My mom is 102 years old. Her wish was that she would never end up in a nursing home and would never be incontinent, experience dementia and be so helpless. I love her so much but I want her to find peace. I am guilt-ridden and despise myself for wanting her to pass. I know she has to but when I hold her hand, I don't want her to go. Please help, I love her so much and this pain has been going on for over a year. What do I do?

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Pattijean, you aren't alone at all. We all hate to see this decline and the suffering that goes along with it. Who among us would want this for ourselves. This article may help you a little - along with the terrific comments. Blessings. Carol
Helpful Answer (1)

I was very close to my father my whole life. He struggled with major health problems and died young (late 60's). I spent several years worrying about him and visiting him during various hospital and NH stays. I spent most days of the last year of his life driving 30 minutes each way to sit by his hospital bed. I watched him fight and I watched him slowly lose the will to fight.

When he passed, I was sad but at the same time relieved.. and then felt guilty for my relief.

Mom lives with me at age 84 with some pretty good health problems but nothing terminal. She was always a mostly evil person with glimmers of good. Now she is mostly a shell of a person with some ugly and some nice coming through.

I don't know why she is still here. She doesn't know what is going on half the time. She doesn't want to leave the house. Has no interest or hobbies (except napping - boy does she love napping), she has lost her taste for food, can barely hold a conversation and when she does, no one wants to talk to her because she is mean.

I tiptoe into her room every morning to check and see if she is breathing. I'll be honest: most days I am rooting for "not"
Helpful Answer (15)

My Mom is 88. She has not been "Mom" for at least 2yrs. Out of 3 surviving children all the responsibility is on me. I'm tired of dealing and worrying. This is my retirement so far. Mom is no longer the person I grew up with. She can no longer hold a conversation. And when she does talk she just rambles. She can no longer do anything she used to. She just sits all day waiting for the next meal. If she passed tomorrow I would have no guilt. She would not like where she is. I did what I could. The only thing I may feel guilty about is my lack of patience. But that Is a problem I have all the time not just Mom. Hoping my brothers have a little guilt since Mom doesn't seem important to them. The good thing is they allow me to make decisions and don't say anything.
Helpful Answer (15)

I feel somewhat the same some days when I visit the snf where my husband now resides. It hurts to see him feeling miserable because he now realizes he won't come home. I see others in the dining area grieving because their child isn't visiting today. It hurts to see people give up. I remind myself that I (and most families) are doing all we can to slog through a less than joyful experience.
Most residents are doing the best possible given the depressing and lonely environment. As my spouse says, "you're my only link to reality".

There is nothing wrong with you feeling as you do. I think about quality of life and ask myself is this what I would want for anyone, including myself someday? I think we would be mentally lopsided to not ask ourselves if it's better to be alive or deceased. When my spouse was admitted to the snf I had a good conversation with a manager about this issue. She too said it was natural to feel both ways, and none of the nursing home staff want to end up this way. She then said she would not be happy. She cautioned me both my spouse and I would someday ask "Why do I feel this way?" So you are not alone in feeling as you do. If your mom gave you any instructions as to when to let her go (as my mom did) there can be a certain comfort in knowing that you are following her wishes. Put yourself in her position and ask if that's what you want for yourself. Most of us say we want to kept comfortable, not be deserted, and not be in pain. If you are doing your best to achieve these outcomes then you're doing your job. You're being all you can be to your mom. I talk to my friends and others about this very issue from time to time. You might be surprised at how many feel as you do - both older and younger people. Keep us posted on how you're doing.
Helpful Answer (13)

"we are born to die" blessed is your mother to have such a loving daughter!!
The guilt is normal, but it's YOUR guilt, mom probably wants to go. I cannot imagine living that long. I think you feel guilty for her pain, or for not being able to make her life better now. I doubt it's over hoping she can pass. The time we spend watching a loved one "die" whether it be hours, days, weeks, years, can be so sad. Our emotions get all confused.
You just keep on loving your mom. As someone who fervently believes in a beautiful, pain free afterlife, death is but a simple walking through a door. I feel my dad's spirit with me often. I hope you can find peace.
Helpful Answer (9)

