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One doctor told us we should put my uncle under hospice care, but said it doesn't necessarily mean he's dying. He also said he has a heart murmur, but none of the other doctors or nurses have heard it.


I sometimes suspect there's something the doctors aren't telling us, but I don't know. My uncle has Alzheimer's and it's unclear if it's worsening or if his fatigue is the result of other things (UTI, low sodium).


I looked at his recent labs from his hospital stay and there are things that I'm wondering about. He is definitely anemic, but no one has mentioned it and unfortunately there's no way to know if it is caused by a medical problem, a deficiency or from an antibiotic called Ceftin.


On his chest x-ray, the findings mentioned possible tiny granuloma, chronic pulmonary parenchymal changes, and Aorta tortuous. He complained about his heart hurting about 3 days prior to the x-ray. Now he is complaining about his back hurting in the location where we think the heart is located.


The nurse examined him at home Saturday and said everything was good - heart, lungs, blood pressure, temperature.


This all started from a UTI, or possibly a combination of that and low sodium. Two weeks ago he was fine at bedtime and then 90 minutes later he had a fitful sleep and it's been downhill since then. We can't get any helpful answers.


Since he is currently non-ambulatory, we need to decide whether we can take care of him at home without burning out or if he should go somewhere. If he goes somewhere, we're all certain he won't be coming back out. We know his Alzheimer's will decline significantly. The question is whether he can recover from his broken ankle and walk again. If he can't no matter what we do, then he can't stay at home because we can't continue this.


We don't know if all this means the end is near or what's going on. He says he doesn't want to be put someplace. Sometimes he drinks and eats very well and other times he doesn't. The only time he's awake is when he's eating. Sometimes it looks like he can't even hold his head up. Sometimes he vocalizes/groans at night or early morning in the bed. He typically doesn't do this in his recliner. Even if we let him sleep in his recliner at night, he still doesn't usually make the sounds.

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It sounds like your uncle is only awake when he's eating. Do you really think he will notice for long that he is not at home? I would much prefer my uncle to die at a facility rather than at my own home. Since the doc suggested hospice, it's pretty likely that your uncle will not recover from the broken ankle and everything else. It's down hill from here.

We placed mthr in a memory care home that our favorite hospice works from. The MC has people who can change her diaper, feed her, and place her in the recliner as she likes. Not all states may have this type facility, and you might have to get a nursing home. But hospice makes sure that he won't suffer from all the medical treatments that will prolong his life, but not cause him any better quality of life. I'd talk to your favorite hospice and ask them where you can place him so you can be a vistor, not a caregiver.
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It means that the doctor feels that there is 6 months or less. Uncle is suffering and treating just prolongs it. Hospice is comfort care and relief from symptoms including some pain meds for the heart pain. Ask for a hospice consult to see if their explanation can help
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Whether your uncle is in his last days or not, it’s always a good idea to have a plan in place. Hopefully, someone already has Power of Attorney, a Will has been drawn up and there is some idea of funeral and burial arrangements. This does not mean you are acting like vultures waiting for him to die. This means you are pre-planning when you are clear-minded and not grieving. As for placement, this is a personal decision, but I can tell you that there are far more people on this forum who regret taking in the responsibility of caregiving for a loved one than there are people who’ve said it was the best idea they’ve ever had. Your uncle has a lot of issues, some that will continue to worsen, like his dementia. Have a family meeting and discuss what everyone’s opinion is.
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