Well, today marks 22 days that my dad has been in the hospital after his fall and a positive test for Covid-19. They found a massive blood clot in his leg and moved him to ICU for the last two days. He is very weak and short of breath. He’s been on oxygen since he got there but now he’s on a ventilator.

I got a call from a Palliative care doctor today who says that in his opinion, dad has less than a 5% chance of pulling through. I am his POA and I do not want him to suffer or to be in any pain and to go as peacefully as possible. If his ending is coming soon my wish is that he has the best quality of life that he can have.

With that said, I have made the decision/given my permission to place him on Comfort Care. I feel that he would do the same for me in this situation.

Has anyone else had to make this same decision to place a parent on Comfort Care? If so, how did it turn out?

Update: My dad passed away on 11/24/21. I was there in the hospital room sitting right by his side. I really think he held on until I got there to see him one last time. I would like to thank you all for your advice during my time of need.
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Reply to Donte1423
Geaton777 Nov 28, 2021
Donte1423, I'm grateful for the update but am grieved at your loss. May you receive peace in your heart and comfort from many loving memories.
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God bless you Donte. I work in an ICU and I can;t tell you how often we wish people would do this for their loved ones. We watch the pt struggle, be in pain, fight the vent and the staff, and be in horrible pain and suffering while the family thinks they are fine because they are "in the hospital", I recently had a pt we coded 4 times in 2 hours before the family came to the realization that he was beyound help.. and he did not want this. Broken ribs, smashed heart and lungs,, it is brutal. Palliative care is available in my hospital, and we ask for a visit to every pt who we feel may benefit from it, or the FAMILY might. I was lucky my Mom was VERY clear on her wishes,, she signed herself up for hospice from PC and passed peacefully 1 week later. Was it easy? Not for me but for her it was. You did the right thing.
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Reply to pamzimmrrt

My sister in law is on a ventilator right now with Covid in the icu after getting CPR. This is day 3. She has severe diabetes, lupus, is an amputee, has cirrhosis of the liver, needs blood transfusions 2x a week, has severe varices in her throat, kidney disease and even more issues I can't remember at the moment. She literally eats crap all day long and goes into a diabetic coma 2x a WEEK. Honest to God.

Why the family is allowing the doctors to keep her on the ventilator is BEYOND me, truly. To save her life now so she can die in agony in a few months ANYWAY???

You're doing the right thing, my friend. I only wish my husband's family would wake up and make this choice for my SIL. Immediately.

Sending you a hug and a prayer of empathy and compassion. I'm sorry you're going thru such a thing, I really am.
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Reply to lealonnie1
Llamalover47 Nov 21, 2021
Lea: Wow - how very sad that your sister in law's health is that poor.
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Sometimes stopping all that aggressive care and letting the body rest can turn things around. Sometimes it won't, but at least it isn't a daily struggle to keep going.

My mother was put on hospice on January 1 this year, but we continued her regular medications. Finally in early July we decided that her meds were no longer doing what they were supposed to do and took her off them.

After seven years on diuretics and still having hugely swollen legs, we took her off and the swelling went away overnight. We took her off blood pressure medication, and her BP didn't change. We took her off the medication to regulate her heart, and her heart stayed about the same. She seemed more comfortable than she had in years.

Yes, she did die three weeks later, but she was truly comfortable at the end and that was my goal. There was never any recovery expected, but I'm happy her body let go on its own terms.
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Reply to MJ1929

Dear Donte1423,
i am so sorry to read about what you are going through and the difficult decision you have had to make.

