DNR - I agreed to it for my mum. I need to tell someone

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by nellen, Aug 13, 2015.

  1. nellen

    nellen Registered User

    Mar 17, 2009
    96
    Derbyshire
    #1 nellen, Aug 13, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2015
    Hi I've posted about my mum being in hospital previously. It's almost 10 weeks now. She went in with pancreatitis which cleared up after 3 weeks but the social work team didn't want her to go back to her sheltered flat with an increased care package so they looked at reablement but that was declined as her rehab potential was deemed to be low, then it was moving to a smaller more local hosp but that was turned down too, and now it's 24 hour nursing care

    Mum has had various uti's and has kidney damage as well as mobility problems and dementia and age related macular degeneration.
    This week I was told that the pain and itching she's been complaining of is shingles!! She's in isolation and they've put her on anti viral medication.

    Today I was told that a doctor wanted to talk to me and he took me off into the sister's office and asked me if I would consider "do not resuscitate" and no intrusive medical intervention for my mum - the doctor doesn't know if she will recover then slip back down again or just decline. I agreed to both as I can see the decline and how weak my mum is and I don't want her to suffer for longer than she needs to. I don't want her kept alive for the sake of it. Who knows she might pick up and have have a happy time in a nursing home

    I can't tell many people in real life yet, but need to tell people on here who perhaps understand
     
  2. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    426
    Hi Nellen,

    It's such a difficult decision to have to make, but I would do the same as you have done. I am sure the doctors will also advise you what is best for your mum, so if and when the time comes it won't really be you making the decision, it'll be more you supporting the doctors in their decision.

    All the best to you.

    LS
     
  3. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    12,485
    Female
    England
    I too had the same conversation with my husband's Doctor, the care home Manager and the Senior Nurse last year. My husband was for several months hovering and no one expected him to survive so everything for palliative care including DNR was put in place.

    He did pull through and though now only allowed out of bed for two hours a day is as well as he can be and is alert but the DNR remains in place and the nursing home can and will care for him with hospital not being an option when it is necessary.

    Hopefully your Mum will pick up to enjoy some time in the nursing home.
     
  4. Lindy50

    Lindy50 Registered User

    Dec 11, 2013
    5,302
    Cotswolds
    Hi nellen :)

    When my mum was admitted to hospital in July with kidney failure, dehydration, UTI, chest infection and a fractured elbow - we didn't know this at the time, just that she was very ill - the staff took mum's history and readings, and then we were immediately approached by a doctor about DNR. I was shocked, I admit, but like you, I agreed that I did not want heroic measures to be taken. The DNR was made on the grounds that any resusitation would be followed by a poor quality of life, and that mum had previously said to me that she did not want to 'carry on like this'.

    It sounds like a difficult decision when put like this, but in fact it felt quite natural at the time. I don't want mum to suffer, and she doesn't want to either.

    So well done nellen. You acted in your mum's best interests. I hope now that she can pull through and have some happy time in a nursing home :)

    All the best

    Lindy xx
     
  5. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,780
    Salford
    Hi Nellen
    Tough call but I'd do the same thing as you and go for the DNR. I was a nurse and the whole resuscitation process is very hard on the patient, the idea of doing it on a frail old lady for what another hour, week, few moths at best and it may not work.
    When she slips away let her go, it's the kindest thing.
    K
     
  6. Boldredrosie

    Boldredrosie Registered User

    Mar 13, 2012
    244
    Hi Nellen

    I'm sure you have done the right thing for your mum.
     
  7. triumph25

    triumph25 Registered User

    Apr 2, 2012
    90
    Forest of Dean
    I agree with everyone. You have made the best decision for your mum, and therefore, have done the right thing.

    It's a very hard decision to make. We had it in place for Dad & were told 3 times that he wouldn't make it through the night, but he did.

    In the end it was his heart that gave up, but am so glad he wasn't put through CPR etc. it would have been cruel.

    Don't feel guilty or anything about your decision, it's the right one!
     
  8. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    6,968
    Brixham Devon
    You have made a very kind decision with your Mum's best interests at heart. How can that be wrong? Never! I have made my own LPA for health and welfare in which I have stated that DNR is the way I want to go if I have no quality of life.

    You have been very brave-do not doubt yourself

    Love

    Lyn T XX
     
  9. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,497
    Female
    Near Southampton
    I think that most of us here have had to face this and have been convinced that there really is no other option. When it was said to me by a consultant that, if I was not around, no medical person would agree to ressuscitation knowing my husband's health problems, I had to eventually agree.
    It was also pointed out to me that it was unlikely he would survive the procedure anyway and certainly not without a deterioration in his condition as it was very brutal and not at all like we see on television!
    He had already had CPR in hosptial after being considered asleep for some time but was in fact not breathing and this had affected his dementia detrimentally.
    It's a hard thing to face but it's the right thing to do. x
     
  10. betsie

    betsie Registered User

    Jun 11, 2012
    253
    I think you have done the best thing for your mum.

    My uncle had dementia but could still go out on his mobility scooter. He fell off it one day and broke his hip. They operated without asking my aunt to sign a DNR. He died on the operating table but as he had no DNR they resuscitated him. He was 91. He came round but his dementia had significantly worsened, the Dr told us he would never walk again and would have to go into a nursing home. He died in hospital six weeks later after forgetting how to swallow. My aunt suffered 6 horrible weeks watching him slowly fade away. I really can't see how this was in any ones best interests. She said she wished she had been told he was having the op as she would have signed the DNR and he would not have had to suffer.

    Sometimes it feels so heartless and cold signing things like this when our loved ones are ill but in reality it is the kindest and most loving thing we can do. Unfortunately as we all know, people with Dementia only ever get worse. X
     
  11. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,295
    SW London
    That is interesting - my mother broke a hip at 91 or 2 - I lose track now - and DNR was never mentioned. As it happened she was tough enough to pull through very well, but we had a neighbour who was in his 80s (no dementia) and had already suffered major heart problems. He was resuscitated in hospital and told me later that the after effects were so painful, he wished they had let him die. He did not in any case live for very long afterwards.
     

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