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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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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.
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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"
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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.
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Pattijean,

"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?"

The words you have written have been said before on this forum. There are many in similar circumstances, and some who have been there. It would be heartwrenching to go through that with your Mom, whom you love.

There are two people who are my friends, maybe they will show up soon, and you will not be so alone in your struggle.
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Bringing this back up to the top....
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Pattijean...I'm so sorry you are going through such a hard time with your dear Mother.It's so hard to watch our Mother's decline and decline.I know when my Mother was dying,that I was very scared and I felt so helpless and alone.My best friend was dying before my eyes....and then one day God took her in His Perfect Timing.
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Dear Pattyjean, I'm so sorry, I know this is very difficult time. You are an amazing and caring daughter. And its only natural not to want your mother to suffer. And natural as you hold her hand not to want to let her go. I wish I had the chance to hold my dad's hand, but he passed after I left for work. Cherish this time. Thinking of you.
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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.
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Do not despise yourself. To do so would condemn all of us who have gone before you in feeling the same way about our loved ones. I also carried the burden of telling the doctor to activate the living wills of my mother and each of my three husbands who were on hospice care. Talk this over with the clergy pf your faith.
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Dear Pattijean,

I feel the very same way about my mother and also my husband. It is so hard to watch my mom just live for basically nothing.. She just lies in bed in her clothes all day and doesn't want to do anything--though there is plenty for her to do. Loads!

And my husband just gets bad news on top of bad news. Things go worse and worse for him without "ending it all." He is sort of caught in a situation where he feels like he has the Hong Kong flu and with constant jabbing with needles..and this is "forever," as it now stands. I feel so bad for him.

My solace is that I am not in charge. I do not call the shots. I have turned it all over to God and I am sure that God wants me to buck up and does the best I can for each of them. So, that is what I am doing.

Good luck!
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Pattijean, You are not alone in the way you feel. My Mom declined for 5 years and then the last year and a half were awful...she was bedridden in my home with multiple other health problems, sleeping a lot, etc. It was so hard to watch my formerly active Mom decline in what seemed fast but at the same time then in slow motion. I did get a good hospice team finally. I prayed for my Mom's suffering to stop and she was finally relieved last Winter. I miss her very much, but I have to respect that she lived a long life and it was her time to go. It is because you love her that you don't want to see her this way. That is normal and we should not feel guilty for wanting their suffering to end, but that is natural too. You are a good daughter to your Mom. {{Hugs}}, Katie.
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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
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/Why-you-secretly-want-elderly-parent-to-die-139321.htm
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Pattijean, big hugs to you. Your feelings are perfectly normal. It's devastating to watch a parent change so much -- becoming physically and mentally degraded.

I had it easy compared to some. My mom was a shell of her former self, yet high-function in certain ways. (Complex neuro disorder, diagnosed via autopsy.) Had just enough of her marbles left to insist that she would shun all doctors, make no changes to her finances and POA, accept no outside/professional help, and stay in her increasingly-hoarded home until the bitter end.

Mom's cherished "independence" eroded my sanity. Was this woman a weird, irrational, crippled stranger? Or was she my mother? She was both. What was once family life became a cruel, alternate reality.

I finally took a deep breath and said, "There's only one way this can end." And I got some sh*t from people when I said it out loud. Sorry, The truth hurts. And the tsk-tskers weren't hurting as much as I was.

My mom finally found everlasting peace, let's say. I don't feel so great. But I'm working it out. And you will, too. There's no way around this ugly reality, when the parent you cared for and buried is so different from his or her old self.

This lifestage is an epic mind game. And everyone has their own timetable. Be kind to yourself.
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Pattijean, I too struggle with this. I prayed so earnestly for months and months for my dad to peacefully pass because he was so miserable stuck inside the AD and CHF body. Then when he became acutely ill in May and hospice was called, I literally begged God to save him. He did, and then I felt guilty because I placed him right back into the daily misery. My dad is still here and I still struggle with this many to most days. I am glad I chose to refuse any treatment of any then-future acute illnesses because I know now that his time is truly in God's hands, and even if I cannot find rest in that now, I know I will be able to one day. Used to be pneumonia was called the old-person's friend because it shortened the time spent incapacitated.

