My Mother has been home for about 2 weeks from inpatient hospice care in a facility. She has gone down considerable. Advice? - AgingCare.com

My Mother has been home for about 2 weeks from inpatient hospice care in a facility. She has gone down considerable. Advice?

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She does not eat nor does she drink much. The last couple days, she has taken to staring oddly at the picture of Jesus we have and/or at the ceiling, along with her mouth gaping open. I tried to feed her pureed food, like they did at the facility. She did not eat much there either. I feel like I am just letting her die. It feels very helpless to see her in this state. I do not sleep for fear that she will go alone. I know she is dehydrated. They said they do not "do IV's". Their form of aggressive treatment is administering pain meds to keep her comfortable. She does not speak; only is whispering mumbles. She no longer smiles. It's very hard to see her like this. I don't know how to help her. She no longer walks because she fell and fractured her hip.

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Mommasgirl, so sorry to read about the passing of your Mom. Yes, it's tough to watch this process.

My Mom passed while I was in her nursing home room.... even though she was in a coma type state she waited until her all time favorite movie was finished on TV, then 5 minutes later she was gone. It was sad yet it was a relief as her last couple of months she had very little quality of life.
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Babalou, thank you for your reply. Mom was getting Hospice services at home. I did speak with her nurse and I had her moved to the inpatient facility where she passed peacefully at 2am on December 22, with my brother and me holding each of her hands. She was gasping and it was very disturbing to watch. We kept calling the nurses in to observe each change and as the time approached, we were getting more nervous. But, we assured mom that we loved her. The nurse told us she could still hear us. So we told her we would be ok, that if Jesus came to get her, to go with Him. She smiled real big at my brother and very peacefully slipped away.
We buried her Saturday, the day after Christmas. All 7 of her children were there with their families that could come. My little brother and I shared memories. It was hard to do, but I'm sure mom was happy to know that we were all together..in church...for one more time. This time, in her honor. She always wanted us to be together for Christmas, ever since years ago, my sister started hosting them at her house. At the graveside service, the priest (who lost his father on Christmas eve last year) led us in singing, "We wish you a merry Christmas." It made a sad situation bearable. I appreciate all the comforting words. Mom is a rest now. It will be hard, but as mom used to say, "You can feel sorry for yourself for 5 minutes a day, but then, you've got things to do!"
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Rainmom; I've heard of more situations like this (person seeming to wait until LO was out of the room until passing) on here than I thought possible. My mom's mom passed the ONE afternoon that my dad insisted she come with him on a drive; grandma had been hanging on by a thread for a month. My dad passed just after he was taken out of his hospital room for dialysis; my mom had been with him almost around the clock for the previous several days.

So yes, I think it's quite common. I hope this gives you some comfort.
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Rainmom,
I can't speak for others, but I have read that about people waiting to pass after everyone leaves the room.

I know that my great aunt, passed away alone too in a NH. I got this overwhelming feeling to go take her a flower I had bought for her. I was going to wait to the weekend, but I went right over and visited with her. She shared that she was worried about her adult daughter and wanted me to promise to make sure she was taken care of. I agreed. I spoke to her doctor while there, who said she was doing a little better(she had cancer and was being kept comfortable) but the next day she passed away with no family being there. I think that is the way she wanted it. She wanted me there to promise to care for her daughter, but then she wanted to be alone. I respect that.

Mamasgirl,
I would discuss your concerns with the Hospice workers. Is it possible to return her to the Hospice facility? I know that seeing a loved one that way can be very difficult. I'm sure you are doing the best you can. I would discuss your expectations with the Hospice workers and see if they can assist.
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Rainmom, it happens. Sounds like it happened to you. Mommasgirl, you are not just "letting her die" you are being there for her while she is dying. Big, big difference. It is hard to be helpless in terms of unable to prevent her from dying, but no doubt you are helping provide a great deal of comfort to her, and at this stage her dying truly can't be prevented. Hugs and prayers for you and Mom!!
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Babalou - I'm sorry, I don't want to hijack this thread but I have to ask - is that a common fact - that someone will wait to pass until they are alone? Knowing this could bring me a peace I haven't had since my father passed over three years ago - alone.
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Momma, is your mom getting Hospice services at home now? I take it that her dementia is in the end stage and that nothing can be done about her fractured hip, thus the pain meds.

Have you sat with the hospice social worker and chaplain about these end of life issues? Are you accepting of the fact that your mom is at the end of her life? Have you read, here or elsewhere, that many folks wait until their loved one is out of the room to expire?

You need to take care of yourself during this exhausting time. You need to sleep and eat. Please reach out for some help and relief. Peace and strength to you.
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