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End of life - mum fighting it at 69


Registered User
Feb 22, 2016
Hi all, this is my first post. My beautiful mum was 69 years old yesterday, she has had PCA Alzhiemer's for 8 years and been in a great dementia home for the last 2 years. My mum started to get worse after a nasty UTI earlier this year which resulted in incontinence. My mum has always tried to hide her illness and hated personal care as she found this embarrassing, even though I knew the home were treating her with the utmost dignity. A few weeks ago my mum spent 2-3 weeks in 2 different hospitals after falling, developing an infection in hospital. She refused to take meds or eat/drink unless I was there but then it was only a little amount. After a week of bloods being taken, scans etc. which were distressing her massively a decision was made to stop medical intervention and send her back to the home to die. The neurologist suspected silent seizures were the cause. Once back at the home she perked up slightly but fell when getting out of the chair. After a few days she just stopped eating and would only have the odd ice cream. My mum then became bed bound and deteriorated massively. Eventually she refused all fluid as she became unable to swallow. My mum is now day 9 with no food or drink and yesterday she started on morphine injections. I am struggling to deal with all of these emotions and understand what is happening to her. At times she is very coherent, although mostly sleeps. My mum seems to know what is happening to her in between medication and is embarrassed and distressed by it. She still refuses to drink and has palliative care for this. This morning she urinated twice and I am told she is very strong and her body is not really shutting down. I can't help but feel in denial wanting her to make a recovery. I know deep down this is not the case and she is dying. It is so cruel to watch and breaks my heart. My mum was my best friend and I miss her so much. I cared for her as she was on her own before coming in to the dementia home and have been on this very sad journey for the entire time. I just don't understand why at times she is coherent and her body is strong if she is dying, its like she's fighting it?
Sorry for such a traumatic post for my first one, I have just carried on dealing with it on my own really until now....thanks x


Registered User
Dec 21, 2015
Hi Chloe. So sorry to read of what you're going through with your Mum who is still so young.
I may be wrong, I have no experience of this personally, but from what you've written it sounds to me as if maybe your Mum, in her mind, wants to go, but her body is still yet young enough to fight it. It must be awful for you and I am so sorry for you. I guess all you can do is be there as much as you can or as much as you want to be, at this stage for your Mum, and try to communicate to her that it's OK. That it's OK to give up or to fight. That you're there and you understand. I'm sorry - it must be so hard for you x


Registered User
Feb 22, 2016
Thank you Hillybilly, yes I'd not thought of that. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. Such a cruel illness.

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Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
I am so sorry, this must be so painful. Your mum is young and it is a long time to suffer - the body is strong but the spirit is exhausted and wants to let go........she would want you to take care of yourself too.......... thinking of you at this very very difficult time - do call on the palliative care team whenever you need to, they understand only too well what you are going through - talk to them too xxx keep connected to us there is a lot of support on here xxxxx


Registered User
Jul 12, 2016
Hi Chloe
I really hope you find comfort from talking on here.
Your mum is so young, I feel desperately sorry for both of you
Just wanted to send you a virtual hug
Anne x


Registered User
Jun 4, 2010
West Midlands
Thinking of you.

I have recently lost my physically fit mum.

Like your situation, mum stopped eating and drinking, and it was a mostly nightmare time sitting with her until she died.

My heart goes out to you. Squishy hug xxxxx

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Registered User
Mar 2, 2016
Hi Cloe,
I have just read your post and could not pass without sending heartfelt thoughts to you.
Your poor Mum is still young but tired due to this horrid illness. My Mum passed away last Monday but the grand age of 86. Like your Mum she stopped eating and drinking and was on palliative care with morphine injections then a few days before the end they put her on a syringe driver, she slept from then and passed away peacefully.
Your Mum will know when she is ready to go but I can assure you she is getting the best care and everything should go peacefully. If you need to talk or ask me anything please PM.
Thinking about you. xx


Registered User
Oct 7, 2015
I wanted to send thoughts and affection your way too Chloe.
69 is no age is it, so unfair.
my Mum is 82 and has had some fluids but minimal food now for a couple of weeks or more. She has had morphine too, but to be honest there seems to be plenty of fight left in her - I just can not imagine the end to be insight.
I hope that you manage to stay strong for your mum until the end-as we can see from the wonderful TP many folks have to do just that.