I want dad to know and be the young man he remembers himself being. I want him to have the purpose and life he wants. I want him to be able to drive and work because that's what he loved to do. I want to give him that gift. Something inside me just keeps thinking that maybe someday… Maybe. Even though I know it will never be. That said, I realized something else about myself through talking with the hospice counselor. I realized that knowing AD does not reverse and CHF does not reverse, and how miserable and limited he is now, I pray for dad to die because I love him. While I pray for him to live so that he can have that (unreachable) chance to be who he remembers, I also pray for him to live because I love myself and have been caring for him for so long I don't want to imagine what I will do with the empty hours. This is going to sound horrible and selfish, but in a way it feels good to have someone need me so much.

I don't know that it's a solution for you or anyone else, but when I catch myself wanting him to stay forever I stop and make myself think about the whole situation logically and that each week, each day, as miserable as it is for him, is the best day of the rest of his life. It is then that I can rest in wanting him to pass on quietly and peacefully.

Like many others, I have watched my dad go from independence to nearly immobile and no joy in a very short time. I have grieved, sometimes sobbing at each little loss as I knew "the dad I had known for a few days, weeks, or months" would never come back, and there wasn't a thing I could do about it.

The longer you caregive, the closer you get to your loved ones. Caregiving consumes us, our lives, so the thought of losing our loved one is excruciating. How do you reconcile all of this? I think it is by knowing that God's will will be done in their length of days even when what I see and feel contradict.
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I admit that I feel the same way about my mom She seems so miserable and unhappy despite taking an antidepressant. I feel I lost her a few years back as she does not recognizes me and is very angry at being here. She unable to do a lot wants to lay down all the time, although I am able to get her out the house 3 days a week to socialize with others. I ask for forgiveness all the time for wishing she would die.
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Please do not be so hard on yourself. Loving your Mom the way you do is a gift to you both. Seeing your Mom so fragile is hard, and wanting her to be at peace and yet stay with you too, are confusing emotions. What is important to understand about those emotions, is that you want her to be at peace, and she will be. She will leave when she feels YOU are at peace with her going. Telling your Mom how much you love her, BUT if she want to go, "it's okay", that "you'll be okay" maybe be important for her to hear and know, so she CAN leave....I hope this helps. It did for me.
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Pattijean, none of us want dementia, be incontinent and be in a nursing home. Living to be 102 yrs. is a great achievement, and you probably will live a long life since you have your mother's genes. Of course when you love someone, you do not want them to suffer. With dementia, I am not sure those with it suffer because they don't know the difference. When the good Lord wants to call her home, He will. In the meantime, keep holding her hand for your sake and know she is in the best place. Suffering is part of life.
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"we are born to die"....how 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.
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I'm starting to feel as you do about my mother in law. How much longer will she hold on? My sister and I thought last Christmas would be MIL's last. Each time she has a hospitalization and "rehabs" she starts from a weaker place, never gets back lost function, but her decline slows down for a month or two before speeding up again. She's kept alive with pills and is on antidepressants. It seems so unnatural that I cannot imagine how much worse things can get. It's a nightmare and we're all living in it. I wish you and your mom peace.
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Do not feel guilty.I worked in the medical field and saw life from a mother's perspective, a daughter's perspective, a medical professional perspective...I always did not want suffering..I also asked myself what I would want if in the ill person's position..I told my daughter(who also works in the medical field) if I am in that state if she has to get the grandkids to trip over the plug..I do not want to linger and suffer..Do not be hard on yourself, God will take her when it is time.Bless you and take care of yourself.
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You are not bad for wishing her to pass. It is an incredible love that says " I will miss you and hurt so terribly without you, but I love you too much to put myself first, so I pray for your release from this life". You wish it for her because your love for her is deep and abiding. Do not feel bad for putting her wishes before your own.

When my father passed I had been praying for his quick release from this world, but when it happened I cried out asking God how he could have taken him from us.

