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Last few days she is saying she is tired even after she gets up and comes out to the family. She is eating less. She asked a few days in a row am I dying? We asked her how do you feel is there a reason you are asking she says I am just tired. She also said she is afraid to die, this is beyond heart breaking we are at a loss for words and do not understand why she is asking this question. Looking for help.

With my Mom, it was a symptom of depression. My response was along the lines of "I don't know, but it's not something we have any control over" followed by "rather than dwell on it, let's try to make the most of the days you have left." I took steps of hiring care-givers for the purpose of getting her up and active, going to activities offered by her Assisted Living facility. It's made a big difference. Her outlook is better, not dark like before.
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Reply to billmarting
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Karlie, have Mom's primary doctor check to see if her B12 is low, as that can make one very tired. I know I need to take supplements to keep it normal.

Also, any changes in medicine? Like, doctor's prescribing for the first time blood pressure pills, or upping your Mom's previous dosage. That can make one drag.

Not usual for your Mom to eat less, if she is sleeping more. She's not needing the calories to keep her on the go. Maybe the sleep is related to the grey missing sun weather. I know that can cause me to nap in the afternoons, right after lunch.
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Reply to freqflyer
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Karlie, so sorry you’re going through this...my Mom has also asked that question a couple of times and it did kind of take my breath away. Mom also is tired all the time. The suggestions regarding tiredness already given are excellent. I would just add one...is she sleeping good at night? If she’s sleeping poorly, perhaps needs to get up for the bathroom often, or just waking up often like my Mom does, it could be contributing to her tiredness during the day.

When my Mom shocked me with that question, I deflected a little, knowing she’s not dying. “Mom you’re healthier than I am” (she probably is) and I got out the BP cuff. “See your BP and pulse are fine”. (They are) That’s all it takes for her to forget about it.

I dont dismiss her feelings of tiredness, however, and tell her all the things we are working on to help her with that, like her meds, good nighttime sleep, B12 etc.
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Reply to rocketjcat
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Boy I started out with a few responses but deleted them all.....
Is your Mom a religious person? Or had she been in the past?
If so you might ask the priest, rabbi, chaplain or whoever is the church leader is to talk to her. This might help her a bit.
I am sure none of us WANTS to die...I mean gosh there is so much left to do.
We are all afraid of the unknown. Like the first day at a new job, we are afraid but we go and find out everything is alright and we are welcomed and most of the time we meet great people and make friends.
Death is another phase of our life. (boy that sounds odd...)
OK, for one of the questions I started with ...Is your Mom on Hospice? If so the Chaplain could talk to her about this. The Social Worker can help with things that she might want to finish before she dies. and the Chaplain and the Social Worker can help you and the rest of the family answer this question as well as help you all in this time.
If your Mom is not on Hospice you might want to call and see if she is eligible. The amount of help I got from Hospice was AMAZING and I also got reassurance, education, confidence as well as a lot of medical help, supplies and equipment for my Husband.

But a quick answer to your Mom would be ...If you are getting up, walking around and talking to me now, I don't think that you will die today.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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Judysai422 Jan 25, 2019
Love that last statement!
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Karlie
there are many things that can cause your mom to be tired.
If you have a bp cuff, check her bp. Check her pulse. It should be over 60.
Has she seen her doctor since this started? Even an urgent care visit can help. Also have them do a test for a UTI.
Like Freq Flyer said, if she has new meds they could be affecting her. Or she may need new meds or current meds adjusted. How long has this been going on?
Weigh her and start a log so you can tell if she is losing weight. Get her some Ensure or make her a smoothie so she can get some nourishment but don’t push it too hard. Make sure she is drinking water. She may be dehydrated. Is she peeing? Have her bowels moved? Is she on thyroid medication? Is she diabetic?
What medications does she take? As her dementia progresses there will be changes. It could be that or it could be one of the things mentioned. Those are just the ones you can easily check yourself to see what’s going on.
Im sorry about the death of your father. Yours sounds like a loving family. I hope you can get her feeling better soon. Be sure to let us know how she is doing.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
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Karlie Jan 23, 2019
Thank you, very nice response very helpful. Will up date you.
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I’m sorry you’re going through this. It’s not easy to face death, even if it is as inevitable. I’ve been fielding that question from my husband for the last 4 years. Every time I hear it, I still have the same sinking gut reaction.

I often respond the same as Rocketjcat, by taking his BP and using the normalcy of that to work through the moment. I’ve also learned that disruptions in the heart rate (A-fib) and the other automatic systems can make someone feel as through they are dying.

Tiredness is a persistent symptom that brings on that question. I wonder if tiredness is meant to help the person prepare for crossing into the next realm - life gets too burdensome and exhausting to continue. Tiredness is tricky because it causes the person to be less active, which causes muscle loss, which causes more tiredness.

Be an advocate for your LO, and see if there is an “easy fix,” like a vitamin deficiency. An if that’s not it, just try to be there with her so she doesn’t feel like she’s going through this alone.

How you respond will depend a lot on your particular situation. My LO is a doctor and knows very well the signs and symptoms of death. But, he does not want to be told that he’s dying. So, I reassure him that he has many more years or tell him that he has to stick around until the next big family event. He knows. But your LO may not know and she may be trying to come to terms with what she is experiencing, even if she isn’t actually close to the end. If that’s the case, be gentle and honest. Nobody knows exactly when they will go. Help her sort through things and find closure.
*hugs*
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Reply to JuliaRose
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"Cowards die many times before their deaths.
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear,
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come."
William Shakespeare, "Julius Caesar."

I am a scientist and not religious, so although I fear pain, the thought that I may die in a few years doesn't bother me, but encourages me to go all the places I want to go and do all the things I want to do as long as I can (I am 81, but healthy thus far). When my husband was dying of stroke 5 years ago, he said he was glad he had married me and got to see the world and learn how to play duplicate bridge! And without him I would never have started running and working out, which I continue to this day. I was there when both my mom (liver cancer) and my husband died, both had been heavily sedated, and did not seem to be in any distress--they just stopped breathing. I hope my own passing is as quiet and uneventful.
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Reply to Arleeda
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As difficult as it is for some to think of dying, often the elderly are ready to die and will say so. If you feel comfortable I would explore with your mom why she is afraid to die. Is she a spiritual person or believe in a particular religion where there’s a relationship with God? If so, can you talk to her pastor, rabbi, etc and have them come visit her. I think finding her reason and letting her feel reassurance is important. When my mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor she asked the neurosurgeon if it was terminal and his flippant reply is "life is terminal"...so much for compassion and a bedside manor. I could have kicked him in the groin.
Heres a book I recently downloaded but admit I haven’t read but it is highly recommended. Called The Grace in Dying: A Message of Hope, Comfort and Spiritual Transformation. By Kathleen Singh.
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Reply to Harpcat
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My mom twice thought she was dying. Once was emotional right after my dad died and the other turned out to be an ulcer that hospitalized her for a week. Since it's been a while since your dad died, probably there is a physical cause. What 97yroldmom suggests is good.
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Reply to ArtistDaughter
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Perhaps just tell her "No, of course not, Mom...." perhaps that will put her mind at ease. When my father was dying, he kept reaching for the ceiling, picking at his clothes, turning towards the wall--placing his hands against it, climbing "up", and getting up to walk quickly towards the door as if someone was standing there....he stopped eating, and he refused to get out of bed....saying "oh Screw it".
Those were the signs that was 3 weeks before his death.
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Reply to Chemoangel1967
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