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Last stage ??

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Old 02-03-2009, 01:36 AM   #1
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Question Last stage ??

My husband and I live in my mother's home now - she refused to move to our house when she could no longer live alone. Almost one year ago. She is having difficulty swallowing for several weeks. Recently she had chest congestion and took antibiotics. It stopped the fever but that is all. Her breathing is labored and today she would only eat a small amount of food that is soft and easier to swallow. She cannot swallow pills now as it chokes her. She aspirates liquids so we give her crushed ice throughout the day. Today she was unable to speak even one word. Does anyone know at this point how much longer she could suffer this way? I know if I take her to the hospital or a nursing home they will battle with us over feeding tubes etc. Mother never wanted that and I won't let it happen to her. I am in so much pain and exhaustion myself I can't imagine what she is in. She tried liquid lortab but will aspirate that at times too. Occasionally she can take crushed lortab pills covered with applesauce. Anyone know where to turn now?

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Old 02-03-2009, 03:41 AM   #2
Martha H
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Re: Last stage ??

Does your mother have Alzheimers? if so, the symptoms you describe may be the final stage. In her last few months my mother could not swallow, lost interest in food, slept a lot.

Mom was at a nursing home and there were no fights over feeding tubes. She had a ''do not resuscitate order" made out years before. They knew they were not allowed to force feed her or feed intravenously. They had Hospice come in to make her as comfortable as possible, and she passed away peacefully. She needed round the clock care by than and it was good that we had her in a NH. I had gone to live with her, and stayed there 5 years. It is a hard path you have chosen.

I hope all goes well for you in these final months.


Old 02-03-2009, 06:08 AM   #3
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Re: Last stage ??

My Mother was in a NH with AZ and there was no battle to have feeding tubes-which they will not put in in a nursing home. They administered liquid pain meds for her last four days as she was in a semi coma tose state. They didn't force anything else on her. Palative care only. We sat by her side until she passed. i couldn't have asked for a better place for her to be when she left us.

It may be several days if she isn't taking in any fluids at all. As long as she is getting some nourishment, and liquids he body has fuel to continue. She can live like this for quite awhile-I'm sorry to tell you.

Have you considered having hospice come in and help you? They won't force anything on your Mother that you don't want her to have. It will give you some relief and help. They may also be able to help with getting some pain meds in her to relieve her suffering. Please consider asking for their help. They are not there to force any type of treatment on her.

Bless you for what you have done for her...

Old 02-03-2009, 04:36 PM   #4
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Re: Last stage ??

I agree with the other XP. Hospice could be a godsend. In this day and age I can not see a NH forcing a feeding tube on a dementia patient. They do not do that in the facility Mom and Dad are in. They just use hospice and let them die as peacefully as possible.

IBake is right. Without liquids the life expectancy is a few days but if anything is going on then it could be weeks. The body is amazingly resilient.

You have done well. I know the road has not been easy and the end will be no easier. I wish you the best in dealing with this stage of the illness. Know I keep you all in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this.

Love, Deb

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