It is natural to have mixed emotions, but you should feel no guilt at all. Just continue to love her and put her first, and be the good loving daughter you are.
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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,

Bob

n a
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Wanting the best for the people you love is what love is about. You are not wrong in wanting your mother's suffering to end. It WILL end -- we all die. And there is no contradiction in both wishing for the mercy of death to end incurable suffering and grieving for the loss of the mother you love. You are doing the best you can for her within what is in your power to change and that is all anyone can do for another. On some level your mother knows she is not alone on this journey. For your own sake i hope you can make peace with your conflicted feelings and be good to yourself, and for your mother's sake i hope her suffering ends soon. At some point we all come to the end of what we can physically do for a loved one who is suffering but we never come to the end of loving them. Wishing your mother a gentle passage and you the peace that passes understanding.
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Pattijean - as you can see from the myriad of comments and Carol's expert input, you have a lot of company in your conflicting feelings about your mother's eventual passing. All of us with parents in advanced age and/or dementia/Alzheimers are just doing the best we can under most imperfect circumstances. This site is a great source of solace and support, so as the step programs' mantra goes, "keep coming back." Sending lots of hugs for comfort and strength - you are a very loving person and your mother is so very fortunate to have you looking out for her as she nears the end of her life.
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I told my Husband that I did not want him to die.
I also told my Husband that it was selfish of me to not want him to die.
I told him that I love him, that I will miss him but that I will be alright and that it was alright for him to go. I asked him to say HI to my parents. I told him that the Cubbies needed him in Heaven to help win the World Series.
All I can say is he must have made it cuz they won and we all know that it took a Miracle for that to happen.

Your Mom has lived a wonderful, full life. Rejoice in that.
You will carry the best of your Mom with you for the rest of your life and know that with each life you touch that life will have been effected by your Mom. So in some respects we all live on in our memories that come out as family stories, in kindness. She will be with you, some day you will turn a corner and catch a glimpse of something and it will jog a memory, smell an aroma from a bakery and it will remind you of her. These things are not coincidence, they are our loved ones letting us know they are near.
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my feelings were exactly the same when my mother was in stage 7 dementia!!! it was heartbreaking...so hard for me to see her like that!!! i wanted her to die...but even the thought in my head hurt my heart!!!! omg....last stages soooo hard. when my mother died i was sitting next to her...holding her arm. it was such an out of body experience!!! i was tremendously sad and elated at the same time!! but as soon as she took her last breathe....i was sooooooooooo grateful that it was over for her and myself!!! god i love my mother...she was the best thing in my life! losing a loved one is NEVER easy! good luck...you will be fine...so will your wonderful mom!
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Salisbury --
You've captured the essence of the answer to the question.
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My husband and I went to the hospital to visit the mother of a close friend. She seemed to be unconscious and we knew she hadn't long to live. We barely knew her but we cared about her even so. After a few confused comments to each other we decided to leave. I don't recall what, if anything, we said directly to her.
I glanced over my shoulder as we started back down the hall, and saw her suddenly thrashing about as if struggling to beckon us not to go, but I am ashamed to say, I did not tell my husband. I knew he must have been having painful memories of his own mother's demise, but I still wish we had gone back to her. This is a little off-topic, but it shows that anyone can have mixed feelings in such circumstances.
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My dad robbed and beat lay in the hospital 17 days in a coma. the doctors agreed that he could not live with out life support his mind had straight lined. I bit my tongue and told them to pull the plug . WE kept my mother for several years with no sibling help . Mama's youngest sister and oldest nephew convinced me that a nursing home was the answer to saving my own family. I left her at the nursing home with tears in my eyes . One of the most difficult decisions that I had ever made that effected me this way. I was able to visit her 4 or 5 times a week not counting the stomach pumping that I was called to witness . I had never let our animals suffer from incurable illnesses or injurie's as much as I cared for them . I stepper into the hallway and with great reluctance and fighting guilt I asked Our God to take her and they called me the next day and said that God had taken her Home . My 90 year old wife of 69 years is in my 24/7home Hospice care now. Ask God to take your love one home they have suffered long enough.
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Your wish for her to be released from her pain/debilitation is very common when we experience our parents deterioration. You sound very kind and loving. You are doing everything you can to optimize the quality of her remaining days. Is she a DNR? Do you have medical power of attorney. When she leaves this crippling world she will be free and in peace. My believe is live and energy never die. We only borrow our bodies and own a soul. I personally believe we will all be reunited when it's our time. You have no control on her aging and decline. You definitely have control and give much love to her. Keep the faith. Best wishes. ☘️☘️💕💕
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