I have been responsible for my mom's (76 y/o) care for nearly 10 years now since my father passed away. She did okay the first couple of years after he died but things really went down hill about 5 years ago. At the time she was still lived in her own home out of state but we managed with part time visiting care givers and me making multiple trips per year to be with her.. Long story-short, it got to be to hard being so far away and we moved her to be near us about 3 1/2 years ago. She has dementia, anxiety and depression. 18 months ago she almost died from sepsis while in the hospital but recovered enough to go to rehab and subsequently moved to memory care 15 months ago. Since then she's had 2 falls, one resulting in a broken clavicle, 2 ER visits for UTI's and low sodium and a month ago what we thought was the flu turned out to be another UTI and dehydration from a stomach bug. Once again as with the sepsis the doctors told me she may not recover (was not eating, drinking or responding for the first 5 days, couldn't even swallow) Remarkably she recovered but was released to her memory care with Hospice. She seems to have rebounded a little and is eating and communicating pretty well. She doesn't really walk anymore, is very frail, has lost more weight and has trouble holding herself up and seems to tire easily. Other than that she seems stable, calm and not in pain. She is well taken care of by the staff and hospice and I'm there 3 days/week. I guess my question is, how much longer can she go on like this? My mom was always healthy, active, energetic, loved to walk, cook, dance and visit with friends. It just kills me, really kills me to see her sitting somewhat dazed in a wheelchair or recliner, deteriorating. This is not living. I know she never wanted this and I don't want this for her. We were always close and I feel like the most horrible daughter to wish that my mom would pass away but honestly, that's where I am. And I hate it. I enjoy spending time with her and visiting her and bringing her chocolate (which she still asks for!) but when I leave I am so stressed out and depressed it's really taking a toll. I turned to this forum because everyone on here has always been so supportive and I feel like you all would understand. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give to deal with this difficult time.

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Thank you for your heartfelt responses! I take comfort in hearing everyone else's perspective and experiences. You are right Shane1124, I know that someday she will be gone for good. I like what you said about your mom's hands. As a young girl I always admired my moms hands when she had done her nails and wore her nice rings. She still has very pretty hands and that comment hit home for me. Thanks again and God Bless you all for your love and care of your parents..
Helpful Answer (1)


What you are feeling seems to be very common. I went through it was well. And, sadly, the feelings of guilt after Mom died.

Be gentle with yourself. You are not a bad person for having these feelings. You are human.

I realized that I have been already mourning the loss of Mom. While the body lived, she was gone. After the first major stroke, it was a terrible thing to watch that slow decline. I often felt like I was really only tending a body, nothing more. And I wanted it to end.

treat yourself with kindness. You are doing a good job, and laying up much good karma.
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Hi Denverfan, unfortunately no one can say for certainty when a person will pass away.
From my personal experience with my mother being placed in hospice, and prior to that, placed in a NH, I can only say that it’s not easy. You live on pins and needles waiting for the call to tell you to go to your mother’s side quickly as the end is near.
I don’t have much advice except to let you know you are not alone. For me, the last year or so of my mother’s life was coping with the waiting game, supporting my brother who was a Godsend as he saw her everyday in the NH & me trying to keep busy at work or otherwise occupied to prevent your parent’s situation taking over your life.
Think of each day you see your mom even in such a state as a small blessing. When this is over she will be gone for good (physically from earth). Thus take each day as it comes and give her love whether in words or actions.
Try to assure her comfort using hospice. Read to her, pray with her. My mom had no purposeful responses near the end, meaning her movement was simply body reflexes or random movements. I knew the outcome was death and it was very hard to see.
I thought of her loved ones that she would see and be reunited with after she passed. I thought of her sacrifices she made to raise me as a single parent was back in the 60’s as my dad died in 1965.
You will feel so many emotions during this end stage of her care, but when she actually passes is up to the Lord above (or whoever your diety may be).
While it’s difficult make the best of the time she is still here with you. I used to hold my mother’s hand a lot during this phase as I remembered how many times I saw those hands in action- sewing, washing cloths, making dinner, etc as I knew that soon I would not being seeing those hands anymore.
Take this day by day to remember old times, good and bad. Assure her dignity to pass with dignity & respect by making sure she is comfortable. Cherish your last expressions of love to her.
We are all thinking of you. I wish you strength to get through this.
Helpful Answer (4)

Hugs Denverfan.
Cried my eyes out yesterday when I left my parents(divorced) at their AL.
After 40 yrs of hating on each other they have now become great friends.
Each time I visit them I see the decline, it's heartbreaking big time.

I understand what you are feeling dear. Only thing I can say is keep running here for support 😉💜
Helpful Answer (2)


I think most of us have had your thoughts, how much longer can she go on like this? I know I did. And yes it is a terrible and painful thing to experience.

The sad thing for you is there isn’t an answer to that question. Until of course Hospice gives you a timeline.

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