Pattijean: so sorry you are going through this emotional pain. I understand how you feel because our family went through the same. My mother was active and in independent living up until she was 99. She stubbornly fought old age, proud and dignified, yet she was depressed and unhappy and also had progressive dementia. She swore she would kill herself if she had to go to a nursing home. She hated people helping her. Our whole family, as much as we loved her, knowing she had lived a long healthy life, prayed she would go quietly in her sleep so she would not have to suffer the indignity of being helpless and even more unhappy. Unfortunately, like your mother, she was strong enough to endure and the next year we had to move her to assisted living which she hated and less than a year later, she ended up in a nursing home because she could no longer walk. She lived five months there, slowly deteriorating and ended up falling, breaking bones, bedridden and in diapers. It was horrible to watch and I cried every day I left the NH, praying she would go quickly. There was little grief when she passed only relief that her terrible ordeal had ended and she no longer suffered.
Don't feel guilty that you wish a swift and dignified end to your mom's long life. Be there for her, hold her hand so she knows you are there and love her. When her suffering ends after a while, the memories of the recent past will be overridden by the memories of when times were good and happy with your mom.
Helpful Answer (7)

I told my mom a few days ago that I would be praying for her to have Peace. I don't know what that means exactly, but I know she is anxious and in a place she doesn't want to be, physically and emotionally. She is young (69) but feels so old. I think your wish for your mother to have Peace is the best wish/thought/prayer. When we love someone, that is what we really want for them.
Helpful Answer (6)

What is hard is that we remember our parent(s) back when they were younger, active, working around the house, having a career, raising children, enjoying life. Now it all seem to have stopped.

At 102 your Mom had beaten the odds by many many years, and all the wonderful things she had witnessed throughout her life that were invented. That's a full life and then some.

Your Mom is on her own time table, just be there for her without it consuming your life. She is getting good care at the nursing home because you know she needed a higher level of care.

I felt the same with my Mom who was 98 when she passed, and had been living in long-term-care. Only months earlier she and my Dad were outside raking leaves and putting the leaves in recycling bags. Only a few years earlier, she and Dad were walking 2 miles a day. Mom was pretty sharp for her age until she had a very serious fall. But to see her just lying in bed, unable to hear, barely see, not be able to walk or even stand was heart breaking. Her mind was so very confused.

This was equally as heartbreaking for my Dad to see the love of his life in that condition. Dad's caregiver would bring him to visit Mom during lunch hour, that way the caregiver could help feed Mom. Dad would only stay a half hour, he wanted to go home. He also was resentful as he wanted to move to a nice senior living facility but Mom refused. He felt they could have enjoyed a couple more years together had they moved. Dad joined Mom a couple of months ago.
Helpful Answer (5)

Your faithfulness in your daily visits is the tie breaker here, if indeed one is needed, and I think it is not...He quality of life is gone...You long for her to be in a better place...of course you wish she could pass away.

My own wife has been a stroke victim since early 2005...she is in a nursing home for many years now..I visit daily and hire paid ladies to sit with her at the dinner hour seven days a week...She is paralyzed and cannot speak...I do wish that she could sleep away as her quality of life is so limited. I do not feel guilty..

God bless you.

Grace + Peace,


n a
Helpful Answer (5)

Don't feel guilty. No it isn't pleasant but I was that way with my mom & she was only 65 & dying from Vascular Dementia. I didn't want her to "die" but more than that I did want her to be out of pain. Her body was like turning to cement & she had constant UTI's & BAD constipation then her mind was telling her that she has just eatten when really she was starving herself to death right infront of us. Nothing we could do for her. She was always in wet dipers & had to drink the thickened water which I tasted & it was HORRIBLE!!! She HATED it & would beg for reg water but she would choke & maybe die if we gave it to her. Within a little over a year of being diagnoised with Vascular Dementia after a brain tumor was removed she passed away. Now I live next door to my Dad and he now has mild demetia. Im an only child & disabled with my legs. I can't physically take care of him when he gets that bad.
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