My 90 y/o mom is in the end stage of Alzheimer's, having been diagnosed 12 years ago. 14 months ago, my husband and I brought her to our house to live. Prior to that she lived happily with my sister for several years. As her disease worsened, my sister wasn't able to care for her in her home as well as work full time. We decided to place mom in an AL facility close to my husband and I, so that we could be nearby and visit every day. After a month in the AL and visiting every day, it became clear to us that we'd chosen the wrong place for mom. She had become combative, paranoid, and anxious, and begged us to take her out of there. So, we moved her in with us.
Our commitment was and is, to give her the best life we possibly can, for whatever time she has left on this earth. Shortly after bringing her home, she returned to being the sweet, semi-anxious mom that we all knew her to be. She's mostly compliant, and for that I'm grateful every day. She is in fairly good physical health, has a pacemaker, but no other real issues except the Alzheimer's. Hospice came on board about 4 months ago and visits once a week. They have assured me that we can increase the visits any time. She is still continent almost all the time. With assistance, she can still walk to the bathroom. She had a mild UTI which we treated with a course of antibiotics, last month. She's sleeping 16-18 hours a day now. This past week or so, she has all but stopped eating. I've been pureeing her foods and spoon feeding her for about 2 months, when she began showing signs of not swallowing even the soft foods. She'll drink a few sips of thickened liquids, eat a few spoonfuls of thin oatmeal, thickened protein drinks, pureed fruits. After a few bites she sounds winded, and says, "No More". I encourage her a little more but she gets agitated and says, "No." I guess I shouldn't push it, but I think this might be the beginning of the end. She's hallucinating, I think. She's been talking to people in her sleep for months. During the day, 75% or more of what she says is gibberish, but she seems to be talking to someone that I can't see. She'll have a moment or two of clarity where we can connect on some level. She's down to 90 pounds from a whopping 107 a year ago. I'm trying to keep her mobile by walking her around the house a little and short walks outside. Summer in Florida though, too hot during her waking hours. We get out a little, mostly to push her around the block in her chair after she walks a few feet. She doesn't really enjoy it anymore, but wants to get back home. I'm not sure what my question is. I feel like we've turned a corner with her not wanting to eat. Is this a signal that she's preparing to go? Is she really capable of deciding that, when her poor brain won't let her have a complete thought or sentence anymore?
Thank you in advance for reading, and your thoughts are appreciated.