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Old 02-03-2017, 12:15 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Houston TX
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I think my mother in law is getting ready to die

I think I have mentioned before that besides looking after various grandchildren I also help take care of my mother in law since my wife travels so much. Mom is close to 90 and up until now has been pretty much self sufficient. She lives in a senior living apartment facility, she cooks her own meals and other then using an electric wheelchair she is pretty independent. I take her to doctor's appointments since she forgets what to ask or remember what they tell her. I try to get her out once a week, her favorite lunch is the all beef hotdogs at Costco! She recenltly began having symptoms of Parkinson's although her tremors are mostly her right arm. We saw as Neurologist who said she is in the beginning stages.

Since early December we have noticed a real decline in her and her daily routine. She's gotten more forgetful, sometimes a bit confused and forgets to take her pills that we put out in daily doses. In January it became more obvious that she wasn't eating. I took her for a checkup with her family Dr. who we see about every 90 days so Medicare will approve her bath aide and a home health nurse and she had lost 14 lbs since August when he weighed her last.

But this week we think she is beginning the shut down process. She pretty much quit eating. She might take a bite and then say it just doesn't taste right. She also is drinking very little. She has developed a sort of tick where she licks her lips, it could be because she is getting dehydrated. She says she is not in any pain, not hungry or thirsty and is not sick in any way as her BP is great and no fever or anything. She has stopped watching TV which used to be her main companion other than her little lap dog. She just sits and pets the dog and looks out the window. She is very happy overall. We have asked her if she would like to see the Dr. or go to the hospital and she is very insistent not to do that. At the hospital they would probably give her IVs and get her back to normal but probably would not discharge her to go back home and insist she go to rehab or a nursing home. That would be very unpleasant for her.

My wife and I and her brother (only 2 children) have the belief that she is ready to die, perhaps voices from beyond are calling her to come and she is just tired of life. We feel like as long as she is comfortable and in no pain we will let her go. She has been widowed for about 12 years now, shes has no friends to speak of, only the family here.

Yesterday I went to a local funeral home to get prices. I had looked online a few months ago and saw the local place offered an online special for $1695, it was quite basic as that is what we want. They pick up the body, cremate on site and you pick up the container of ashes. We plan to scatter them at sea as we did with her husband's. So when the nice guy told me their basic package was $2400 but included things we didn't want I felt like when you go car shopping and try to get the price down. After a few minutes he agreed that they could do it for $1695!

Today I pulled all the legal paperwork together, powers of attorney, do not resuscitate, her will, etc. Just being proactive. She owns no property other than her personal belongings. The funeral home guy said if she dies in her apartment to call 911 and when the paramedics arrive show them the "do not resuscitate" and they will contact a Justice of the Peace Judge who will issue a death certificate and then the funeral home will be notified to come pick her up.

Anyway, that is what's up with us. I'm thinking Monday will be the day.
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Old 02-03-2017, 12:30 PM   #2
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Chris, you've clearly got your shit together.

You've got what seems like all the "business" contingencies covered. The social ones are less well defined, at least as important, some more so.

I am hoping for the best for you and her and all your family.
Also a very stable genius.
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Old 02-03-2017, 12:34 PM   #3
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Is there anyone else who might step in against her wishes and send her to the ER when you aren't around? A night shift nurse or somebody like that?

Make sure everyone around her knows what her wishes are and has a copy of her DNR and advance medical directive. That includes the night shift people.

When I went through this with my elderly cousin, they knew his wishes were to have no IVs to hydrate him, but they took a blood draw, found high white blood cells, and gave him IV antibiotics which happened to be in a saline solution delivery device. So they hydrated him under the guise that it was medically necessary to treat the suspected infection. And since the course of antibiotics was several days, they were prepared to have him hooked up to an IV that whole time. Medically necessary to treat an infection even though his paperwork said no IV hydration.

He died anyway, but the IV kept him alive a couple days longer.

Pisses me off to this day that they went against the legal documents. It was the night shift workers. He was in a rehab place that was trying to delay his move to hospice care so they could wring every last medicare payment out of him.
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Old 02-03-2017, 02:33 PM   #4
The future is unwritten
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It sounds like she's seen the wolf. I hope her wishes are respected.
Everything is interesting... look closer.
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Old 02-03-2017, 05:31 PM   #5
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Thinking of you Chris
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Old 02-03-2017, 09:31 PM   #6
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Chris, you are wonderful. Every family needs a Chris. tough days ahead
The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity Amelia Earhart
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Old 02-03-2017, 10:40 PM   #7
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Im so sorry buddy..... I will say a prayer for your mom now
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Old 02-04-2017, 12:51 AM   #8
The future is unwritten
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I was telling a friend about this tonight. She just paid $6000 a month ago for her mother's cremation, with no viewing, no ceremony, Just ashes back.
Everything is interesting... look closer.
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Old 02-04-2017, 09:15 AM   #9
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It is unfortunate to say but society will take care of that service if you do not buy it.

