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have we made the right decision

Wez

Registered User
Feb 2, 2016
2
My dad is in last stages of dementia and last week he was hospitalised with yet another infection. After several different antibiotics, dad is still not responding, has not eaten for a week. The hospital has suggested it's now time to withdraw the saline IV and just make dad comfortable. They think tube feeding him is going to be intrusive and not much help to dad. should we just let dad go or insist hospital carry on. Will dad be in pain if they withdraw saline..... So many questions!!!!
 

Cat27

Volunteer Moderator
Feb 27, 2015
10,880
Merseyside
Welcome to TP :)
The hospital will monitor for pain levels & give pain relief.
I wish you strength for the coming days.
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
61,019
68
Dundee
My mum was fitted with a morphine syringe driver in the last week of her life. We agreed to this when it was clear she was in pain and nothing else could be done for her. I understand it's a hard decision. Wishing you strength.
 

betsie

Registered User
Jun 11, 2012
252
So sorry to hear you are in this situation this was me last March. Dad had gone in with pneumonia, had iv antibiotics and saline drip. After a week the infection has gone but he had forgotten how to swallow.

Dad was taken off all meds and put on a syringe driver for pain relief. He slept most of the time but was awake for short spells. When he had visible pain he was given extra morphine injections. I will not lie, this will be a very hard time for you but I knew my dad had had enough. His body was shutting down and I felt it was wrong to try and keep him alive.n in did try to give him a sip of tea about a week in when he seemed quite alert but nearly choked him to death.

My dad lasted 19 days once the drip was removed. The hospital were great and he was turned every few hours. You can wipe his mouth out with little pink sponges. I used to also moisturise his legs and hands as they were very dry. Warch out for bedsores on ears and feet and knees.

Be strong, take care of yourself and try and sleep. Accept that this is your dads body telling you it has had enough. Be there as much as you can, but don't beat yourself up when you can't be there.

Might be worth asking if he can be transferred to a hospice. The hospital were considering transferring dad back to his care home but I was glad they didn't as I know his pain relief and turning would not have been managed as well.
 

Wez

Registered User
Feb 2, 2016
2
Have we made the right decision.

It's me again, we are on day five of dad not having any fluids, they are giving him small amounts of morphine to help with pain when turning him. Dad sleeps most of the time, he has ocassionaly opened his eyes,but it was seconds, I played him some music and thought I saw a slight reaction, but now perhaps it was wishful thinking. How long can dad go on without fluids, it seems so wicked.
 

betsie

Registered User
Jun 11, 2012
252
It is so hard to sit there and watch. We all hope, after living with this horrible disease, that our loved ones will just go peacefully in there sleep. Unfortunately this isn't always the case.

As I said before, my dad lasted 19 days and the nurse said they had someone who lasted 25 days. I knew the day he was going to die, his breathing was very dramatic, gasping almost and his skin looked very waxy. Also the hands and feet got very purple as the blood supply shuts down.

Keep your dad as comfortable as possible, use the pink sponges to moisten his mouth frequently and put Vaseline on his lips. Also put sudocream on his ears if they start looking red. It is so hard sitting there, I used to read my dad the paper to help give me something to concentrate on.

My thoughts are with you and make sure you are eating and getting some sleep. As the nurse said to me - he will go when he is ready.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,658
Kent
When my husband was being admitted to hospital with infections more frequently and it was obvious the IV saline and antibiotics were not helping him, we were advised to let nature take it`s course.

It was a painful decision but it was also obvious the right advice was being given and we were promised palliative care would ensure he was kept pain free.

He was put on a syringe driver and died peacefully a few days later.

I know we did right by him.

It`s so difficult Wez but the priority is to ease pain for your dad.