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Dementia and terminal lucidity makes for a terrifying exit

Dementia and terminal lucidity makes for a terrifying exit

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SilverSocket

It is..happened to my grandmother. She wasn’t there, she was just..empty. Then all of a sudden she was, and started belting out her favourite hymn with more gusto than we’d ever heard. And that night she was dead. 🤷‍♀️ (Terminal lucidity)


blackday44

My grandma also died of dementia. She had a stroke a few months before she died, though, so she didn't have anything left to have the lucidity moment. She just.... faded. Slowly, over several years. Her last year or so was spent in a near-comatose state, so she wasn't conscious for most of it. The OP makes a very good point. We force them to starve to death, sometimes for months, when we should be giving them a good death. Dementia strips everything from you, including your dignity.


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SilverSocket

I mean.. it was and it wasn’t. She was basically catatonic for days, and then one evening this frail little lady who hadn’t spoken or eaten in days (they said there was no point to an iv at that stage) sat up, and started singing “when the roll is called up yonder” as loud as she could, beating her hands in time on the bed and everything. Nobody moved because we didn’t want to break the “spell” or maybe we were just so damn shocked but when she was done she closed her eyes, slumped back down on the bed and didn’t open them again and she was dead hours later. (The song is about how when they call your name in heaven you’ll be there). So it was definitely one of the trippier experiences. I like to think maybe she was hallucinating about heaven or her brain was drowning in a happy chemical or something that gave her comfort. Idk, life’s weird. Not sure why I’m sharing this but whatever, I can always delete it later I guess lol.


northshorebound

All these people are so worried about death being nasty but as your world gets smaller your inside world gets bigger and you really give zero fucks about this world anymore. Your grandma was just fine. I’m glad you got to see her herself again, that’s so amazing.


arseiam

I've witnessed both just not in the same person.


thesleepofreason08

I think it is because it’s kind of what happened to my grandfather. Thankfully we were able to have hospice come in and make him comfortable, but it was so horrible.


Marcus0821

My grandfather was in a rest home before he passed. I never really thought about it cause I was only 12 years old but he was having these flashbacks like he was back in Vietnam fighting and wasn’t in his right mind at all. He forgot how to use the toilet, forgot how to eat like OP posted. This went on for a short amount of time, don’t remember exactly how long, but no longer than a week. My mom was at the home every day with him even tho he was mentally gone. Cleaning him up and just trying to keep him around. Now I know he had a bad case of dementia. I remember the day he died vividly, he passed around 10 AM. My mom and I went to see him really early before I went off to school, I was in middle school at the time. After all the hell she went through that short period of time, and I was with her there part of it, he had that pre death clarity. We got to the home about 7 AM and my grandfather had taken over that body again. He knew me and my mom. He used the restroom just fine, we went for a very long walk in their garden. It was amazing I thought he was better. Well I go to school after in a phenomenal mood cause I thought he was better. I get pulled out of school within 2 hours and get the news he passed. I know not everyone is religious but for the longest time I looked at it as God giving me and my mom one final moment with him before he took him. I didn’t know that it was an actual medically understood process of dementia. I’m older now and the emotional pain isn’t bad anymore, but it sucks he had to suffer at the end like that. I still look at it as Gods gift to us, if it’s only 10% of patients that get that pre death clarity, I’m very happy he was apart of that 10% cause my mom really needed it after the week she had. Gave me one last moment with the old man too, which I’ll always cherish.


MrMorsley

Can they be fed in other ways? This post freaks me out.


Intergalaktica

Please don't. Imagine having no idea what's going on, realizing there's a tube down your throat, having no idea why, so panicking and trying to take it out, being told by nurses you need it and then five minutes later going into the exact same loop because you forgot why it's there. At a certain point it's time to let people pass and it's already way before the point they even forget why to eat or how to swallow.


MrMorsley

How are they helped then? Sounds fucking horrible.


Intergalaktica

This is why active euthanasia has already been legalized in several countries, because we realize it's better to just people go to sleep and not wake up anymore then letting them starve to death.


MrMorsley

What a sad end. Jesus.


Intergalaktica

Euthanasia you mean? It's honestly quite beautiful. A person close to me organized the euthanasia for one of her best friends not too long ago - he was already battling cancer for way too many years and got the news that there were no options left and that the pain would eventually be untreatable. He was still fit enough to laugh, joke around and say goodbye to everyone, to eat his favourite cake and generally be the jolly person he had always been and smoke his last cigarette in the sun on a beautiful spring day with the people that meant the most to him surrounding him. Why should we wait till the suffering becomes actually unbearable before we allow someone to pass, if we can choose to give someone a peaceful ending instead? Letting someone suffer is infinitely sadder than to celebrate one's life when they are still able to celebrate.


MrMorsley

No, starving to death. I support euthanasia bring legalised. Hope it happens here in the UK one day. That's a beautiful story by the way. I'm happy for that man.


brutalkittykat

When a person is close to dying, they stop eating because they don't feel the need to. It means they feel no hunger or starvation. They might feel thirst and letting them drink then is of course the right thing to do. But feeding them doesn't help them to feel better, only worse. It's not the same as feeding someone who feels actual hunger. Edit: forgot the text actually said we don't know if they feel starvation and just don't tell this to families. This is pretty much bs for dramatization purposes. I think someone already said that when they are that far gone, the body is already dying. It's not like a healthy body and mind that just forgets how to eat suddenly one day and the person would go "oh no I'm so hungry but I forgot how this eating thing works, this is a nightmare". They have no idea what's going on at that point.


Ronaldoooope

Unfortunately we value life without function. I’ve seen 90 year olds intubated and ravage by CPR before death because the family refused to let go. It’s selfish tbh


blackday44

A lot of dementia patients when they get this far along, it's getting close to death anyway. Their bodies are shutting down, and giving them food won't do anything. I've read the best thing to do is keep their lips moist so they don't feel dried out.


ViralEquinox

Technically you could but they’d still aspirate their saliva which eventually leads to aspiration pneumonia and then death. At a certain point there’s no way to help these patients than to alleviate their pain.


Elizabitch4848

You can tube feed them but most healthcare staff cringe at this because death is a natural thing. Once you tube fed them, the person just turns into a shell of themselves. They sit and stare and really don’t do much else. It’s horrifying.


AvoidingCares

Yeah. Worked on an Ambulance for years. Dementia is the worst thing ever, and one of the best arguments for death with dignity. At a lot of the nursing homes they just lay in bed and stare at the ceiling. A lot of the facilities don't bother decorating the rooms or having radios or TVs or anything. So these people are staring at the walls or the ceiling every day for years until they finally die. On the flip side I did meet some cool ones who were still active. Had one guy who was a fighter pilot in WW2, he believed it was 1950 and he flirted with my (lesbian) partner to the point that I was pretty sure she was going to leave her number.


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hkprincesss

My grandma is on her way out...she was such a strong independent woman. She had been through so much in her life just for this disease to consume her...shes like 85lbs now. Only eating liquids and soft pastries.


bamf_22

Horrible. I couldn't imagine waking up every morning not knowing where the hell the was.