How will I know when the end is near for her?

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She is starting to turn away all the foods and drinks she has liked before. She is spitting into a napkin a lot. She chokes, she can't walk anymore. She is up and down in her sleep pattern. 2 nights ago she was up every hour...the last two days she has been sleeping all the time. Last night she slept almost 14 hours.

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Thank you, TamCummings99, very much.
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The body prepares to shut itself down in a very organized fashion. Sleep agitation, changes in hydration and nutrition are normal, including not wanting any food then asking for a favorite meal the day of death. Try reading "The Final Year The Final Moment" or "How We Die" or "Gone From My Sight." Knowing what's going to happen won't make your loss any easier, but understanding what the body is doing can be very helpful. She may begin sleeping more and more, you may find her talking to persons long gone, reaching out as though she is trying to touch someone, or having increased agitation. She may become semi-comatose or be alert. She may have bursts or energy or become bed bound. Hospice will evaluate her for pain or any medication adjustments and are available to you 24 hours a day. I'm sorry to hear about your loved one.
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Mom is 91...she's my little energizer bunny. But the dementia has gotten so much worst just in the 5 months she has been with me. Her mood is up and down. She stopped walking..we push her on the walker...because she won't use the wheelchair. But she eats..I have to put the food in her hand...sometimes up to her mouth. But on good days..she does it all by herself. She has LBD Dementia.
For the first 4 months here she was up every hour of the night....now she sleeps almost 16 hours in a day. But it's so nice to have sleep again.
I'm happy to hear that they have had your MIL on hospice that long...It gives me hope. Thank you...
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My mother in law has been with hospice for about a year now.
They do an evauation every 6-8 weeks to requalify her.
They have told us there should be no problem keeping her on hospice given her age and alzheimers condition.
Unlike home health care that can only keep them on their program as long as they are under dr. care and having changes in health and medication,both of which my mother in law no longer qualified for with them.
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I'm sorry ...I wished all the people here would have the greatest experiences with their hospice. I have such a great group working with me ...and I am so grateful for them . They have set us up with everything we need for her. And are all about the comfort level of pain and suffering. We also have mom on powdered Miralax I give to her in liquids. Its so hard to see them suffer so much. I hate what is happening to our loved ones. God Bless you for being there for her.
So may I ask? how long has she been with Hospice? Mom has been with them since October...and I am so afraid that they will release her from it and leave me high and dry. Since she has improved a little. I rely on them so much...I don't know how i would cope with out them.
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yes,we do have hospice thankfully.
A nurse comes in once a week and another comes in to bathe her 2x's a week.
She has to be bathed in bed as we can no longer get her up.
She doesnt remember how to stand up or walk.
The hospice we have seems to be more interested in just waiting things out.
When we tell them the problems she is having they don't suggest anything to do or anything to give her to help out.
Most of what we do we have just figured out on our own.
We even had to almost beg at one point to get antibiotics for her when she was bordeer line pnuemonia and had bronchitus.
It's almost like they are just waiting for her time to end.
Our concern, as we tell them, is her comfort level until then.
We asked them about her bowel movement issue as she will often go a whole
week or two without a movement and they did finally give us senna tablets to give her.
We give 3 in the am and 3 in the evening crushed up in her food,but that still isn't enough.
We are thankful for the hospice care we have, but just wish they were more up on things with helping us with her different health issues.
Thank you for the suggestions for saliva.
We have started giving her coconut water and she likes that but we can only get a shot glass or 2 in her at a time.
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I agree...with Jeannegibbs, Pamsplace00....you should have hospice called. I think you can get the doctor to call them. I didn't have to call because the home healthcare nurse called for me. But it might have to be referred by the doctors. I think you would benefit greatly by having them. Mom has a nurse visit 2 times a week and bath aides twice a week. Plus they are at call at anytime day or night. They will medicate her for comfort and care. We have drops for the saliva issue. But mom has improved since I first posted this...she is doing better these days. I wouldn't ever want to lose my hospice...they are my angels.
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pamsplace00, Do you have hospice for your mother? I think you would find that a great comfort.

I wonder if the "mucus" is built-up saliva because she is unable to swallow often enough? That was the case for my husband and hospice ordered a patch for behind his ear that helped minimize that problem. The nurse warned that it might give him a dry mouth and then we'd have to decide which symptom was worse, but my husband never complained of a dry mouth. What was wonderful about hospice was their immediate response to each new symptom of discomfort. Their goal truly is to reduce suffering.

Bless you and your husband for taking care of this dear old woman. If you can have hospice assist you I think that will benefit all of you.
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My husband is 69 and he is the full time care taker for his mother.
She has been with us 2+ years.
She will be 88 dec.31st.
I try to help and relieve him when I get home from work in the evenings and on weekends to give him a break.
Since she has been with us she has regressed to being imobile (bed ridden)
incontinent and mostly unable to eat solid foods.
We liquify all her foods by pureeing them in a blender and have to thin them out with water so she won't throw it up.
She has alot of mucus buildup and she will have days and sometimes weeks that she will continually throw up her food as she will gag on the mucus and the food won't go down.
We also give her a digestive aid and OTC medicine for the mucus buildup and allery medicine to try to cut back some of the mucus problem.
We also either grind up a multi vitamin and mix it in her food on her good days when she can keep some food down and on the days she can't, we give her childrens chewable vitamins and meds and she loves to suck or chew on them.
We feel all of this has to be at least some help..
She has lost alot of weight,prob. only weighs about 80lbs. now.
She doesn't know who we are but we can tell sometimes she will see us as a familiar face.
She is a blessing to have and be able to help.
If we were not taking care of her at home, she probably would not still be alive.
May we all be blesses to have care for us when needed.
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connief, it's such a tremendous double loss as not only have you lost a loved one, but some people also lose their identity. The feeling of loss is so compounded when you have to establish a new you and a new life.
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