The beginning of the end? She fell 3 weeks from admission to in home Hospice on Thurs. Break was confirmed with mobile xray to keep her from being distressed. We chose not to take her to ortho since the break is immobile and she has incredible anxiety about dr's - hospice advised us this was a fine choice, and they would manage her pain.

Sunday, 3 days later, she was standing up sleeping and would not stay in bed. Her whole body is swollen some, and her feet are very splotchy with red and purple patches that were not there on Friday. Skin over break is a little warm only because the rest of her arm is cold to the touch. She still recognizes me, but obviously thought she was in her old house. Her breathing was very noisy in and out and she coughed a time or two while I was putting her in the bed.

Is this the beginning of the end? Are foot splotches and swelling indicative of her kidneys not doing their job? Or is this just a side effect of whatever she's on? I am ready for her to go, but I'd like to know what to look so I can be mentally prepared.

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When someone begins the dying process there are certain hallmark indicators you can look for.

The person won't be eating or drinking anything and their output will be minimal if at all.

The "death rattle" which is called Cheyne-Stokes breathing. You'll know it when you hear it. It sounds awful but your mom won't be in any distress.

All meaningful interaction ceases. Your mom may talk but it will be to people who aren't there.

Before my mom died her skin became clammy and turned a yellow-ish color. I'm not sure this is universal though. It doesn't happen to everyone.

For other signs and symptoms go to the search bar on the upper right corner and type in "end of life signs and symptoms".

Being prepared is a good idea.
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Blotchy skin can be an indication that circulation is inadequate and, yes, it is one of the many signs that death may be near. If hospice has their arms wrapped around her, she's in good hands. Be her advocate for anxiety and pain. And love her to bits and pieces.
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