Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder Community
1.44k Members
Avatar universal

What should be expected in End Stage COPD

I need to know what to expect in the final days/hours my mother will have with her COPD. She was sent home in Sept of 2008 with Hospics and Care Giver Assistance.  They said she could go at anytime but she is still here. What can I expect to see in her final days/hours. How can I make those days/hours as easy as possible on her. I have asked Hospics and all they say is the same as 4 months ago... She can go anytime.. But I need to know exactly what to expect so that I can keep her from being afraid and not see the fear in my  face.  She came extremely close while in the hospital and it scared her so bad she almost had a heart attack.  Because I didnt know what to expect, I was scared too and her seeing my fear made things worse. I dread seeing that kind of fear in her face again.
4 Responses
Avatar universal
I sympothize with you. My mom just came home after being told she has 2 days/2weeks/2months left. Being on the edge is horrifing. My mom is doing pretty good with her breathing at this point. She is having an issue with spitting out food. She will not eat. We give her what we can as well as nutricial drinks but she is loosing weight. She has her witts. I do not understand WHY doctors say 'anytime' yet give no advise or help. They put a death sentence on these people and leave us hanging. With my mom there is a concern she will aspirate her food/drink and that will be detramental to her health. I wish I could help you more as I aprreciate the anxiety felt in your letter. I guess all we can do is to try to enjoy her every day and take one day at a time. Do what you can and leave the rest of to God. He has the final say, but it is stressful withour knowing more. I wish I knew why my mom is spitting out her food. I get no answers but that it is a natural behavior towards the dying process. That is just to vague. I believe there is more to her behavior which should be looked into. So we wait and take one day at a time. It is very stressful. Good Luck and peace to you and to your mom. Try to enjoy each day with her-----watch tv------any deversion to think of other things. Wish I had more help to give you. Tom
I don't trust Doctors when it comes to a person with Dementia my mom was 71 having trouble I had her power of medical power and will. They said we put her on dyalsyis machine but called in my unseen sibling who was disinharated wrote out of everything called my sibling in said she die tomorrow so in the morning going into room. I watched her mummified alive and stayed a month I was disheartening when fellow Det had to clear me of parent abuse. Just last week after 6 yrs did I find them. Because she was going to kill my child. I never wanted her to dye like that. Your just $ to hospital
Avatar universal
I am my grandmother's caretaker. She was in a nursing home for her rehab for the 4th stage of copd. After she almost died due to the poor care she received there, the family insisted she come home and be taken care of by family. I came from out of town in the middle of it all and my family dubbed me the care giver because I am favored by my gramma. She started doing quite well when I came for her. She was able to finally walk again for short distances and use a potty at the bedside. I administer all her meds, but other family members have recently been sneaking in cigarettes for her to smoke. She is already practically bed bound and on oxygen. I asked her if she relized that smoking will only cause the problems she is having to become worse. Also, the hospice nurse who comes twice a week noticed her bed sore is worsening. She forgets things easily, and lies about things alot and she has never done that before. It make me mad when she lies because I don't know if it is for attention from others or if she don't know any better. What should I expect to happen next? Help!
Avatar universal
My mom has severe COPD. My LPN sister lives with her and is her primary caregiver. I am one of six. I take her to all of her doctor appts. and do the grocery shopping. My sister sets up her meds weekly. My brother vacuumed and found many pills on the floor, leading us to think mom isn't taking all her meds. When i check her pillbox for the week, the days don't match up with what is missing. Her memory is so bad she doesn't always remember  if she took them. Her appetite is terrible and she's down to 79 lbs. She constantly loses control of her bladder/bowels, suffering bouts of diarrhea and nausea. Now she is beginning to wheeze in between nebulizer treatments and grows short of breath just standing up. the littlest things exhaust her. I feel like she is slowly slipping away and there is nothing i can do about it.
Avatar universal
Unfortunately doctors cannot give you a more exact length of time people have to live. Some people are"fighters" or just too frightened to die will live longer than those who are weak from being ill for so long or those who have made their peace with death.
The way to tell when death is near id to watch their knees down to feet.  If they start to turn purple then it could be a matter of hours.
They will probably be unconscious. Which to them is a blessing.
Before this happens make sure you have made your peace and the person understands that you love them and when the time comes it is "ok" to go.
Sorry for your loses. I lost my mom, dad 2 brothers and it wont be long for me.
Approx 2 to 3 years depending on the stage of disease when diagnosed. To live longer,  encourage the person to stay active.
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out what causes asthma, and how to take control of your symptoms.
Healing home remedies for common ailments
Tricks to help you quit for good.
Is your area one of the dirtiest-air cities in the nation?
Smoking substitute may not provide such a healthy swap, after all.
How to lower your heart attack risk.