I am a full-time carer for my mother who has stage four heart failure and osteo-arthritis, is obese due to being unable to walk for the last three years and gets breathless and wheezy on any exertion. She takes her medication regularly but still gets swollen legs even with them elevated. Mentally she is alert but her hearing is poor even with aids. She is always uncomfortable, relies on analgesics throughout the day and I wonder how long she has to live like this. I do what I can for her but her quality of life seems so poor.

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if she is stage 4 is that the last stage? is it possible to have a meeting with hospice? im not saying its the end. but maybe they could provide some items to make her more comfortable. ive only dealt with hospice once, so I don't know everything about hospice.
but maybe an adjustable hospital bed plus one of those bed mats that inflate/deflate?
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This was my grandma. When fluids starting filling up slowly throughout her body..her legs then lungs ect we knew she was close to death. Soon elevating your moms legs wont help with fluid retention.
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My dad is stage 4 heart failure also and every day he complains of shortness of breath. Doesn’t want to do anything except laying in bed feeling bad for himself and his life being in the position he’s in even though he still can walk and eat. He gets tired easily and besides a few joint pain here and there he way better than most people. I can’t seems to cheer him up or let him see the optimistic side of life. He wanted cure and nothing seems to make him happy until he gets the cure for his heart failure.
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I'm sorry for the poor quality of life for your mom and your difficulty in caring for her.

It's impossible for anyone here to tell you low much longer she has. She seems to be caught in a revolving door with the obesity worsening the heart failure, arthritis and shortness of breath.

I'm trying to think of things to brighten her day.
Does she enjoy looking at old picture albums?

Does she have favorite TV shows?

Is she up to reading books or books on tape?

Can she listen to favorite music with earphones or buds?

Does she belong to a church, temple or other place of worship? Do the parishioners and pastor visit?

Puzzles or "find-a-word" booklets or crosswords might be stimulating.

Having fresh flowers in her view might pick up her spirits.

Arranging food in different ways (smiley faces, hearts, etc.) might make her smile.

I understand how you feel. It pained me to watch my end stage patients lead such difficult lives. And it's so hard for the caregiver to always be smiling.

I pray that her life will have meaning and pleasure and, whenever she departs, her passing will pain free and peaceful.

Please remember to take a break from 24/7 caregiving every week. You need to take care of yourself too. Do something on your day off just for you.
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Deb, I can fully understand the domino effect here. Having osteoarthritis and not be able to walk, thus gaining a lot of weight, thus making her bed bound.

Has Mom's doctor ever recommended that she go into Rehab to see if Rehab can help with some of the issues? Medicare will pay for the first 20-21 days, then after that Medicare will pay part of the cost with one's secondary insurance picking up some of the rest, there may be co-pays Mom will need to pay. Verify this with Medicare.

First thing Mom needs to do is lose weight. She can do that even if she cannot walk. It's cutting calories. Have the Doctor recommend a dietitian to come to the house to set up a menu for Mom.

Of course, with Mom being 90 years old, she may not want to make any changes. Sometimes it is better to let Mom take the lead on what she wants to do. You can give her ideas, and if she says "no", then so be it.
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