Registered User
Feb 22, 2016
Thank you all so much. I wish I had come on this site before now really, everyone is so thoughtful and because of the similar experience has so much more understanding. I can't bear the thought of being without my mum but at the same time don't want to see her deteriorate in this way. The driver has been used today as just too much pain and now sickness...my poor mum.

Thank you all & for sharing your experiences too which are as equally heartbreaking I'm sure xxx

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Registered User
Feb 29, 2016
Hi Chloebo, my Dad last 12 days with no food and only spoons of drink. He was just over 5 stone when he died in August and was 73 years, again like your poor Mum is no age at all. It is hard to witness the deterioration at every stage but this is definitely the hardest. I am sorry to hear what she is going through. My Dad even the day before he died was stronger than me it seemed, he would pull at the covers and I would try and fix them but he would have a tug of war with me as he didn't want to let go. It's like dementia is a super power and the older generation are very determined and fight till the end. I just hope I am as strong as my Dad in the future. Your Mum sounds a very strong lady and I hope she has passed some of this strength on to you. Keep going, you're doing great and I have no doubt that she will be grateful for all you have done. Keep posting. Stay strong Chloebo. Red xx


Registered User
Jul 23, 2016
Hi Close your love for your Mum has shone through your post.
Sending you (((((hugs)))) and come back to TP for support


Registered User
Feb 22, 2016
Thank you Red for sharing your experience with your dad, it's awful with there being so much fight, I just don't understand it at times. It sounds like your dad was very strong too and it must be their age I'm sure. Hope you are managing to come to terms with your loss. Thank you again for your kind words xx

Thank you too Rosy, my mum was/is my bestest friend so hard, I appreciate you taking the time to send your wishes xx

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Registered User
Feb 9, 2016
Hi there. Just to say I'm thinking about you. It's so very hard. Stay strong. Xxx

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Registered User
Apr 22, 2015
Hello there Chloe - everything you wrote is what is happening to my mum but my mum is older so I understand the emotions and how you feel. to watch someone you have loved and still do with all your heart. A person who you are so close to suffer like this just pulls you apart emotionally. I have no words of wisdom to help you as I cry so so many tears but just wanted to send you a )))))hug((((( and to say I understand xxxx


Registered User
Aug 30, 2012
Brixham Devon
Chloe, I'm so sorry that you have to witness this cruel disease; my Husband was just 68 when he died nearly two years ago. The medics were amazed that Pete lasted that long as for at least 18 months before he passed he had back to back infections. However, Pete's heart was strong-it was the only thing that kept him going really.

I too think that your Mum (by refusing food and drink) is taking control of what she wants to happen. I'm glad that her CH is looking after her so well, but it's difficult to watch and wait.

Don't forget to look after yourself.


Lyn T XX


Registered User
Mar 8, 2014
Hi Chloe I am walking the same path with my father right now so i understand exactly what you are going through.

It's so hard to watch and be unable to do anything but be there for them. It's exhausting and upsetting and sometimes gets a bit surreal.

I'm finding it very tough but TP has been a great support. It's comfort that you're not alone in these times. Sending you a hug.



Registered User
Aug 14, 2011
So many people in the same condition

Hi Chloe,
So sorry to hear of your situation and can empathise with you. My Mum is 95 and in a similar situation, but whatever age a person is, it's hard for the nearest and dearest to deal with. Interesting to read others' experience of how long someone can survive without food and fluids. Sending hugs.


Registered User
Nov 13, 2014
You are not alone.

Chloe you are probably younger than me as my mum is 85 on Monday and I'm going through the same thing as you. You are not alone and neither am I. The knowledge on this site is invaluable and the support amazing. I only signed up 2 years ago when mum went in the CH, like you I wish I'd found it earlier. The only thing I can do now is hold mum's hand and be there for her but even that's hard. I won't cry in front of her I have to show her I'm strong and that she doesn't have to be scared. I'll be thinking of you, keep strong.


Registered User
Jun 28, 2016
I am now at the same stage with my dad. I can't stop crying. I am struggling so hard to chat cheerfully and optimistically with dad and as soon as I leave his room I just want to howl and sob. It feels unbearable but I know I have to be strong for dad. My thoughts are with everyone else facing this horrendous situation. Sending you all love. x