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He is 81, has terminal cancer, dementia, and has now developed dysphagia (which prevents him from eating what he wants). He is in hospice home care. He keeps wanting me to take him to a doctor to see what is wrong & how to fix it. He has a living will which rules out tube feeding, artificial support, etc. I try to make him understand..........without spelling it out in certain terms..........that there is nothing the medical people can do. I don't want to flat out say "you are dying"; how can I handle this? He knows chemo didn't work; his oncologist even told him that eventually the cancer would get him.

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Thanks all ♥
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Peace be with you and his spirit. You both fought the good fight and each in your own way won. Let grief do it's work and keep the good memories alive.
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He's at peace.
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I'm so sorry for your loss but grateful he went quickly and had you by his side. Hugs to you.
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PA, my condolences to you and your/his family. You fought the good fight.
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Adding my condolences as well, and I too am glad that he was spared being moved to a higher care level.
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Sorry, PA GAL.....
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Pagan, condolences to you.
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Just to let you all know: my knight in shining armor passed away Saturday the 13th in Good Samaritan Hospice. My prayers were answered because I hoped the cancer would take him before the dementia commanded me to put him in a safer place because I could not care for him. RIP my Bud!!
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On the practical side, there are a number of feeding aids and concentrated liquid foods that are designed to help people with dysphagia. Contoured cups are a commonly used, but there are other options like the SafeStraw and RoseCup that may be useful.
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Veronica, I wasn't clear in my post about the swallowing problem. He does not have an appetite for much of anything and has lost very much weight. We rely on soups, cereals, puddings, eggs. But he just does not eat enough to keep a bird alive. And he does sleep a lot during the day (usually watching his favorite TV program). Thanks all for your input; it pretty much coincides with my thoughts.
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Reassure and redirect. No, do not mention death. Just ask about today. When we were at the Outer Banks NC, I asked my daughter when we should come back there. Two years she said and I agreed. She died two days later, only 32 years old.
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Trying to to convince him of how close he is to death would not only be unkind but add to the burdens he is already facing. You too are facing the burden of loosing your husband so do you think it might be helpful for both of you together or separately to talk to the hospice social worker. He/she will have faced this situation many times and it may bring you both comfort. Another person to talk with would be the hospice chaplain or another minister of your own choosing.
Is hubby still able to get out? Is it possible to take him to a Dr he knows and trusts and who would be reassuring about what lies ahead and tell him what is available to make him more comfortable.
Does he still want to eat inspire of the dysphagia? Can he swallow at all? if he can give him soft easy to swallow foods such as yogurt, jello, ice cream or anything it is safe for him to eat that he fancies. It sounds as though his time is short so he may automatically being to withdrawn and eventually sleep most of the time. Talk to your hospice RN about this and ask her to tell you exactly where he/she thinks he is on his journey. Don't be afraid to use any medications that are prescribed for pain and anxiety. They are not trying to hasten dead just help him make the transition comfortably.
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He's facing so much now that I think discussing death specifically could be overwhelming, and frightening. He may need to cherish the delusion that he will get better. It may give him a little bit more courage to face the difficult days ahead.

If he wants to see a doctor, perhaps you could get hospice to bring in one, just to comfort him and let him avoid facing death until he's ready. A compassionate doctor might be able to soothe him without being blunt.

You might also explore Reiki therapy; my sister found it very comforting during her last round of chemo.
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With his dementia you'll not be able to convince him of anything. Just tell him what he wants to hear. Keep him calm and comfortable. Divert the conversation to pleasant memories. "Your doctor said to take this medicene. Let's see if it makes you fell better"

I volunteer with hospice patients and this situation is common. You don't lie, tell them everything is fine but people with dementia who are near the end can be very confused and scared. The questions can be repetitious. Be patient and look for ways to comfort and divert.

As it progresses there will come a time when you may want to tell him that it is ok to let go. This is about using your heart as much as your head. My best wishes to you.
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