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Worsening condition post covid

Brother47

Registered User
Jan 18, 2020
128
0
Hi all,
Following on from my post titled 'Slipping away with little quality of life..." I was finally able to visit my brother last week. As some of you noted, his condition has deteriorated since receiving from Covid. He's sleeping more and not very communicative at all though he does struggle with speech anyway. I was with him for an hour and for most of that he was dosing off between conversations that I was making. I always talk to him and show him his memory album which he used to respond to and talk a bit but he's now withdrawn and stares into space in between dropping off to sleep. Yesterday I had a call from a 'senior practitioner' who was visiting the home to check on the residents. He asked me a lot of questions about when my brother was diagnosed with FTD and how long he'd been in the care home and whether I thought he had any quality of life. I said that with no disrespect to the home, they are very good with him, but in my opinion has no quality of life. Since having Covid he rarely wants to leave his room. The staff coax him to get up and get dressed but he refuses to even sit in the armchair in his room and just gets back into bed. The practitioner wanted me to know that if my brother had a heart attack or stroke then his condition would get even worse and I needed to decide whether my brother would prefer to be hospitalised and given medication to recover or whether I thought he would prefer to be kept at the home and made comfortable for nature to take its course. I chose the latter but felt very bad about it. I did remind the practitioner that in the early stages of his dementia, my brother tried to take an overdose to end his life but took blood pressure tablets thinking they were sleeping pills and that numerous times after that, whilst he was still living at his home, he asked me to help him 'not wake up' which of course I wouldn't do. Now I feel bad in case I've made the wrong decision.
I don't want him to die of course but watching him 'suffer' and appear to be so 'out of it' is horrible. It doesn't feel right that I should decide whether his life can be lengthened but at the same time, I look at him now, so much worse than he was pre Covid and wonder what he would want. It's a vicious circle.
Towards the end of this long conversation, the practitioner put forward the point that as my brother is only 75, then perhaps it may best for him to go to hospital if he has a heart issue. There's no right answer to this I guess but I can only think back to my brothers desperation to end his life a couple of years ago before his dementia took such a grip on him. As I'm his only family then this decision is really really heart rending to make.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
18,427
0
South coast
Hi @Brother47
This is always a hard choice, but firstly I would like to point out that withholding treatment is not the same as helping them actively end their life. By withholding treatment you are just letting nature take its course.

I had the same conversation with doctors about my mum. Someone on here made the comment "Are you maintaining their life, or just extending their death?" It was a question that struck home. The actual age of the person is irrelevant IMO - what exactly are you trying to achieve and what would they think about it? Im sure you know what your brother would want.
 

Brother47

Registered User
Jan 18, 2020
128
0
Thanks Canary, I don’t think that he would want to extend his life the way it is for him now. I spoke with the senior nurse at the care home today and had a sensible discussion with her about it. She also said that age isn’t necessarily the main factor to consider and that quality of life is more the point. It’s just hard to actually say it. Thanks again for your opinion. It helps a lot.
 

Sheelagh7

Registered User
Feb 25, 2022
59
0
It is a very difficult and emotional situation @Brother47. You are considering your brother's wishes, he has limited quality of life, he won't recover so why prolong his suffering? I think it is kinder to let things take their course than submitting him to further hospital treatment to extend his life with even less quality. However, it is a decision only you can make for your brother, what is the best thing for him.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
3,190
0
High Peak
It's all about quality of life.

How do you judge that? In the end, there is only happiness - that is all we need. Ask yourself, is he happy? Are you happy?
 

Brother47

Registered User
Jan 18, 2020
128
0
It's all about quality of life.

How do you judge that? In the end, there is only happiness - that is all we need. Ask yourself, is he happy? Are you happy?
No I’m very sure that he’s not happy and because of that, of course, I’m not happy either. I feel for him. It’s like he’s trapped within himself. So sad. Thanks Jaded n Faded