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My mother-in-law is doing very poorly. She's not eating, drinking, or responding. What can we do to help? Any advice would be most grateful.

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Having been a hospice nurse, I've seen many families "not know what to do" at the end of their loved ones life. We feel awkward and helpless.

Talk to her. Sit at her bedside and recount many happy memories together. Keep her informed of current family news. If she doesn't mind being touched, hold her hand, pat her arm, massage her back, comb or brush her hair, read a favorite book or poems to her, sing songs that you sang together or that are meaningful to her.

It sounds like she is very near crossing over. Let her know that you love her and anything else you want her to know. Maybe even that it's ok to leave. You'll miss her but she'll be in a better place.

How would you want people to treat you in your last days? Then do that for her.
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I'm at that stage now .,,I had to post a question ,,,it's such a hard decision..May God Bless you
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Bernie, have you considered hospice care? The aim of hospice is to make the patient  comfortable and to guide the family through the final stages of their loved one's life. You can ask your MIL's doctor to order a hospice evaluation. Meanwhile call every hospice service that covers your MIL's locale and ask what services they provide. Choose the best one and ask them to do the eval when you have the doctor's script.
Medicare covers the cost of hospice care.
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If your MIL has a health care provider, contact him or her. They can assess her condition based on her age, current health, dementia, etc.
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