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End of life for my mother in law

worriedofcourse64

New member
Jun 9, 2019
1
hi everyone,
My mother in law has been in a NH for approx 2 years she has dementia. The last 6 months the family have been called to see her a few times as they thought she was dying but she managed to pull through.
Last week we were all called again and the decision was made to withdraw food and water and just give mouth care. Any water that she was taking in was just coming straight out the other end.
She isn’t in any pain but she is unable to communicate and spends most of the time sleeping.
I am living in limbo wondering when we will receive the call (if we aren’t already there)
How long can this go on for?
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
62,354
69
Dundee
Welcome from me too.

I'm so sorry to read about your mum. It's such an awful time. Wishing you strength for the days to come.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
12,947
South coast
Hello @worriedofcourse64
Im sorry to hear that you have reached this stage with your MIL. Your story sounds quite similar to my mums. In the last few months of mums life I was told 3 times that mum had reached end of life, but she bounced back. Eventually, though, after a fall and hip repair she did not. Once people stop eating and drinking, they can go on sometimes for a surprisingly long time. My mum went 17 days with no food or fluid, but I gather that most people do not last this long.

There will be several signs that the end is close, though, their limbs become cold and their breathing changes so that it becomes much more irregular and there can be long gaps between breaths. Mums breathing became very noisy and raspy, but Ive been told that this doesnt happen for everyone.

In the meantime, have you been given little sponges/brushes to keep her mouth moist? You can also put lip salve on her lips and moisturiser on her skin to make her more comfortable, as it gets very dry. Watch out for agitation that may indicate that the pain-killers are not sufficient. Eventually she will probably be given a syringe driver that will deliver pain killers and other needs to make her comfortable, on a continuous (though controlled) supply. Remember that hearing is the last thing to go so play her favourite music, talk or read to her. Make sure you say the important things - I love you, thank you, Im sorry and (if appropriate) I forgive you.

I know what you mean about living in limbo land. Time seems to stand still while this is going on, but there will be an end. Make sure you eat and sleep
((((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))
 

Ray96

Registered User
Sep 29, 2018
87
Hello @worriedofcourse64
Im sorry to hear that you have reached this stage with your MIL. Your story sounds quite similar to my mums. In the last few months of mums life I was told 3 times that mum had reached end of life, but she bounced back. Eventually, though, after a fall and hip repair she did not. Once people stop eating and drinking, they can go on sometimes for a surprisingly long time. My mum went 17 days with no food or fluid, but I gather that most people do not last this long.

There will be several signs that the end is close, though, their limbs become cold and their breathing changes so that it becomes much more irregular and there can be long gaps between breaths. Mums breathing became very noisy and raspy, but Ive been told that this doesnt happen for everyone.

In the meantime, have you been given little sponges/brushes to keep her mouth moist? You can also put lip salve on her lips and moisturiser on her skin to make her more comfortable, as it gets very dry. Watch out for agitation that may indicate that the pain-killers are not sufficient. Eventually she will probably be given a syringe driver that will deliver pain killers and other needs to make her comfortable, on a continuous (though controlled) supply. Remember that hearing is the last thing to go so play her favourite music, talk or read to her. Make sure you say the important things - I love you, thank you, Im sorry and (if appropriate) I forgive you.

I know what you mean about living in limbo land. Time seems to stand still while this is going on, but there will be an end. Make sure you eat and sleep
((((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))
Very sensible post there canary, sums it all up really in just a few words.