Terminal lucidity is real. I visited my grandma when she was in hospice and she was with it when I visited. My parents hadn’t really prepped me well for my visit and I didn’t know how bad she actually was so I didn’t stay as long as I could have. I told her I’d come back and visit tomorrow with my kids since she wanted to know all about them. She was completely gone when we visited the next day and died shortly after.
My grandma is suffering from dementia. She needs to be fed, or she only "phantom" Eats. She don't know where she is, don't recognize us, not even her own daughter at all. Sometimes she does, but that's rare. She sleeps all day long usually, and walking at night.she wants to go "home", but she don't know where's that place. Can't use the toilet, she does it anywhere if we are not careful. She says she just walking for a bit. Making my mom's life much harder.
My grandpa was the same as well. He would wander the dementia ward of his assisted living facility at night and they couldn't stop him or restrain him. My mom had one hope and that it was that he would fall and hit his head for a quicker death. He did exactly that and died the same day of his fall. Absolutely a morbid reality.
Why couldnt they restrain him? I don't work in a nursing home, but in hospitals they can use anything from wrist restraints to vest restraints to cage beds.
There is a new thought that patients have the "right to fall," and that restraining them is a violation of their right to move around freely. Talk to an old-time healthcare worker and they will tell you of the days when they tied patients to wheelchairs with sheets... we have gone completely in the opposite direction in our efforts to do better by the people we serve.
Now, the patient has the right to fall... but they had better not fall on your watch.
I'm one of those old time healthcare workers. And we absolutely still restrain people, although the EMR reminds us every 24 hours to document exactly why it's indicated.
Cage beds are great if you have access to them. Providers are reluctant to order restraints and no one wants to restrain a patient. We still use chemical restraint but we don't call it that. The way I figure it, it's therapeutic to the patient because it can't be pleasant being in a constant state of restlessness and agitation.
I watched my grandfather die of Alzheimer's (technically heart congestion), and it solidified for me that we need to let people die with dignity. He even tried to get my mom to kill him ("Take me to the cemetery") because he was aware of what he had already lost. My paternal grandmother had dementia, but was at the stage where she was hallucinating events that didn't happen when she died. This shit erodes your brain rendering you immobile all while erasing your past, and it is my greatest fear.
Two of your relative has it. You have higher chance of getting it. Better check the doctor for early onset or ways to prevent it.
I expect it since my aunt (the middle daughter of aforementioned grandfather) was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's a few years back. She was put on medication to slow it down, but the disease has progressed as she is now going through the same aggressive (becoming mean) personality change her father went through. For him, it was 10 years from first dx to dying bed bound because the parts of the brain that control mobility were eroded; he was proud to be a fit man with 6 pack abs into his 60s. My grandfather did revert back to being a sweet old man who was appreciative of anything you do, which made palliative care much easier for the nurses and my mother.
I’ve believed in letting people die with dignity ever since I found out my great grandfather, who had tremors so bad he couldn’t even feed himself, begged my mother to kill him with medication and subsequently jumped out of the second story window to his death.
The whole family is traumatized and the suffering person had to end their own life in a painful manner. How does society benefit from that? I’m so glad Oregon has a legal physician assisted suicide option and I hope the rest of the country follows.
My father had Vascular dementia and he forgot how to swallow. In the last couple of months before he died when we were having a meal we had to make sure he was swallowing his food between mouthfuls or he would just keep putting food into his mouth and his cheeks would start to bulge like a hamster storing food.
I've seen on another post talking about "how it feels to die" that said when people are experiencing this stage of dying they aren't really there anymore and everyone who talked from personal experiences of almost dying or overdosing and their heart stopping, feel a very peaceful feeling. They made it sound more peaceful than living. Hopefully that's true for everyone.
Saw this post yesterday literally cried my eyes out but strangely at peace..
Your body knows when it's time to stop eating and drinking. There's no starvation involved. By the time this happens, you are in the active phase of dying and your cells do not need the nutrients. Not only do we not help people achieve a dignified death (in the US anyway), but we actively try to thwart the process with IV fluids and feeding tubes. Everyone should have an advance directive or living will, whatever you want to call it, and talk to your family about your wishes before you end up as a 90+ year old in my ICU, being cared for by a bunch of nurses and MDs who are frustrated that your family thinks you will live forever.
Came to say just this. Force feeding dying people after they stop eating is cruel. They just need some hydration. I knew a doctor who had a feeding tube put in his parent (PEG) because his faith didn't allow for people to "starve to death" she seemed miserable.
As a former ICU nurse, I wish people had to watch a video of what cpr looks like on a 90 year old and read the statistics for what that will look like even if they get a heartbeat back.
So, what does it look like?
Very painful bruising and broken ribs. A very tiny chance that grandma will even survive. If she does survive she’ll most likely be a vegetable.
