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Lately she has been anxious, calling me every few minutes day and night. I've been trying to puzzle out what the problem is....could she be hungry,thirsty,in pain? Does she have to go to the bathroom, is she wet? We have been struggling lately to recover from a bad cold that really set her back physically and cognitively. Yesterday she fell when her caregiver was with her, so I'm sure she is sore from that too. Today I held her hand and again asked her what was wrong. Is she scared? Yes. Is she afraid to die? Yes. I told her I didn't think she was going to die today, that we would help her when the time came to be pain free. I don't know how to help her. (Please don't tell me to trust Jesus, I can't go there right now)

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Absolutely get her checked over medically, you never know what could be wrong that she can't quite put into words that is making her feel bad. You sure did tell her the right things though.
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Hi JessieBelle, we don't have structured hospice care per se in Ontario, but mom is under the care of a palliative care nurse and receives homecare twice a week. I have her nurse coming in today as her doctor is not in her office until tomorrow.
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cwillie, have you considered getting hospice to come in? If pain and anxiety are problems, they can help there.
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Thanks for your replies. I was up with mom all night, I finally crawled into bed with her and still she is calling for me. Yes, I think dying alone is part of it, and after I talked to her a little more she also fears dying in pain. But I think there is something else going on here, if she were 55 instead of 95 we'd say she's had some kind of psychotic break. I'm calling her doctor this morning to try to get some better pain management and something for the anxiety that actually works, the ativan has done nothing.
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I think for most of us our greatest fear is of dying alone.
We need the reassurance that someone will meet death with us.
Someone will be there to hold our hand and smile and tell us it's all going to be just fine on the side, that our life has meant something, that we will be remembered.Rest is good. We've worked hard and we deserve it.
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If she is a religious woman, I would contact her minister and ask him to come and just talk to her. It doesn't mean you have to believe in anything, but if it calms her, I would call the priest/rabbi/etc to satisfy her needs.
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cwillie, you handled it so well. I liked that you told her she wasn't going to die today. That probably took the anxiety level down a lot. I think we are all afraid of dying, since none of us have done it before that we remember. I think what you said about it not being immediate helps to put off the anxiety. I personally don't have any idea of how to talk to someone about death. I have seen death often enough to know that many old or sick people are ready to die when it comes their time. But how do you tell someone something like that whenever it is their own death being discussed?
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