Is mom near the end of life? - AgingCare.com

Is mom near the end of life?

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My mom is 92 years old and has stopped talking. She eats and drinks well, with help, but does nothing for herself.

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Well mostly anyone who is 90 is nearing the inevitable...as sad as is may seem ,we all must face it .Maybe you can look into Hospice they will give her Xtra attention and support for yourself don't think of Hospice as the end think of it as your loved one deserves the BEST COMFORT you can provide..VITAS HOSPICE Iso nation wide and has a lot to offer they went Above and beyond for my Dad they even helped me with the memorial service!!!wonderful service
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Can she hear? I know it sounds stupid - but if she can't hear you, she won't talk either; she could be thinking no one will talk to her.

She could also have dysphagia which affects the throat muscles. My DH has it and HomeHealth can send someone to help with exercises for her throat.

Not talking doesn't sound like "near death" to me. My DH has trouble hearing but you should hear him talking in his sleep :)
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It's hard to put a blanket statement on here and say "yes, she is nearing EOF" or "she isn't nearing EOF." Every individual is different. Personally, I know one woman,WHO LIVES ALONE, and is 101 years and 7 months old. She takes tons of supplements and is of Scandinavian descent. Another friend passed away just a month and a half short of her 102nd birthday.
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I suggest you call Hospice.
They can evaluate her to determine if she is eligible, most likely she will be.
Follow their advice on feeding and giving fluids.
Do not tube feed or do IV's and do not intubate if it comes to that.
At least calling Hospice you will get information and advice.
If you decide to place her on Hospice, great you will have a team that will help you with supplies, medications and things like hospital bed if that is needed. You will also get a CNA that will come in to bate and help do some grooming as well as help change sheets. You will also have a Nurse, Social Worker and a Chaplain assigned. (The only one that you are required to have come in is the Nurse so if you do not need or want the others on the team that is your choice)
You can also find a great pamphlet on line called Crossing the Creek that has a lot of good information in it as well. And there is a good YouTube When Death is Near.
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Hi Tanya
I know how difficult this can be. My mother was 99 and it was still hard to watch the end approaching. You have received many wonderful suggestions here. I too, would encourage you to engage hospice care. They do not provide day to day care,but rather should connect you to resources and provide you with much needed support and experience based advice. And, remember to care for yourself during this time.
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Yes, I'd say it is getting close to the beginning of the end. It's my recommendation that you do not force food on her. If she indicates that she is thirsty or hungry then feed her but don't force food on her.

Have you considered bringing in hospice or palliative care? That might be a helpful tool for you get the rest and help you need to take care of her.

I do hope that you have your polst form and a DNR in place for her, as forcing those life-saving measures on someone this age and in her condition seems so unfair.

I am so sorry, this must be a very challenging time for you in caring for your mother. This is often the way of things. You need back up and support, and would find this with Hospice. Often times they will begin having restless agitation at this stage, and good Hospice team will help you through this.

I hope this in a gentle and peaceful transition for your Mom, as she slowly shuts down and passes away. It's not a bad way to go. Take Care!
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Suggestion here....make sure everyone involved knows and understands her wishes. If there is a DNR make sure you carry a copy with you at all times. Make sure the facility or hospice or whatever have this accurately recorded in her file book. My mother is in this same shape and during a patient planning meeting they had her file book there and the first page was a giant laminated sign that said "FULL CODE". I pretty much had a fit and after they looked through the file, there was the DNR. Their response was "Oops, someone must have made a mistake. We need to get this changed". Oh my gosh, do you know what they would have done to her if she had coded? Broke her ribs, punctured her lungs, intubated her, etc. After a week I decided to check and make sure they changed the page to DNR. Nope they had not. The nurse said the NH doctor had to sign off on it before it could be changed. That did not sit well with me since it was their error to begin with so I had to go over her head. It was changed that day. Never assume things are the way they should be.
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I've often read the End of Life symptoms that I find online. It's hard to say what things mean, since, some people who only eat and drink may live for years, but, others who are moving about, talking and seeming fine, pass away suddenly. It's just so unpredictable sometimes, especially, if dementia is involved. Does your mom have dementia? What was her primary ailment, when she took to her bed? Oh, I see that she had dementia on your profile.  It's so hard to figure this stuff out.  
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My guess is she is nearing the end. There is no quality of life. It's impossible to predict how long it will be but if she is still interested in eating and drinking this could go on for a while yet. I suggest you have her evaluated for hospice. Keeping her comfortable is the main thing now. Don't drag this out with feeding tubes and heroic medical procedures.
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We know of a woman who has been like that for more than 10 years. She had a lot of children, 13+ and they have been feeding, cleaning and taking care of her at her own home all this time.

Personally, I wouldn't call this living, but she takes nourishment and her daughters take care of her.
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