Mum still hanging on

AW1938

Registered User
Feb 11, 2017
41
Hello again, I am still sitting here everyday waiting for mum pass. It has now been 9 days since she had any fluids. Mum is mainly quite settled and sleeping on and off. The nurses tell me she will start to go cold when the end is coming. Currently her body is really quite warm. Is this always the case or could she just slip away? Her breathing appears very shallow.

The other things I am noticing is a sweet smell around her. Her carers are washing her everyday and keeping her clean so I am not sure where this is coming from.

Mum was started on the syringe driver 9 days ago, I had no idea it was going to take this long. I feel funny about it really. If we hadn't done this and she was more alert, would she be taking fluids and possibly food?
 

chippiebites

Registered User
Jun 27, 2018
73
I know with my Mum, the carers checked her feet were warm when ever they came in her room. So I did they same, my brother and I left her ( with warm feet) for 2 hours and she then passed away before we returned. That is often the way it seems. I don't remember a sweet smell though. I do think normally the breathing will change, normally noisier. I hope your Mum is soon at peace, and sending you love and strength.
 

AW1938

Registered User
Feb 11, 2017
41
I know with my Mum, the carers checked her feet were warm when ever they came in her room. So I did they same, my brother and I left her ( with warm feet) for 2 hours and she then passed away before we returned. That is often the way it seems. I don't remember a sweet smell though. I do think normally the breathing will change, normally noisier. I hope your Mum is soon at peace, and sending you love and strength.
Thank you
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,333
Kent
Mum was started on the syringe driver 9 days ago, I had no idea it was going to take this long. I feel funny about it really. If we hadn't done this and she was more alert, would she be taking fluids and possibly food?
I`d trust the medics on this one. The purpose of a syringe driver, as I see it, is to help ensure the patient is pain free and comfortable throughout end of life care.

It was decided to use a syringe driver for my husband but, even though it had been delivered to his care home, it took the district nurses two hours to arrive to install it. These two hours were two of the most heartbreaking of my life. Although my husband couldn`t tell us he was in pain the expression on his face told us everything we didn`t want to know.

I hope this reassures you. Your mother is not suffering.
 

AW1938

Registered User
Feb 11, 2017
41
I`d trust the medics on this one. The purpose of a syringe driver, as I see it, is to help ensure the patient is pain free and comfortable throughout end of life care.

It was decided to use a syringe driver for my husband but, even though it had been delivered to his care home, it took the district nurses two hours to arrive to install it. These two hours were two of the most heartbreaking of my life. Although my husband couldn`t tell us he was in pain the expression on his face told us everything we didn`t want to know.

I hope this reassures you. Your mother is not suffering.
Thank you
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,267
South coast
Sometimes people with dementia hang on a long time before passing away - the body seems to hang on tenaciously.
My mum went 17 days with no food or fluid and up until the last 3 days she was up and talking. I have a photo of her at this stage with her great- grandson (6 months old) - they are both banging teaspoons on the table and laughing their heads off. No-one looking at it would realise that mum was dying, but she was.

People stop eating and drinking because their bodies are slowly shutting down. They dont die because they stop eating and drinking, they stop eating and drinking because they are dying. I suspect that the sweet smell that you are noticing is because some of the bodies processing of food is no longer functioning properly

In her last 3 days of life mum was put on a syringe driver and her limbs did get cold. Her breathing also changed so that there were long gaps between some breaths.

This is a very hard for the relatives/observers. I found myself wondering how it was possible that mum was still alive. There will be an end, though.
(((((((((((((((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))))))
 

DesperateofDevon

Registered User
Jul 7, 2019
2,410
I’m so sorry, this is a hard time. I’m adopted & last year my biological mum passed slowly away, even though my poor mum was out of it - I used this precious time reading funny passages I knew she would love, chatting about all the stuff we didn’t get to do as if we were going to do it, telling her how much I loved her & I read a lot & listened quietly to music I knew she would like. I had a good old gossip with her, it was very one sided but she did squeeze my hand occasionally. This transition time is emotionally difficult, but the loved one/ patient is calmly slipping through it.
I hope it will be peaceful
Love & light to you both
X
 

Miss my mum

New member
Oct 2, 2018
4
I last posted on here when we put my mum in a care home as her lbd had become too much for my dad to cope with at home. That was October last year and yesterday she died.
Mum hung on with no food/gel at all for 10days and had been on the morphine drip for 9 - a lot longer than anyone imagined. She looked like a corpse before she died it was horrible. Anyway she eventually stopped fighting and she is now free from dementia.
I am not a religious person though mum was but over the past 24 hours I’m convinced that I have been shown signs letting me know she’s gone and is ok again. These signs have enabled me to smile and feel relief and I thought I’d share them with you all in hope to add a positive slant on the horrific end of a horrific battle
1. I had struggled to picture mum
In my mind as mum and not ‘dementia mum’ as me and my sister referred to her. It was awful the thought of not being able to picture her in any other way when I should have had so many great memories to picture. Anyway after my dad broke the news to me that she had passed (news I was totally expecting) out of nowhere i i got the clearest image of her smiling in her garden. It was beautiful and a relief. As the hours go by more and more images have crept up on me - each a happier mum than the previous. Weird but ace!
2. During the last hours of mums life while I was at home a robin visited - I knew people used to talk of robins as signs - it kept coming and going over the course of that day. After she had passed I spoke to my husband wondering if the robin was a sign and just then it appeared again right next to me outside - he chirped and tweeted and hung around a bit then flew off into a lovely evening sky. I’m totally taking this as a sign!!! We haven’t seen him again today.
3. Just after this I was looking through my photo albums desperately trying to find a pic of me and mum but couldn’t. Then weirdly I stumbled upon a cd from my wedding - the first thing to open was a video of my mum!!! It was amazing - neither me nor my hubby had seen this before (it was a video taken by my sisters Hubby) we must have just thought it was a copy of our wedding album and never bothered. Anyway it was perfect.
For all those suffering through the horrible end times with your loved ones hang in there. Though mum was horrifically thin and corpse like the last time I saw her (the day before she died) she weirdly seemed more like mum than she had done for the previous year. I think dementia died just before she did!!!
Love to you all going through this - stay strong
 

Miss my mum

New member
Oct 2, 2018
4
Sorry AW1938 I didn’t actually answer your questions - mum went colder yes and she also got slightly agitated a few hours before she died but the nurses eased this by increasing the morphine. Apparently this is common.
It’s weird you mention the smell because although I wouldn’t describe it as a sweet smell there was an unusually nice smell about her.
Take care