My sister is the primary caregiver for my mother who is 90 years old. Her attitude toward my mothers care is that she wants her to die peacefully. My mother has emphysema and has been bed ridden for 3 years during which time she has not been out of the room. One week before Memorial day weekend I received a call from my sister that things didn't look good for my mom and that she had taken a turn for the worse. On Memorial day weekend, Friday night my mom could talk, but Saturday morning she could not talk anymore and seemed to have some paralysis on the right side. Her mind still seems to be OK (although she is a little senile), although it's hard to tell when she can't talk anymore. We had a family meeting and among the 4 kids we were split 50-50 as to whether we should call 911 and get her in the hospital. The argument against the hospital was that they wouldn't do anything for her, they might not let her out, and that staph infections or contageous disease would probably kill her. I personally do not respect my sisters medical judgement and think that there might be some way to prevent more strokes and a worsening of her condition. Is my sister right, or should we have taken her to the hospital immediately? I'm afraid that my mother will live longer than my sister thinks and that she is neglecting my mothers medical needs at the price of my moms quality of life for what is left of it. A Doctor who makes house calls is coming on Thursday, but this seems to me like too little too late and I'm wondering if we should still get her to the hospital before then? Thx
Do not go by emotions.
Care at the hospital is always more intense than at home.
it is easy to blame the sister that she is not as much caring as much u will like BUT try putting ur self in her shoes. She has not left home for 3 years.
Monotony can have its toll on the daughter as well.
Living more creative, productive life & living in the old body with eternal supreme soul is something that can be debated without any concrete result.
Yes, I agree that she deserves alot of credit for what she has done for my mom and other than this I have never disagreed with her care. Its just hard to watch my mom not get the proper care for her stroke when everywhere that I've read it seems that immediate hospitalization is the best course. Mom has a pretty nice situation at my sisters and what her problem is with the hospital is that my mom also has congestive heart failure and she's afraid that my mom will never be able to come back and at best will be released to a nursing home. This creates the situation where mom cannot receive the treatments that perhaps more able bodied patients may receive and still keep the comfortable home that she enjoys at my sisters house. It's a tough situation for me to process and if this qualifies as neglect, then it is totally unintentional on my sisters part and she is definitely doing what she thinks is the best for my mom. Thanks for your comments.
Update - I finally found someone who agrees with my sister about not sending mom to the hospital after her stroke. My sister didn't explain herself too well at the time, but the explanation I heard makes sense. Mom has emphysema and cannot feed herself and supposedly if she checked into a hospital a feeding tube would be put down her throat and since she wouldn't be able to breathe she would be put on a ventilator. Supposedly, once put on a ventilator, moms body would become used to depending on the ventilator for breathing and she would be on the ventilator for the rest of her life. Even though this is counter to my gut reaction right after the stroke (seemed like a no-brainer that mom should have gone to the hospital), I've got to admit that moms quality of life is better right now than it would be if she had gone to the hospital if this is true. I wish I had known this at the time of the initial decision as it would have caused less family friction. If this is true, alot of people must be making the biggest mistake of their lives when they check their disabled loved ones into the hospital. There's not alot of info on the internet about this, but my sister says I depend on the internet too much for medical information anyway.
Perhaps this may help Frank. My mother was 83 when she passed on. A month before, I visited her in the hospital. She was lucid but I could see her time was near. I asked her if she was afraid to die. She said no and I could see in her eyes she was ready to move on. The doctors wanted to do several invasive tests. I simply asked the doctors "will she be able to get up and cook a meal after? Will she be able to dance at a party after?" The answers were both no. There was no longer any "quality" to her life. I suggested that they just leave her be and to make sure she was in no pain. She slipped into a coma and died about two weeks later.
We can try to hang on to our loved ones but to what end? There comes a time, when it's their time.
I have a little story about a 100 year old woman who was bedridden, stroke paralyzed, and had a non-existent quality of life. She hadn't talked for a number of years. She had her 101st birthday in March. Yesterday she was dressed to the nines, in her wheelchair, at a table at an outdoor restaurant digging into her cappucino ice cream laughing and smiling. She now enjoys television and has regained the ability to read. Her speech is returning and three weeks ago she regained full control of her hands. So don't let them tell you someone can't have a high quality of life after ninety.
You have my condolances regarding your mom. I just wanted to reassure others that age itself should not be the determining factor. Losing a mother is the hardest thing a person can go through. My mother died from a stroke and years later I keep second guessing about things that could have been done. Ways in which I may have failed her in providing her with medical care. Try not to punish yourself if you have these doubts.
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