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Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Message Board

Alzheimer's Disease & Dementia Board Index

Dear Missy,

I am so so sorry about what you and your family are going through.

I don't know the answer to your question, but I just want you to know we care for you and are praying for you. Being a member of this Board is at times my life line to sanity. God bless you.


It must be very difficult for you right now and many emotions are running through your mind. Once your mother entered into her last stage of Alzheimer's her time was greatly reduced. The last stage is from 1 to 3 years, but I would imagine from what you have said she is probably nearing the end of stage 3. I am no expert, but I have done a lot of reading. I have my mother with me and she is mid way through stage 2. I have a long ways to go.

There is nothing more difficult than watching a loved one go through this. Most times it's harder for the caregiver and thier families. I keep faith in knowing that when my mother leaves this earth she will leave with her memory intact. Her soul has all those memories. They are just obstructed in life.

If you need to talk you can e-mail me. You are making the right decision and you need to hold on to faith.


[ [b] please carefully review the posting rules - no emails [/b] ]

I'm so sorry that you are going thru this suffering too. Nursing Homes leave much to be desired in terms of providing adequate care of our loved ones. My dad is in the last stage and has been having problems swallowing for a few months. For weeks we were telling the nurses and the doctors at the nursing home that we heard congestion and a rattle in his chest when he breathed but they kept telling us his lungs were clear. Last Friday when he could barely breath, he was brought to the hospital where for 5 days he was treated for Aspiration Pneumonia. The hospital discharged him with orders that his food must be pudding thick but his first day back the nursing home gave him unthickened soup. Then the next day the nurses-aid scraped his head on the lift that they use to get him in and out of bed. At the time treating the pneumonia seemed like the right thing to do but I wonder now if we made the right decision or if we should have chosen 'hospice' and let him pass comfortably. It just feels like any decision is the wrong decision - he's already been thru so much for such a long time; I just don't want to see him suffer anymore. My Dad also chose when he was of sound mind, no artificial life support or feeding tube. Our family has decided that should he get pneumonia again we will choose comfort over treatment as well.

God Bless :angel:
Dear MC58, I am sorry that you are going through this agonzing time. It is impossible to know what decision to make. Whatever we do we may regret it later. It is perhaps the most difficult thing in life. Let us know how you get through it. We are all caregivers of people in various stages, and all will face this same thing sooner or later. Those who have been there are the only ones whose ideas I feel I can really trust. It is too easy for an 'outsider' to come with lists of how you should act, what you should feel, what you should not feel ..etc. God bless you. You and your dad are in my prayers.

My Mom signed a 'do not rescusitate' order when she was still in her right mind. Even this will not make it easy, when the time comes.


I am kind of new here, but I did visit these boards once a long time ago. I think I just lurked.

I lost my Daddy after taking care of him for 7 years and I know how hard it is. The stories are so familiar. We kept him at home as long as we could. The last 8 months he went into the hospital. He had been having difficulty swallowing for somtime. I was also dealing with Mom who couldn't understand the disease and couldn't deal with it.

Dad was dehydrated and he also had a UTI. Mom was facing surgery so the last 8 months we put him in the nursing home that was close by. We stayed with him. Even if we did manage to get the purred food down him it wasn't doing his body any good. He had already started loosing weight when he went into the hospital. I tried to tell MOm what was happening but she just didn't want to face it.

They gave him IV's and antibiotic which perked him up a little. Dad had vascular dementia. He new who we were but he had no short term memory and it affected his motor skills the most. He had been unable to walk for several years. We were all so worn out physically and mentally by this time.
Daddy lived 8 months only because we kept him hydrated. He slept most of the time except when I gave him little bites. He stayed congested and had aspiration pneumonia off and on. It never really got better. He had a medi port that they gave the IV's thru and the port got infected and had to be removed. The nurses mentioned a feeding tube, but all the doctors told me my Daddy was at the end. We new that and we knew a feeding tube would not help him. Daddy passed away in Dec and I miss him so much. It leaves such a void in your life, but I know we all did the best we could and Daddy knew that too. We kept the IV fluids going longer than we should really. It wasn't good for him. Being stuck for blood work and everything, but it is hard to let go. There is no easy way.

My Dad was such a trooper. I stayed with him and held him until he went home to be with the Lord. I was Daddy's girl and I miss him so much. I grieved for what he had to go through. It was hard, but I learned so much over the years. He suffered to long and I know he didn't want to live that way. My Dad was such a proud man, but he tried to make it easy on us as he could.

You do the best you can and you do what you feel is best at the time and then have no regrets. Thats all you can do. Have faith and no that God is in control. I hope I can help others that are going through the same thing. You just don't know unless you have been through it. We have to lift one another up and edify each other. Learn from each other. No that it is ok..all the things that you are feeling all the things you are going through. You are not a lone.
You will get through it .. although we miss them greatly you are glad they are not suffering anymore.

Much love to you.

Praying that the Lord gives you strength.
You have to understand a lot depends on the stage they are in. When in the middle stages you have to make sure they get fluids and you can even give them IV fluids every now and then. Dehydration will make anyone disoriented and confused so you can imagine how it would affect someone who is already confused.

In the end stage When the body systems start shutting down it doesn't matter how much fluid you give them or food their body doesn't break it down. It doesn't break down the enzymes and they become malnurished despite all the Ensure and vitamins you put in their IV fluids. Even though they are taking in fluids theiir electrolytes get out of balance. The last 8 months there was so much fluids going through Dad but it was just giving him enough to keep him hanging on and it kept getting worse. The last 2 weeks before he died his medi port became infected and there was no good vein we could stick. We all decided enough was enough and we let him go.

It is a terrible disease. I remember when Dad got pneumonia a few months before, the doctor didn't think he would pull through. He said, they used to call it "the old timers friend" because it would let them pass on before they had to suffer to the end of the disease.

It is very hard and it is hard to know how to let someone go and be comfortable but you trust in God and know you did the best you could do. I know we start out trying to cure them and then we try to keep the disease from progressing, then comfort measures are the improtant thing.

I know my Daddy is in more capable hands now. He didn't have any quality of life for such a long time. I would have loved to kept my Dad here with me forever. We are selfish that way, but I knew my Daddy was ready and it was time to let go.

I grieve for what he went through. One good thing is that he didn't seem to suffer any pain. He just went to sleep. I miss him so much sometimes I can't stand it, but there is victory in Jesus. I know I will be with him again someday.

Take comfort in Gods love. Just be there with them, hold them and talk with them. You will not regret it.

Much love to all.

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