She’s been on hospice since March. She’s in memory care with a nurse checking her weekly. Not eating. Only drinking ensure. Sleeping a lot. Crying. It’s horrible watching this. She’s skin and bones. Her vitals are good they say. No one can tell me what to expect. How do you all get through this? Any advice?

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I'm so sorry for what you are going through. My mother was in hospice for 6 months, then got much better and was taken off of hospice. The director at AL said she was one of the few patients she has ever seen be taken out of hospice. She is a fighter. Regrettably, this didn't last long and she has been back in hospice for at least 6 months.

As others have said, there are signs that life is ending. Her facial skin is very red, her breathing is very labored and she sleeps most of the time but when she wakes she is uncomfortable and calls out in agitation. I've read this is due to the physiological changes her body is experiencing. The nurse put her on Lorazepam to ease her anxiety.

One really never knows the length of time this takes. Just be there for her while she is still aware you are there. Again, I'm so sorry and you are in my thoughts.
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Reply to dseag2

The Hospice Nurse should go over with you all the signs they look for when a person is “actively dying “ or at End of Life.
There are changes in breathing, changes in skin color that a nurse will look for.
You can look up Cheyne Stokes breathing, there is also a noise commonly called a “death rattle” that is caused by a build up of secretions at the back of the throat. Some of it can be drained by turning a person on their side and allowing the secretions to drain a swab can be used if the secretions are in the mouth but do not swab back far as that can cause a gag reflex. The changes in skin coloring is called mottling
All of this can be frightening to observe but if you know what to expect it is less frightening
That does not mean that the death is any less of a shock, all the preparation and knowledge does not mean anything when a loved one dies…it still hurts.
I told myself that the tears that I cried for my Husband were “selfish” tears. He was no longer the funny, loving man I met many years before and to want him to remain the “shell” he had become was not fair to him.
🙏🏼 For you and your mom
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Reply to Grandma1954

You have my sincere prayers and well-wishes for this stage of your caregiving journey. May you find peace with what you are about to experience. I've been exactly where you are now. I hope you find the answers you are searching for like I did.

Here is a good place to start . . .

You can also search this site for more on end of life signs under Care Topics at the top right side of this page.

AND, you can click on the image (little mirror) between your profile pic and Care Topics and type in "End of Life Signs" and press Enter to get more results.

I hope this helps as I'm doing this in "real-time" instead of my usual write it up on Microsoft Word and Cut & Paste process.
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Reply to fuzzyknot

I'm so sorry you and your mom are going through such a wretched experience. Is the hospice nurse keeping her comfortable and not upset or agitated? I would speak to her because if your mom is crying a lot, to me that signals distress and it's hospice's job to keep her from feeling distressed. If that requires more comfort meds, so be it.

My father's vitals were very strong right up until about 5 or 6 hours before he actually passed away. Then they plummeted quite fast.

I found it very difficult to watch my father transition and to listen to his struggled breathing. He was only on hospice care for about 3 weeks before he passed, too, which was blessedly fast. I'm sure you've had a hard time dealing with this situation since March, my heart goes out to you. I did a lot of praying myself while I kept the vigil with dad, and took frequent breaks so I didn't fall apart. Be sure to do that yourself because this level of stress is very hard on you.

Sending you a big hug and a prayer for a quick and peaceful transition for your dear mom.
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Reply to lealonnie1

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