How long for Mum...

Discussion in 'End of life care' started by flower1, Jul 5, 2015.

  1. flower1

    flower1 Registered User

    Apr 12, 2013
    My mum is now at end of life care after returning to nursing home from hospital last Thursday with aspiration pneumonia. All antibiotics, oxygen and medications have now been stopped and doctor told nursing staff just to make Mum comfortable, which she is currently. My question is she was rushed in to hospital 4 days ago and doctors told me she would not survive the night. She has no fluids or food since then ref: risk of choking but cannot believe she is still with us 4 days on and is still looking quite alert at times.
    How long can you survive without fluids or food, its heart breaking to go through this and would really appreciate some feedback x
  2. Sammyjo1

    Sammyjo1 Registered User

    Jul 8, 2014
    I'm afraid unfortunately it's one of those "how long is a piece of string" questions Flower. My mother survived for 10 days and it was heartbreaking to sit around waiting for her to die. Mind you even the doctors were surprised by how long it took.

    I can totally empathise with the position you're in as it is just so uncertain. It sounds like she's safe and comfortable and in peaceful surroundings which is good.

    I hope you don't have to wait much longer and that you're getting loads of support.

    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
  3. betsie

    betsie Registered User

    Jun 11, 2012
    I feel for you. It is the most horrendous time. My dad lasted 19 days once everything was stopped.
    I can remember sitting outside the hospital ward a few times dreading going in- almost felt like I was going to have a panic attack.

    I kept looking for signs but I knew the last day I went to see him that he was going to die that day. He had been very sick, was a waxy colour and his breathing was awful. Also his hands were very mottled and purple.

    I pray for you that your mum goes quickly and peacefully. Nothing can prepare you for this but all you can do is be with them when you feel able. Make sure you look after yourself as well.
  4. Blogg

    Blogg Registered User

    Jul 24, 2014
    It was very quick for my Dad he started with a temp and cough on the Sunday lunchtime, paramedics were called Monday morning and he was diagnosed with a chest infection. Doctor visited Tuesday luncthime and diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia he died later that day, so only 36hrs.

    I hope it's peacful for your Mum is she having any end of life medications to help with comfort?
  5. nicoise

    nicoise Registered User

    Jun 29, 2010
    With my mum she was in a poor state when she began her third bout of aspiration pneumonia, and the decision was already in place not to treat with antibiotics.

    She was fitted with a syringe driver at 5pm, and having already been through a similar situation with my dad I was prepared for at least 3 days of watching and waiting, especially as she was more alert and disturbed than dad who drifted off to sleep almost immediately.

    We left at 2am when she continued not to settle (as we felt we might be the cause), so I really wasn't ready to get a phone call from the care home only 4 hours later to return as soon as we could... So really little more than 12 hours had elapsed, far quicker than I imagined, and probably says much about how very frail she was by then.

    As has already been mentioned, "how long is a piece of string?" Be prepared, and say and do all you would like to sooner rather than later. Try to eat, drink and rest a little regularly, as however long the vigil is, it is very stressful and you will become depleted and need your strength one way or the other.

    Sending peace for your mum, and strength to you x
  6. 1928

    1928 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    Hi Flower. I know what you are going thru & really feel for you all. Mum was admitted 5 weeks ago in the same circumstances as yours. She is still holding on. Each week we are told it will be soon. The hospital has started to feed mum (all be it a tiny amount of liquidised food and against our wishes!) it's just so heart breaking watching her fail a little more day by day. She opened her eyes last Wednesday looked at me and just said "help" it was heart breaking. I only hope for you and yours as well as my mum that they are comfortable and have a peaceful passing. Thinking of you x

  7. flower1

    flower1 Registered User

    Apr 12, 2013
    Thank you to everybody for taking the time to reply. My mum is still with us as I write this and has been very alert for the past 4/5 days despite being taken off the oxygen since back at nursing home, no fluids or food, all meds stopped just regular mouthcare and kept comfortable. Sometimes its so surreal to think Mum is on end of life care but the doctor today said that a patient can tend to reach a peak before the body starts to slowly shut down or a fast decline, expect its different for everyone. This website has been so valuable and still remains that way as sometimes its hard to know who to turn to at times like this. x
  8. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Hi flower, and thank you for coming back with an update. I am sorry I have no advice to offer you, just wanted to say we are thinking of you and your mum.
  9. flower1

    flower1 Registered User

    Apr 12, 2013
    Thank you Amy in the US for your kind thoughts. Mum is still with us I expect its just day by day now.....xx

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