I have been reading postings from people having a hard time with the season. Ahmijoy, who was so helpful to me when my dad was getting worse earlier in the year wrote about her family get together issues. Sad to read.
For me, a year ago things were fairly normal. My dad had been diagnosed with ALZ almost two years earlier, but was still pretty good and steady. Had not really declined much in that two years and was taking care of himself (living with my mom, but could walk, eat, shower, went places, etc) He had a seizure on December 28, which the ER doc said was not typical of ALZ but later the duty MD said it was. He was in the hospital for a couple days, and then went to a New Years Day get together with friend as he always did and seemed fine. In February, he aspirated, went to hospital, and went downhill quick. The next two and a half months he bounced around between hospital, rehab, hospital, and a couple SNFs Died last day of April. So while it seemed like a long time at the time, it was all only 4 months. Last year at this time I naturally wondered what the year would hold for him but didn't think he would be gone in four months. I read about more long drawn out, declines, and sometimes feel cheated he didn't get more time, but like people here have told me, it is probably better it did go fast for him rather than be in SNF for years on end. I have had good times and bad times since then, but now, this time of year, being Christmas right after which it all started going downhill brings sadness. He was 93 so maybe that makes the decline more rapid, I dunno. As mentioned before, always seem to struggle with guilt. If I made the right care choices for him and if I had made better choices if he would have lasted longer. Maybe some time, I dunno, but in any event not in a good state of life. I guess you ultimately cannot beat ALZ. For him I think the issue was always the aspirating. On his last day I pressured the staff to feed him, they did, he choked, and died later that day, so easy to think that my pressuring them to feed him killed him. But I guess it was going to be a matter of days in any event. Like everyone, my greatest hope was that he was not suffering. Would like to think he was so out of it that he di didn't realize he was dying or that we were not there when he died.