i was in a similar situation this time last year with my mom. She had Alzheimer’s and caught COVID. Her symptoms of COVID were not what everyone else experienced. But as per the doctors at the hospital something they saw frequently in elderly patients. Aside from the positive COVID test her symptom was an increase in her dementia. She no longer recognized me (for the first time) and was refusing all food, fluids and medications. Because she would ask “intelligent” questions the drs couldn’t force meds or fluids into her. Her questions were asking what the medications were that they were giving her. Then she would refuse. My mother was a nurse for decades and it was drilled into them that when medications are offered or given you always triple check what they are. Anyway the dr believed if they could force fluids and meds into her she would recover to at least how she was just before her COVID. So I got a court order to declare her unable to make her own safe decisions and they started her on fluids. Up until then when the drs would tell her that refusing food and fluids she would pass away, is that what she wanted. She would be silent. My mother loved life so I assumed she still felt that way and believed the drs when they said her refusal for food was due to the COVId delirium and once she got fluids she would be better. Once they started the fluids she was saying she wanted to pass away. Since I had the court order they couldn’t stop fluids unless I said to. I felt that if she wants to pass away I cannot deny her that for my own selfish wants (wanting her to still be here). She would not let me suffer so I cannot let her suffer. I told them to stop the forced fluids and to make her comfortable. Still offer her food and drink and if she wants it to give it to her but no more forcing her. I told them she is not to suffer in anyway. If her soul wants to move on I have to let her. I also told the doctors that because she is not to suffer they are to administer any meds that are needed to ensure she feels ok physically and emotionally. Even if it means she would pass sooner. It broke my heart and I was able to be with her the day she passed away. She did not appear to be suffering in any way which was my prayer for her. All of this broke my heart and the guilt I felt over having to make the decision to stop treatments was awful but I knew it was the right choice. A choice for my mother’s soul/heart over a choice for my own happiness (if that makes sense). I loved my mother dearly and still do and miss her terribly but still feel it was the right choice. A hard choice but the right one for my loving mom.
i hope this long response made some sense and helped a bit.
know you are not alone in having to make these difficult choices for your very loved parent and know you are doing the right thing. Your heart knows what is right for your dad. And your dad knows that you live him so much.
God bless.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to MTL1974

I am so very sorry. I am glad that the doctor has leveled with you that further torment by medical intervention cannot help. Ask the doctors to reassure you that your Dad will be medicated below the level of struggle or dreaming so that he has peace. You are facing the loss of your Dad. When a doctor tells you 5% he is really telling you that he sees no hope to survival. I am so very sorry for this loss. In my own case my brother had little survival hope from sepsis unresponsive to antibiotics and asked to return to his home, was still able to communicate. He lived only four days more heavily medicated so as to remain at peace. I actually had to fight the doctors long distance (it was covid times) to get him home per his request. They knew he had little hope but were reluctant to let him leave. Hospice was my stalwart, and my great help at that time, because this nationally known teaching hospital had no palliative care specialty (and still does not in these our times).
I wish your Dad peace and again, am so sorry for this loss. It is a difficult decision for a lay person; for me as a nurse it was an easy decision, but difficult to get done. So again,I am grateful for the good doctor in this case.
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Reply to AlvaDeer

My dad refused the vent when he was admitted for covid and he kept removing the oxygen.

He was really sick and he died quickly. Which I am grateful for. He had put up a good fight and it was his time to go.

Great big warm hug for doing what you believe is the best thing for his quality of life. That is what really matters IMO.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

My dad made the decision himself to stop treatments that weren’t helping anymore. He was ready and lived only about a month. You’re looking out for his best interests and he’s blessed to have you. I’m sorry you’re going through this and wish you both peace.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Daughterof1930

I think you’re very brave and kind to make the hard choice to reduce his suffering.

Hugs to you as you travel through this difficult time.
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Reply to Lizbitty

Yes, last year my mother contracted Covid. At age 92 with COPD and advanced dementia I knew she had little chance of surviving. And if she did her quality of life would be poor. I knew her greatest fear was being kept alive on a ventilator. So when the pulmonologist at the hospital told me she had a low chance of survival I made the choice to let her be. No intervention, no intubation, just palliative care. The doctor agreed with me. At that time, early December, cases were surging and I chose to let someone with a better chance of survival to get the ventilator and care Mom would have been given in ICU yet still would have died. I was fortunate that my siblings both agreed with my decision. Mom died a week later and I do not regret my decision.

It is a tough decision, but your father entrusted you with his POA and trusted that you will make the best decision. My sympathies to you and your family.
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Reply to Frances73

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