Watching your parents slowly succumb to old age and Cancer

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  • Watching your parents slowly succumb to old age and Cancer
  • Premier Icon reluctantjumper
    Subscriber

    Firstly I’m a long-time member who used to be on here as milky1980 but I’ve forgotten my password and the reset goes to an email address I no longer have access to! I wandered away as all the pop-up issues were doing my head in and in the intervening gap I’ve had a bit of a shit time. Seeing as others have found it useful to use this place as a way of offloading to complete strangers I’ve decided to do the same, I’ll try and keep it short!

    12 months ago my mum was diagnosed as having a large tumour growing in her stomach area, with the concern it could be cancerous. Cue lots of tests and visits to specialists where I had to take lots of time off work to drive her where she needed to go as my dad had just had a knee replacement and mum can’t drive very far as she’s been bipolar for nearly 30 years and it gives her panic attacks at very short notice. My sister tried to do a few trips but as she was pregnant at the time and has a small family to look after plus work she could only do the odd one or two. It ended up with regular runs from South Wales to Birmingham while they finished off the investigations prior to removing the tumour, each time it could take 6-8 hours as mum is unable to be in a car for long before she needs to get out and reset herself. She had the op to remove the tumour in October last year and it was massive! 10lbs and the surgeon did a brilliant job of getting it out without having to remove the lower intestine and a kidney, we had been all set for her to need colostomy bags for the rest of her life.
    The next 3 weeks with her in hospital were hard as she was under heavy sedation, seeing her unable to even take a drink unaided was tough. As a family we tried to get someone up to her every few days, that fell to me to get my dad up there twice a week and my sister managed one every week when she could. Whilst doing this I noticed my dad (who’s 80) was getting weaker and losing weight but not drastically so, I put it down to stress and being home alone for the first time in 38 years.
    The time came to bring mum home and I was the only one able to do it as dad had a doctor’s appointment and my sister was having a visit from the midwife. That journey was tough, stopping at every services it took nearly 5 hours to do 120 miles! We got to my parent’s house and the relief was palpable from all of us, the ‘adventure’ was coming to an end.
    Then my dad piped up and said he had some news from the doctor. He had been suffering with small, itchy patches on his legs and round his groin area for a few weeks but kept it quiet as we all had more important things to sort out. He’d had some tests done by the doctor and the result had come back that day: Skin Cancer. A rare, vicious type too. He was to be fast-tracked through the system and get it sorted ASAP as if it got into his new knee that would have to come out. So then followed another few weeks of me driving him to various appointments, clinics etc.
    Come February they had a plan for him. The cancer was too far gone for the initially intended laser treatment so it was Chemo for him. The first batch was scheduled for a week after my sister was due to pop so it again fell to me to run him to most of the sessions, mum was driving again by now so she could do the odd one. In the first session it was mentioned that he should avoid contact with babies for the duration of the treatment, we managed to get him to see his new niece (who was born just before his second session of chemo) once for about 20 mins. He didn’t see her again until late July.

    While all of this had been going on I had been dealing with issues at work and come mid-February it became too much and I ended up spending a night shaking uncontrollably and my heart racing. Called NHS Direct and they got me to hospital, the stress had finally got to me. I was signed off work for 6 weeks, which was horrible as I now had nothing to take my mind off things! Those 6 weeks were a blur, I remember very little of what went on. I must have blocked the bad stuff out as all I can remember is two rides I had with mates during that time. Cue the usual prescription of ‘Happy Pills’ and stress courses that I’ve been working through and still am now.

    So, fast forward to July and my dad was mid-way through his chemo treatment. I’m back at work and I get a message from my mum to call her. My dad had gone to the hospital for a between-treatments check-up, taking the bus as it’s only 6 miles and mum was not up to driving him. Should have all been fine but as he was walking back from the bus stop to home (about a mile) he had sat down on a bench for a rest and couldn’t get back up. He had chest pains so he phoned the doctor’s surgery who called an ambulance. He’d had a heart attack. A serious one. He ended up in the Heath hospital in Cardiff having emergency heart surgery to put in 3 stents to the right of his heart. This also meant that he would have o stop having chemo as the stress of both would be too much for him. Cue another round of running him to appointments etc.

    So that brings me up to August and the latest news. Mum now has an undiagnosed issue with her legs: all the smaller blood vessels are breaking down so they are covered in small blood-blisters and swelled up so she can hardly walk. Her tumour is also suspected to be regrowing. Dad has had the skin cancer flare up again too so is looking at a fresh, stronger chemo treatment. The effects of his heart attack are also showing where he is suffering short-term memory loss and his eyesight is deteriorating.

