Mom no longer wants to live

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MT Lady
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 969
   Posted 3/28/2012 9:57 PM (GMT -6)   
Mom is 90, diagnosed with AD over 8 years ago. She remains in moderate stage with the use of Namenda and Aricept and lives in assisted living. I have two sisters and between the three of us, one of us is there every day to help her. We put her nightgown out on her bed, and lay out a fresh outfit with underwear for the next day. She has been doing okay and for a long time now, she has told us she is happy and feels safe where she lives. Until yesterday...now she has begun saying things like "I have a miserable life" or "I don't want to live any longer. I keep telling "him" but he doesn't listen to me." Tonight she told me she wants to be with my father, who died over 47 years ago. Needless to say, this makes me very sad. Now I realize that with dementia, their thoughts leave them almost immediately and this probably bothers me more than it does her. I am just wondering if anyone else here has had to deal with this? I battle depression and anxiety along with fibromyalgia and hearing this certainly doesn't help me in my battle to lift my spirits. Any input would be appreciated,
thanks
Miriam

It's Genetic
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Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 1540
   Posted 3/29/2012 2:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Oh, yes, MT Lady, all of us who have been caregivers know what you're talking about. Dementia (by strokes or by whatever means) leaves caregivers with feelings that are difficult to describe and share.

Somehow, you have to learn that the lady whom you love so much is not the same person you knew as a youngster and that you must allow for any and almost all faulty judgments or statements that come from their mouths. They are really not aware of how others are affected by their comments.

Try to realize each time you see her that you and your sisters are doing it all for God's blessings and that no matter what is said or done, your responsibility is to help them live the last days of their life with as much comfort and as little pain as possible and all in the name of the Heavenly Father.

Be thankful for as much as you can see that resembles normalcy and know that your crown in heaven will be there for you when this is all part of the past.

Try to accept what my personal doctor told me, "we know that they're dying and that there's nothing we can do". It's the most difficult thing I ever had to accept in my life. You probably feel the same way. My husband just said "go there and do everything you can do". Those are two wise statements that carried me through the years of my mother's strokes and eventual death.

Take care of yourself. Try to allow plenty of time for yourself and for your own relaxation and interests, because caregiving is one exhausting and draining effort. You need your recovery time. You will, in the end, have the enduring positive feeling that you did all you could do; that will strengthen you immeasurably.

Take care and may God bless you all.

It's Genetic

Post Edited (It's Genetic) : 3/29/2012 1:48:40 AM (GMT-6)


Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 3/29/2012 9:44 AM (GMT -6)   
My grandmother was doing the same thing. She would tell me that she wanted me to put her to sleep, like one would do for a dog but I had to keep telling her that I couldn't do that. She lost her will to live and it broke my heart tremendously. I can not tell you how many times I would sit in the car after visiting with her and cry. She eventually started doing things to herself. She had a nephrostomy bag due to bladder cancer and she would purposely cut the tubing. I had to take her in for emergency surgery twice for that. We also had to remove all scissors and nail clippers from her room. And finally she just pulled the whole thing out - there was a hole in her back where the tube was place and that tube went into her kidney. The tubing was stitched to her skin. I know it must of hurt like crazy but she was bound and determined to join gpa. That is what finally gave her her wish. :(
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
Diagnosed Left sided UC in '92 - meds: 6mp, Colazal, Remicade and Bentyl*Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines*, in '11 diagnosed with IBS, Diverticulosis, Fibromylagia..I also have Sacroiilitis, Scoliosis, Raynauds, OA, PA, Rosacea, Psoriasis, Dry Eye and allergies controlled by Zyrtec and Singular

SmurfyShadow
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 3/29/2012 6:24 PM (GMT -6)   
MT Lady, My gma recently passed over this last weekend. I was her sole caretaker for a year, she had dementia. I finally had to put her into a home because of my health, I couldnt take care of her without help, and the family didn't give me the help.
Please know I am praying ofr you, I do understand your stressful situation, and with the fibro it is a key to remain unstressed I found for me personally.

