Mom was fine. I didn't see her for 3-4 days. Next visit she sounded bad. Labored to breath & was congested. I told caregiver she needs attention. She can hardly breath. Caregiver said "we all have colds & are congested. She has asthma". I said she never had asthma & insisted on better attention. RN came next day. Anti-biotics started 1-2 days later. Hospice was started. She stayed in bed for the next week getting worse. Mom died today. I feel like the caregiver helped expedite mom dying through lack of concern or lack of knowledge.

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PainterDave, I have many questions as well about what was done or could have been done differently in my parents' deaths (16 years apart.)
I had to investigate until I was satisfied I understood.

Apart from that, though, I have come to an understanding of -- how do people die? In the past, the flu or pneumonia "carried them off" if they were elderly or weak. Now we have antibiotics which work really well. Life gets extended as each hurdle is crossed, but often other conditions arise. And there is a cascading effect towards the end (the last two years or so) of life.

But then, how does someone die, who is tired and perhaps has endured discomfort for a long time, joint pain, or other minor discomforts which increase with age and time, or perhaps confused, but their body is strong, heart strong.

Most of us can't just exit our bodies when we decide we're ready to move on. So the higher self has to find a way, a doorway, to exit. That "doorway" is often a broken hip, flu or lung issues, pneumonia, pressure sores, stroke, heart failure, or infections which don't respond to treatment. Whether their doorway is quick, or takes months or years -- that is entwined with their soul's purpose, growth and completion -- for example -- receiving care, love and service; or developing the soul to transcend circumstances. It's not that they want to leave us. It's that their own soul journey has to take precedence, at some point. I hope these thoughts are a comfort to you. I got a lot of comfort from listening to Raymond Moody's research on "shared death experience" you can hear on YouTube. I hope you will find the peace for yourself that she would want you to have.
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Not to sound too harsh but PainterDave your Mom was on hospice. Hospice means death is to be expected within 6 ms or less and they only get palliative or comfort care. Most on hospice pass away within initial 90 day coverage period.

Hospice provides & pays for bereavement counseling for family - this is often an overlooked benefit of Medicare hospice. It could be of immense worth for you to get bereavement counseling to find acceptance of her death.

My mom was on hospice in a NH for 18 months after a forward fall & shattered hip from pulling her wheelchair on her way to an activity at her NH. She became bedfast and onto hospice. Really she just got tinier & tinier and self mummified. Whether its a few weeks or a long slog till death, please please try to appreciate that they are no longer ill, in pain and suffering anymore.
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I think it's easy if not tempting to wonder if everything could have been done when someone dies unexpectedly. I did that myself when my mother died.

Dave, I too am sorry for your loss. But think for a moment about these facts and questions:

Was the caregiver a nurse or medical person? If not, who else was responsible for caring for your mother?

Did you speak with hospice personnel or one of the hospice doctors about the decline, and whether or not respiratory issues contributed to it?

What was your mother's cause of death?

You have to be able to link someone's inaction or action to specific issues which contributed to a cause of death. Accountability is a broad concept, especially when an elder person is approaching the end of his/her life.

Even if she might have been a bit lax, and I'm not agreeing the caregiver was, how did that specifically contribute to your mother's death?

And why would anyone want to do this?
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Dave, at times like this there are bound to be doubts and anxiety over what might have been done differently. I think it was reasonable for the caregiver to assume your mother had the same minor cold as everyone else. Maybe someone should have realized that could be a serious problem, but we are only human and can't help what we don't know. I spent a lot of time after my father died being bitter that his doctor didn't push for more aggressive treatment for his angina, but years later I realize that it just wasn't meant to be, it was his time to go. Please let go of the woulda, coulda, shoulda, it won't bring her back. I'm sorry for your loss.
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Dave, I'm so sorry for your loss. Your profile says that your mom was in a NH, but your account doesn't make it sound that way. Can you clarify?
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