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is this the end? - Carers UK Forum

is this the end?

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Can anyone advise, they moved my FIL today to a rehab unit, my husband visited him as per usual, yesterday was horrid today was worse, he is calling out take me now! and also talking to people not there, deceased relatives, his mother in law and his wife, they both have been gone for a long long time. Is it coming soon, does anyone know of this have any of you experienced this at all. Things are going from bad to worse. He has spinal compression, heart failure, kidney failure, depression. he is 89 years old and was walking and driving previous to his fall in september
Hi Carol
Sorry to read your post and hear of the sad circumstances of your FIL. It does sound as though he may be nearing the end of life. I read up about EOL before I lost my father at Christmas, and speaking to those who have passed before seems to be one of the common signs discussed. Dad had often called out for a cousin/uncle but he had been doing this for several months with his dementia .
How very distressing. I think the best thing might be to corner a nurse or doctor (sometimes the nurses have a lot more experience) and ask that question bluntly, and say you want an honest answer. Remember, medics are trained not to tell things to patients or family who don't ask them, and that can be 'unhelpful' as so often family are working on one assumption (ie, that someone will get better - or the opposite), which does not apply at all.

In the end, though, however 'delerious' someone is, however much their mind has 'gone' it is a question of whether the body is reaching end point.

When my husband went into end stage with cancer, I asked the GP but WHY, he'd done SO WELL for so long....and the GP said something that I found helpful and 'explanatory'.....he said that with severe illness the body can take so much, and so much, and so much....but, at some point, often a 'trivial one' it just gets too much, and they are simply overwhelmed. The body packs in, and can't cope any longer.....

That may be what is happening now.....??

One thing, though, to bear in mind, is, as again my GP told me, even the doctors can't know for certain. I was told my husband might survive further for weeks, declining steadily, or might 'go out like a light in days'. He did the latter.....

There are, for all that 'uncertainty' certain things that DO tend to happen shortly before death. I was told my husband would lose his swallowing reflex, probably c 24-48 hours before he died, and at that point he could no longer have anything by mouth, not even water, as he would be unable to stop fluids or foods or even meds going into his lungs and choking him. We kept his mouth moist with wiping with a damp 'cotton bud' and a flannel. By that point they need very little water anyway, and much can be generated metabolically in the body tissues by the chemical process of respioration (breathing) which produces water internally as a side product.

IF this is, indeed, 'the end coming' then please, also bear in mind something else that seems to be a 'universal truth' in many ways. It is this. So, so often, while we are with them, they 'hang on'....but when we leave their side, they 'slip away. Nurses see this all the time. We often 'beat our selves up' for having left, but the point is, especially with parents, that they 'cling on' because, as we would understand, they cannot 'bear' to abandon their children....only when we are not there do they give themselves 'permission' to leave us......

So please don't be upset if this is what happens with your FIL when that time does come....

Kind thoughts to you at a distressing time....
It is definitely time to Google "Signs of Dying", distressing, but really important you know what is involved. His body may not be able to cope with all the challenges it now faces. Are the doctors giving him anything to make him less agitated.
Thank you all for your replies, i have had this conversation with my husband, and will tackle the questions as soon as we can at the rehab, how cruel they were to move him. i now have to call my brother in law in australia to tell him. its all so sad, i cannot believe the NHS can be so uncaring.
If it's your husband's brother, he should make the call himself. In Australia, people have to accept that parents at home will be ill and they can't help, so he may be expecting a call, it won't come as a shock, I suspect. I used to live there, still have friends there.
We have been in constant contact with my husbands brother in oz. he knows exactly whats going on here, its bloody awful.
And he is quiet happy to talk to me as my husband is at work he is a night-worker, he calls his brother when he can when not at work. Although they live the other side of the world we are close, we always have been. Someone asked if my sister in law was me recently. we was on holiday with them when this all started in September.
That's good Carol, that you all keep in touch, so often it's not so good.
I'd certainly recommend talking to the nurses. He may have delirium as a side effect of medication or infection. It might also be some form of dementia, and it may signs of the end. They can all be similar.
It might be worth contracting the local hospice who will have more experience and may e.g. able to offer support or more appropriate accommodation., but start with nurses/doctors and be blunt

Many thanks Mrs A, this is the course we shall be steering tomorrow.