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Mum slowly deteriorating and not eating - Carers UK Forum

Mum slowly deteriorating and not eating

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My 94 year old mum has taken a turn for the worse since contracting a severe chest infection. She is in a dementia home. She doesn't want to eat, although the staff try to persuade her, and she just has sips of fluid during the day. She is so tiny now, I wince when they turn her, which they do every two hours. She was refusing her medication and pain relief, so she now has a morphine patch. The Home is contacting the GP again today because mum won't swallow the liquid antibiotics. I don't know what the outcome of that will be. I go in to see her twice a day, just to sit with her, but she gets quite agitated when I'm there, constantly calling my name. It's so hard to know what to do for the best. I don't think she's got long now so I want to spend as much time with her as I can, but I want her to be calm. I hope the morphine patch will help with that. It's so very difficult and I hate to see her so poorly. I hope she slips away soon; for her sake.
Hi Penny,
I'm sorry to hear about your mum. It sounds like the home are caring for her well and they and the GP are keeping her as comfortable as they can. Perhaps the GP could prescribe something to take the edge off her anxiety when you sit with her, obviously you want to spend as much tome with her as possible. I hope this doesn't go on for too long. ((((Hugs))))

Melly1
Thanks Melly1. Unfortunately, the anxiety medication did not relieve her symptoms and I think that, now, they are concentrating on making her comfortable and helping her to sleep more peacefully.
I know that the home will do all that they can, but that doesn't relieve your concerns
We are all with you
Penny, I wonder if your mother becomes agitated when you are with her because she 'knows' (somewhere inside) she is leaving this world, but does not want to leave YOU? When you think how very common it is for people to say 'I was with my parent almost to the end, but then when I left the room, I came back and they'd slipped away' (nurses say this all the time) (it happened twice to my SIL with both her parents), and we feel dreadful because we their children were not there.

BUT, from a parent's point of view it's the opposite. When our time comes, if we are parents ourselves, how can we possibly 'let go' and leave our children on their own? A parent always 'sticks by their child'...

So, the way I see it maybe that it is ONLY when we are 'not there' that they feel they can finally 'let go' themselves. Their long, long 'duty of love' towards us is over, and they can take their rest......

I don't know whether this is true or not, but it might be, and if so, it might be the explanation for why your mum is agigated and calls your name - in her mind, she has to still 'look after you', her child.

Wishing you as well as can be at this time - and that your mother has an easeful passing from this sad world to what surely all of us can only hope will be a 'nicer' one 'on the other side' maybe......
Thank you Jenny and Andrew. You could be right, Jenny, she is certainly more relaxed when I'm not there. However, I've just come back from my morning stint, during which she asked if she was going to die. I asked her if she wanted to and she said yes. So I told her that was alright, if that's what she wanted. She told me I was so good. I assume she meant for letting her go. It was a good visit and she was calm. I wonder if this is the end. I wish..........
Oh Penny, that must surely be her 'blessing' on you. And yours on her. I think that by telling her it was 'OK' for her to 'let go', she will pass with a more easeful mind, surely. It is your final gift to each other perhaps....

One of the things I do so hope, and I hope this is not too 'fanciful' is that as they leave this life, they are 'greeted' by their own parents, to whom they themselves said goodbye so long ago. And then when our turn comes, it will be them who are greeting us, as we pass that strange, strange threshold. I do so hope so.....

It's good that she feels that she wants now to make that journey herself - that must surely be the way we all want it to be.

Kindest wishes at this time, Jenny
Hi Penny
Not far behind you with my Mum. Very similar situation, not eating etc. I wish both our mums an easy passing now that their long life is coming to an end.
Travelling beside you on this journey.
X
Elaine
Hi Jenny and Elaine. Sorry to hear about your mum, Elaine. Isn't it funny, we've had these very elderly people with us for all our lives and we've always known they would one day leave us, but it's still very hard at the end. Nothing prepares us. I long to get the call that she has slipped away, because it would mean she is no longer in pain or distress. But I also dread it. I don't want to lose her.
Jenny - I sat with her yesterday and reminded her of all the wonderful people who are waiting for her, including my dad who died when I was small and my stepfather who died some years ago. She asked me if I was her mum. I told her I was. She seemed happy about that. I have no religious beliefs, but mum does and I hope she's right.
Penny- that brought tears to my eyes- and I normally only cry over dogs-sorry if that sounded flippant to some people- it certainly wasn't meant that way- hugs to you.