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My older brother came down to check on parents. He feels that the situation is past the tipping point and that my Mother should be removed from dialysis. I am on the brink of nervous breakdown.

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Dreyfuss, I read your profile and see that both of your parents are living. What does your father think? That is an important consideration.

Outsiders really can't provide much instruction on when it is time to give up. There is something big to consider that I will mention. Many times when we are working to help someone live, we are doing it because of a need in ourselves. If they were to die, then we failed. And if we are able to help them keep living, then we are doing a good job. Other times it will be because we will miss them and don't know how to fill the hole that their dying will make. Still other times it is because we feel that doing whatever we can is what we are supposed to do. I don't know who wrote the societal "supposed to's," but some can be pretty tough on us.

In trying to decide we have to take ourselves out of it. Has your mother's life reached a point of misery that there is no joy left, but only suffering? If it has, then your decision should be clear. With Alzheimer's and age, she doesn't qualify for a transplant if that is what is needed. Is there any chance she will improve or only get worse? Her doctor said that he would reevaluate next week. Maybe then will be the time that a decision can be made.
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If it were her Mom what would your Mom want? If she has dementia, what would she say if she didn't and it was her Mom? I think the one thing we all need to do is not lay this on our kids. We need to put in writing what we want and don't want, while we still have some wits about us. Most of these elderly folks thought they would be dead before they reached this stage and so never made it clear to us what they wanted. Fortunately my MIL put in wriiting that if she is suffering from an illness that in all likelihood will end in death that she does not want extraordinary means taken. The illness she has that in all likelihood end in death is dementia. Her doctor says" let her do as she pleases, it will end up in a bad event that will have to dealt with and at this point (she's 88) we do not need to face a premature death." (paraphrased) I'm not sure I agree with him, but interesting viewpoint. I always ask what is being prolonged: Life or Death.
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Thank you all for replies. Mom goes to dialysis and renal doctor will be there on Tuesday to evaluate. Meanwhile, I am going through the maze to get a nurse out here at least for an hour to check vitals etc.
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My heart goes out to you Dreyfuss. Difficult decisions all the way around. Can you get your mom in to see the renal dr. sooner? Prayers for you and big HUG!!!
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Dreyfuss, first hugs and prayers for peace for you! I am so sorry, that has to be so very hard for you. Perhaps you can make a conference call with the doctor and your brother and yourself after his evaluation and of course Dad if he is able.We have been able to do that a few times for mother and it gives everyone a chance to hear first hand what the doctor and social worker think and gives us each the chance to ask questions . Death is a messy business and your brother may not have the tools to cope with any of it. When you speak with the doctor ask about quality of life and what he thinks the outcome of continued dialysis would be.Hopefully the next few days will give you and your dad a chance to think over what would be best for mom. I will keep you in my prayers!
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My older brother is the executor and I have great respect for his opinion but I disagree about discontinuing dialysis. Her renal doctor wants to reevaluate next week. She is transported there as we can barely get her into wheelchair anymore. Yesterday, she was lying on the floor in her own waste, mumbling and groaning. My brother said "enough is enough, there is no dignity. I am washing my hands of this mess. I will return for the funerals". I am a mental mess.
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Does your mother want to stop dialysis? Does she know what is going on? Eventually it stops working anyway so there is no point in continuing and death usually occurs about ten days later. Do you do the dialysis yourself or is she transported to a facility several times a week. I doubt that any assisted living would take your parents with the dialysis issue. A N/H is really the only option. Have you spoken to her Dr or consulted hospice. The Dr will probably agree to stop the dialysis I don't know who would start it at her age. Only you can make any decisions you feel are necessary but make sure your brother is involved and remains during the dying process. It's not like stopping life support when a patient is clearly brain dead. You father will have a hard time handling this and you may find caring for one 90 year old even more difficult than caring for two.
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