End of the journey

Mother died today, aged 97. She'd been in a care home since last October after falling and breaking her pelvis, but those of you who've been around a while might remember that I started caring for her from a standing start when Father died suddenly (aged 92) in Dec 2009. Husband and I moved in with Mother in her rural village to look after her, and husband put up with a lot of irritation for those 4 years, hiding in the study most of the time. She'd been on Aricept since about 2000, and I used to describe her to people as "A 97-year-old chemistry graduate with no short term memory". She was lucky enough to keep her good manners and the care home staff thought she was sweet, but her conversation was terribly repetitive.

I'd had a nice trip out with her on Friday, then on Saturday afternoon called to take her out again and the staff said she was asleep, had been a bit feverish, they'd called the out of hours doctor. He came and prescribed antibiotics, I drove to the pharmacy for them, sat with her watching last night of the proms till 8-ish, left so she could get to sleep. The home rang half an hour later to say she'd fallen out of bed and they'd rung for an ambulance to get her checked over. Then that the paramedics would be taking her to hospital, so I followed them there arriving 10.30. We finally got to the ward around 3am and I sat with her all night persuading her not to remove the oxygen mask (the noise was upsetting her), then helped her eat a little breakfast, was on the point of heading home for a few hours sleep (one doctor had said it might take a couple of weeks to sort out the multiple diagnoses of chest infection, kidney problems, possible cancer seen on chest xray), when they said "You should sit with your mum now". She was non-responsive but calm, so I just talked to her, sang songs from her Scottish heritage, and she stopped breathing just after noon. What a lucky woman: she'd had a lovely summer of sitting in the sun in the care home's garden, and although she was very confused during her one night in hospital (how many times did I tell her the date and that it was the middle of the night?) she wasn't distressed.

We now need to make a lot of decisions about the future, but Mother is at peace and I think we did the right things for her: the care home (21 residents in expanded Edwardian house, charity, locally-focussed) was the right place for her this last year and I have no regret about her moving in there. (Perhaps she should have gone in sooner, to be fairer to my husband?)

Best wishes to you all on your journeys.

Pam
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,396
Kent
I`m sorry Pam. You did everything right for your parents. I hope you can recoup some life for yourself and your husband now.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
Pam I am so sorry.

It does rather sound as if she had as good an end as she could under the circumstances and as if you are at peace with the decisions you made for her, as you rightly should be.
 
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Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
60,510
Dundee
Aw Pam I'm so sorry to read your news. Your account of your mum's last day or so was very moving. I'm so glad you were with her at the end. Wishing you strength for the days to come. x
 

meme

Registered User
Aug 29, 2011
1,953
London
sorry for your loss.....a peacefull passing for your Mother..and you were with her to the end
 

halojones

Registered User
May 7, 2014
438
I am sorry for your loss...Your care and love towards your mum is lovely...Best Wishes to you and your family xxx
 

chris53

Registered User
Nov 9, 2009
2,929
London
Dear Pam, so sorry your mum has gone on her final journey,she is now free of dementia:eek: you have some lovely memories of her last hours and peaceful passing, she will always be with you, the person you knew and loved.
Take care
Chris x
 

cragmaid

Registered User
Oct 18, 2010
7,942
North East England
Pam I am so sorry, to have been able to stay with Mum right to the end should be a comfort. I found it so with my sister.
We are always going to ask questions..Should I, could I?...but you did what was right for Mum and you ought to feel proud that you did your best.

You have some lovely memories...smile as you remember them.x.x.
 

dottyd

Registered User
Jan 22, 2011
1,064
n.e.
Such a loving, peaceful ending.

I'm sure it was difficult but be very proud of what you did for your mum.