I hesitate to mention this but.. The number one co-morbidity for covid 19 in Canada according to statscan govenment website is Alzheimer's and dementia. A lot of lives we've "saved" now get to die in a worse way.
I wish people just let them go. It's an awful way to exist, and it can take decades to die. Just because their bodies are alive it doesn't mean they are living. People should grow the fuck up and accept death and not try to prolong meaningless suffering.
I’ve been watching a lot of videos from hospice nurses for some odd reason and found this out! the dying process is so interesting and your body knows exactly what to do. it’s sad that we prolong that and make it worse than it needs to be
I'm gonna put in my will that the moment I forget how to eat and/or swallow, someone needs to whack me. Immediately.
Too bad since your will will be executed after you die.
You can move to Oregon where you’re allowed to die with dignity, if it helps.
Most people stop eating before they die. Our culture is so sheltered from death. You know it's not like the movies, right? Death is work, just like birth.
People need to stop planning to die in their sleep because you probably won't.
Same with many domesticated pets, such as dogs.
They will seclude themselves and not have an appetite to eat.
My sister works in a care facility and the stories she tells me about residents lives scares me more than death ever did. Even ones who still have family regularly visit them, so not people who have been forgotten and left alone, live such pitiful lives.
I've always been a proponent of euthanasia but as a last resort, even if there's a 1 percent chance of continued life and possible happiness I'd want to take the chance but listening to her stories I can't help but think keeping all these people alive just enough to drool and shit themselves is far crueler than any death could be.
I never want to live like that.
If someone dies from a disease and not a sudden trauma they're going to stop eating a few days before they die. That's just how our bodies work. There is no point in fighting it by jamming a tube in them, all you'll do is make them more uncomfortable while they continue the dying process. My mom didn't even blink in the last 24 hrs of her life as she was dying from cancer. They kept thinking she was already gone because of this but she still had a pulse and was breathing until the next day. If your loved one is passing away in a medical facility in the US there's a good chance they'll be put on what's called CMO orders. This stands for Comfort Measures Only meaning the only thing they will do for them is keep them comfortable. This means cutting all care except giving oral liquid morphine for pain and oral liquid lorazepam for anxiety. This is much more humane than trying to keep them alive by all means necessary. Doctor supported human euthanasia needs to be more accessible in the US.
Not with that attitude they won’t.
That’s true, my MIL had cancer undiagnosed and stopped eating and drinking before she died also my dad had blood clots on his lungs and stopped eating and drinking. They both lost a massive amount of weight, I remember the first time I saw my father after after he died and he had been quite a big man, how much his ribs stuck out of his body and I could feel his bones when I hugged him.
I had witnessed by now only 3 deaths up close but all involved a withering that eventually consumed them. Perhaps that is why we made it a taboo, because we can't accept that in the end there are no happy endings, just decay.
They say that people who have dementia stop eating before they die.
Another thing that is cruel and heartless...people forcing their beliefs onto others by criminalizing doctor-assisted suicide for death with dignity.
Well this is horrifying
Not just with dementia but usually they stop giving you water right before you die, it's so your suffering isn't prolonged into starvation and instead you die more quickly. It hurts to see people grasping for watered towels to suck on because they can't swallow, but we know it's making it harder for them.
My great grandfather had it and it’s a sad thing to watch especially to watch my great grandmother who tried feeding him in his last few weeks
My father has early onset dementia and has been in a nursing facility since he was 57. The whole thing coupled with my Rocky relationship with him has been rough. This information is actually good to know for me
One of my Tias is dying from dementia. She's all set up in my mom's living room. Her DNR is tacked to the wall behind her bed. She's forgetting how to swallow. For some reason I would rather know they starve than be oblivious. I work at a mortuary and I'm considering assisting with her preparations. For some reason knowing everything about every step of the way is healing for me. It makes it easier to wrap my head around.
Sadly, in the US, many families elect to have feeding tubes inserted in their demented relatives, so they can linger on in a vegetative state for years.
As someone who has a grandfather with dementia, this is terrifying and sad. He’s at the point to where it’s hard for him to finish a sentence because he loses track of what he was talking about and he has trouble remembering people. Last time I visited him he took a little while to recognize who I was, and I’m not sure if he actually remembered me or if he just said he did. It’s a horrible disease and I hope one day Mankind can find a way to cure or prevent it.
Omg this just makes me wish I never existed
My mother had Alzheimer's. When she stopped eating the doctor called my sisters and me in and, in an act of kindness I'll never forget, offered us the choice of inserting a feeding tube or just making her comfortable and letting her die. We loved our mom very much, so we chose the latter.
My grandmother had dementia and I remember wondering why on her death certificate the cause of death was listed as dehydration. She was 98 years old at the time, so I remember thinking that was just basically what old age did to you or something.