"Society hates a rotting corpse." - Jackie Kashian

I tell my loved ones now, if there are any left, my greatest wish is that you efficiently get rid of the biological waste that is my dead body, at as little cost as you can manage. Please do not spend anything on this.
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Old 02-04-2017, 09:33 AM   #10
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Keeping you in my thoughts Chris.
If you would only recognize that life is hard, things would be so much easier for you.
- Louis D. Brandeis
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Old 02-04-2017, 09:56 AM   #11
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We'll be praying.
Annoy the ones that ignore you!!!
I live a blessed life
I Love my Country, I Fear the Government!!!
Heavily medicated for the good of mankind.
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Old 02-05-2017, 08:29 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
I was telling a friend about this tonight. She just paid $6000 a month ago for her mother's cremation, with no viewing, no ceremony, Just ashes back.
My father's cremation frills free was $1900. He always wanted a service with a 100 cars behind the hearse. Alas he outlived all of his friends and decided on cremation.

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Old 02-05-2017, 05:34 PM   #13
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Thanks to all who replied. It was a busy week what with my mother in law, my wife and her pill-cam and me helping my 10 year old granddaughter get her science fair project done!

So today is Sunday and my mother in law has not eaten anything really since Wednesday which was a few bites of a hamburger, she probably has really only had 6 ounces of solid food in the past week. She only drinks a few sips of water and sometimes some lemon-lime soda. But she is happy and not complaining. She says food just doesn't taste right.

We took her blood pressure last night and it was 114/56 with a resting heart rate of 60. She has no fever and feels comfortable to the touch. Her color is good but if you pinch the skin on her arm it takes several seconds to retract which is usually a sign of dehydration.

This morning I told my wife we should try to get there a little earlier than her usual time for getting up around 10 so we got there at 9:30 and she was already up in her recliner with her little dog in her lap. She said she slept ok and had just got up. I worry she might fall from a bit of dizziness or weakness and then break a bone. Then she would have to go to hospital and might never come back.

I suggested to my wife that we get some adult diapers. Right now she uses Depends type ones but she might get to where she is bedridden and those will be harder to get on and off. That is what we had to do with my mom. And we got some baby wipes and latex gloves. I don't think she has much in her digestive track but better to be ready.

She is in a Senior Independent apartment complex so she lives on her own. We do have a bath aide who comes on Tuesday and Friday to bath her, we have alluded to what may be happening but so far mom is fine to sit in the shower stall with help and get bathed but I think that will stop next week. Also a home health nurse comes once a week who is also aware of some of what is going on. She says she would contact us first if she is worried about her. And I have the Do Not Resuscitate request there in case we need it. This is a different situation from what I dealt with on my parents who both had home hospice care. For that a hospital or Dr. had to order it. But mom hasn't seen a doctor or gone to a hospital. She has no symptoms that would suggest she do that like a fever or pain.

I've been doing some reading up on this stage of life as the body prepares for death. She could go 1-2 weeks without food and water especially if she is getting a bit of liquids to keep the mouth moist. She may have bursts of energy but will slowly get to where she will only lie in bed. She is sensitive to noise, this is common. I think that is why she either has the TV off or turned on with no sound. She mostly looks out the window, pets her dog who loves being in her lap or next to her. She dozes in and out. We go by at 7:30 or so and get her into bed, she sleeps the whole night getting up at 9:30-10. I think her soul knows it is time to go.

My wife is in town for the next 2 weeks. We are pretty sure something will happen before that time passes. Her brother decided not to fly in this week, he was here last month and visitors sometimes cause the person to rally and hold on. He doesn't want to be the cause of her prolonging what will happen and maybe suffering.

It's just a wait and see.
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Old 02-05-2017, 11:37 PM   #14
The future is unwritten
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Yes, it's a drag when you know it's time, they know it's time, and you're both just waiting. It was that way with my grandparents and my mother. But you have no choice, try to think of things you may want to ask her before she's gone.
Everything is interesting... look closer.
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:50 AM   #15
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Ach damn, Chris - a sad time. But at least it doesn't sound like she is suffering.
Glad she has her little dog with her.

Hugs to all - am thinking of you

X Dani
There's only so much punishment a man can take in pursuit of punani. - Sundae
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