Depression often goes with dementia patients, and alz. Perhapy askign her primary doctor for a antidepressent?
"The Walking Medical Mystery"

Too many Allergies / Too many RXs & DXs

A Rare Gem for Doctors and Guinee Pig
~Medical Caregiver and Doctors Worse Nightmare~

notsosicklygirl
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 16422
   Posted 3/30/2012 6:05 AM (GMT -6)   
That's a tough situation. I remember when I was a child, I had a grandpa who was paralyzed and he didn't want to live. He would ask my sister and I to kill him or roll his chair off a hillside. I agree on the antidepressants but I also think people should be able to choose the time when they are ready. Poor thing. You're wonderful for showing her so much love. I understand her perspective as well and I am not sure whether it is the dementia speaking or if maybe she really knows what she wants. I can tell you I wouldn't have wanted to live like my grandpa. I would have helped him if I could have.
Co-moderator: Ulcerative Colitis
Diagnosed with Pancolitis, Laryngopharyngeal Reflux & Migraines. Battling Extreme Exhaustion.
Currently: Asacol (2800mg) + 6mp (25mg) + Pristiq (50mg) + prilosec (40mg) +Canasa (1g PM) + cerazette

MT Lady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 969
   Posted 3/31/2012 6:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for your responses and your wisdom. Mom has been on Lexapro since her diagnosis, which is an antidepressant. She also takes two medications at night to sleep and one is in the antidepressant class of drugs, so I don't think we could give her any more. She also takes Aricept and Namenda which her doctor tells us is slowing down the procession of Alzheimer's and that is what I'm struggling with. As her POA, do I take her off those medications, to allow her to progress through to end stage instead of keeping her stable in moderate stage?
Miriam
Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, scoliosis, DDD L1/L2, L3/L4, L5/S1, sciatica, severe spinal stenosis L5/S1, severe facet joint pain syndrome, hypothyroidism.

notsosicklygirl
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 16422
   Posted 4/1/2012 12:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Gosh Miriam, I don't know. That is such a difficult decision and I wish I could give advice but I have never been there. My parents are still relatively healthy and I am very thankful for that. I am scared for the day when I have to make these decisions. I do know my mother well and I think I would do my best to follow her wishes as best I could. It's just really difficult to watch someone deteriorate when you feel like you could be doing something to prevent this from happening. It would almost be easier if you could choose the time and prevent the inevitable period of suffering. With my grandpa, he lived many, many years beyond desiring to pass. He was alone in a vet hospital fairly distant from all relatives. He did get visits from the family on a weekly basis. He was depressed and miserable. I don't think he would roll back the clock to relive those years. That's for sure! I am sorry you're going through this.
Co-moderator: Ulcerative Colitis
Diagnosed with Pancolitis, Laryngopharyngeal Reflux & Migraines. Battling Extreme Exhaustion.
Currently: Asacol (2800mg) + 6mp (25mg) + Pristiq (50mg) + prilosec (40mg) +Canasa (1g PM) + cerazette

imagardener2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 5750
   Posted 4/1/2012 8:34 AM (GMT -6)   
When you think about it her not wanting to live in her condition is not irrational, what is irrational is the thought that someone can help her achieve this.

I just finished a book that described some elderly people in the 17th/18th century as longing to die when they were incapacitated and in pain but their religion prevented them from doing anything about it. They looked at death as a blessing both for them and their families. The book wasn't about this subject at all, it was just describing rural life in earlier times. Times haven't changed much at all have they?

Luckily my parents and grandparents were never in this situation and I'm sorry your family and you having to deal with this.
Your question about stopping medication could be answered by an eldercare attorney perhaps. Or follow your heart and do what is best for your mother. If it were me in your mother's condition I'd want to be listened to and my requests fulfilled.

Red_34
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 4/1/2012 1:07 PM (GMT -6)   
As hard as it may be to face, your mother is 90 and at the end stage of life anyway. But she is not in her right mind to make these sort of decisions and that is where you come in. It's a really tough call on how you want to proceed but what if by taking her off the medications that it does not make her progress? AD is unpredictable. Right now it's about the quality of life - sort of like a terminal cancer patient; a cancer patient may or may not get better with treatment but in the process of trying it can be miserable. My heart goes out to you in this, it truly does.
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
Diagnosed Left sided UC in '92 - meds: 6mp, Colazal, Remicade and Bentyl*Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines*, in '11 diagnosed with IBS, Diverticulosis, Fibromylagia..I also have Sacroiilitis, Scoliosis, Raynauds, OA, PA, Rosacea, Psoriasis, Dry Eye and allergies controlled by Zyrtec and Singular
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