to her house, as this had always been her last wishes, so why was she not at home.

When she was awake it was a mixture of confusion but she did come back for awhile, she knew me and my husband. I saw a palliative nurse today and she told me that mum has delirium. It was difficult to say how much longer my mum has left.

I am not next of kin my brother is, and he refuses to have any contact me, despite what is going on with mum, this is breaking my heart. I am trying my best to give my mother some peace comfort in her final stages, this whole situation is so sad. what can I do.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I am on the way to the hospital to see mum today, all of you are in my prayers at the difficult challenges we all have to face. this website all of you are giving me a source of strength.

God Bless you all xxxx
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I have to second what Jeanne said. My mom had a stroke in July 2013, followed by a hip fracture in memory care. We did not expect her to survive the surgery, but here we are, a couple of bouts of pneumonia, a pacemaker and a pleural effusion, almost 18 months later, she's still in the NH, not walking but cognizant of what's going on around her. The will to live is very strong in some folks !

As always I should mention, that had I been caring for her at home, she'd be gone several times over. I never would have noticed the subtle changes that told nh staff that she was ill.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

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