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My dad is under hospice care in his home and I am his 24/7 caregiver. He has end stage heart failure, uncontrolled Afib, and severe arthritis. He had recently taken a turn for the worse and we readily see the marks of impending death. Amongst them is that he is no longer interested in food and rarely wants anything to drink. My sisters, however, are pointing fingers at me. One stated today that it’s because I’m not encouraging him to eat in the right way. I normally try to address their idiocy with patience and an explanation. And I did that today but she doubled down on her opinion and I’m aggravated now. I try to be the bigger person but I am exhausted and I’m so tired of them acting like they have a clue and treating me as though I’m inferior. I understand that no one here can fix my family dynamics but I would appreciate some advice on dealing with them.

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Ask the hospice social worker or RN to speak with them..this is NOT your job.

Their denial is deep and dangerous. (((((Hugs))))))
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Canoe63 Nov 16, 2019
Very sensible advice and the hug is appreciated! Thank you, Barb. I will reach out to hospice.
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give them a ( seasonally ) dying house plant , some fertilizer and water and tell them to make the plant thrive again .
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Canoe63 Nov 16, 2019
Thank you, Captain, for your sense of humor. Something we all need a good dose of!
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"When people show you who they are, believe them". Maya Angelou.
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NeedHelpWithMom Nov 16, 2019
Yep!
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Canoe63,
My sibs behaved similarly.
I employed the advice of suggesting they should feel free to step up and do it better. They gave it a try.
Things changed after that, no more criticism and second-guessing.
You're already in a difficult situation, sibs making it worse is unnecessary and counter-productive.
I wish you well and admire your patience.
R27
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NeedHelpWithMom Nov 16, 2019
Mine too. All they did was criticize me! Well, the tables are turned now. I turned the whole ordeal over to them.

Now my mom after living with me for nearly 15 years are with my brother and his wife. She’s 94. He is playing the hero but he won’t have her in his home for 15 years. Plus she has hired help to care for her.

She NEVER hired help when she lived with me. They felt I should do it all because I was female. Ridiculous! Even more ridiculous is that I put up with it from my brothers and my mom.
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Armchair critics. Love to criticize but notice how they never lift a finger to actually DO anything themselves?
Can't live with 'em. Can't shoot 'em. Well, you CAN shoot 'em, but then you'd probably go to prison & that wouldn't be good.
So suggest to the twisted sissies *LOVE that phrase* to feed your father themselves.
Ha.
So sorry for all the added pain you're suffering, As if you're not already going through enough without adding to your grief.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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Oh, my, Canoe, I am so sorry and on so many levels. I was Mom's live-in caregiver for 13 months when she passed. When she was on hospice, Mom was wincing and seemed to have trouble breathing. Hospice had given me morphine to help her. My oldest Twisted Sister was with me and I wanted to administer it to help Mom. TS nearly screamed, "No! It's a controlled substance" *repeat* and *repeat*!

When the hospice nurse came to Mom's house and TS was there. I brought up I wanted to administer it and the nurse wholeheartedly agreed, that the morphine would help it and it was past time to start it. Getting the "Pro" advice changed TS's mind.

Next time the hospice nurse is there, tell the nurse what is being done to you by your sisters. Call your sisters and put them on speaker phone. Have the nurse give her/his professional opinion about your father's not eating and drinking and the dying process. That should turn them around.

I am so sorry. *hugs* to you. Lean on us. We're here for you.
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NeedHelpWithMom Nov 18, 2019
I agree. Since when are siblings medical professionals. The doctors should be making decisions, not the siblings of the OP. They are only making matters worse.

My friend is caregiver to her younger sister (age 51) with Down’s syndrome and dementia. One of her sisters thinks she can be cured with organic food, vitamins and supplements.

Oh, if only dementia was so easy to treat, right?
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Refusing foods is a natural and normal process. During this stage our loved ones don't feel hunger the way a healthy body does.
We think they are starving them but in reality, it is the body's natural instinct as it prepares to shut down. It's trying to preserve the most important organs and digestion is not high on its list of priorities. As such they are not moving nutrients properly because internal organs are not working properly, intestinal issues can develop causing much pain for our loved ones.
It's my personal opinion that we cause our loved ones to suffer more and longer than they need to because we keep trying to encourage food or force foods.
Imagine having a stomach cramp.
It's hard to be witness to this choice and even harder to feel like you're doing nothing but it's my opinion that it's the most gentle and compassionate thing to do by following the wishes of your loved one.
Prayers that you all receive some peace through this.
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bigsispjt Nov 19, 2019
Thank you for providing a thoughtful explanation. Actually, it sounds quite natural.
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It’s normal for a person in the end stages of life to refuse food and drink. It’s no ones fault. It just is. Tell your sisters that if they can do better to come on over and have at it.
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Daughters12345 Nov 20, 2019
It is normal, yes . But if you are ill and don't eat you could starve to death. Problems happen. He may not be dying. When you say he is in Hospice Dr. will not treat. So cancel Hospice. It can appear to siblings. But you do what you know.
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Maybe they need to learn what hospice is and how it works. Eating won't make any difference now. Pain meds given keep him comfortable but it is common to not have an appetite. Your company is a comfort to him. How wrong to blame you.
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Reply to Goody2shoes
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This may be more about denial of the impending death instead about what you are/are not doing. I take it they do not live near or visit often, so you have to consider they have not seen the decline first hand. As well, if it has been a real lengthy period of time since last visit, they may visualize a father who was in much better shape than today. It may hard but try to ignore it.

If this is just another bump in the road of a long washboard road of problems in the family - then given them warning in advance when you talk -- I don't want either of you to tell me what I am doing/not doing right. This is hard enough for me to listen to drs and then have you both tell me what I've done wrong. The update on dad is blah, blah, blah. I'm doing the best I can here. Goodbye.

Clearly if he's in hospice, it's time for them to come if they plan to see him again in this life. Tell them it's time and tell them while they are visiting, they can see first hand what is going on and ask the doctors all of their questions since he already has answered all of yours.

If they decline on a visit and mention ANYTHING at all about you withholding food or not feeding him appropriately, then just say...I'm very puzzled by that comment... to believe someone is causing harm to our father and you not making a visit or doing anything to rectify the problem almost seems like neglect on your part.
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MaryKathleen Nov 24, 2019
Love your last paragraph. What a wonderful comeback.
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