    It’s going to be hell for the foreseeable future. And yes, that is the short version! There’s also the issue of part of my family putting massive strain on my mum for everything in their lives and my issues at work that are still ongoing but getting better. I could easily have written twice as much.

    I’m now off to one of my Stress Control courses, time away from it all for a bit then a quick ride to clear the head.

    🙁

    Offload as much as you want.

    Stay strong dude. Keep riding, take a bit of time for yourself, you can’t be much use to anyone without making sure you’re ok.

    nbt
    Member

    I’m so sorry to hear all that. You’re having a tough time and seem to be coping which is good, but there’s a point where you need to stand up and say “I need help”. Well done for for doing that. I sympathize as we lst my mum to cancer recently – thankfully my Dad’s ok, I’m proud of how well he’s coped, but I do fear the day when he starts to suffer.

    Be as strong as you can, but don’t be afraid to say “I need help” and remember that people will help if you let them

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Sorry to hear all that. I think you’re local to me (?) so if you want a ride let me know.

    tjagain
    Member

    Just effing horrible. So sorry to hear it

    Couple of things – when you look at the whole situation it all appears insurmountable and overwhelming. Look at things in small bits instead and concentrate on what you can do do not dwell on what you cannot alter – far easier to say than do but a very valuable tool .

    The other is look after yourself as well. You have already seen what happens when you do not. You need to be in top shape / form to help the rest of the family. Even if that means sometimes saying no or sometimes taking time out for you.

    fasthaggis
    Member

    You have my sympathy,
    It’s sad, tiring and very frustrating, especially if you don’t have much back up.
    We found it helps to break things down in to TATs (Tiny Attainable Tasks) and try not to get drowned in the things you have little control over. When the day to day tasks work out, those small victories (for a while) can be a real boost. It’s a tough gig and you can only do so much.
    Good luck and look after yourself.

    poolman
    Member

    Sorry to read this, yes well said focus on what you can do not what you cannot. And look after yourself so you can be strong for others.

    I m a carer when in UK, it can drive you mad. However i saw an ad in the local paper shop looking for fellow carers to get together for support, just the thought that there were others like me keeps me going. I may even join up next visit.

    Also get out and enjoy something you like.

    footflaps
    Member

    That is a lifetime’s worth of crap to have to deal with in one short period. Sounds horrendous, feel for you!

    Premier Icon Alphabet
    Subscriber

    Gosh. That’s a lot of horribleness to deal with all at the same time. Others will be along with actual advice so all I will add is good luck to you and your family in dealing with it all. Keep posting updates as it will help in getting it off your chest.

    loddrik
    Member

    Lost my mum when I was 16 and she was 36 and my dad relatively early too (54). One of the few things I am thankful for is that I never have to see them go downhill or get dementia etc as they get older.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    Offload on us as much as you like.

    We’re down to the outlaws this weekend having had the news that FiL’s prostate cancer has spread and there’s little they can do now. Which helps me keep my parents constant moaning about non-crises into perspective. I’ll miss them when they’re not here to do my head in.

    Got a potential job in the pipeline that will mean I’ll have to give up the part time hours I’ve done to fit around the kids, right at a time when parents will need the time and support instead. Not sure what to do for the best.

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Subscriber

    That’s terrible. What a load of complete shit to go through in such a short time.

    Its hard watching a parent decline and die, I lost my own dad at 63, so I have some idea of what you are going through. He lived 175 miles away and the logistics made something incredibly hard to deal with, extremely difficult to manage.

    You seem to have done everything you can and must be a very dedicated son. That even at this time is something to be proud of.

    We live in Birmingham and if you ever use a hospital in Brum again, please feel free to say if you need anything.

    Premier Icon reluctantjumper
    Subscriber

    Thanks everyone, always nice to have complete strangers give words of encouragement!

    Sorry to hear all that. I think you’re local to me (?) so if you want a ride let me know.

    Yep, we rode on that semi-failed Cardiff meetup a while back. I tend to ride alone (always have done) and like the clear space but if I need company I’ll give you a shout. I have riding mates but they are all over the country and beyond so it tends to be pre-planned meets with them, which I also like. Riding regularly so that is one part of my life that is good right now!

    That is a lifetime’s worth of crap to have to deal with in one short period. Sounds horrendous, feel for you!

    It’s the cream on top of a long-running saga, starting with my mum being sectioned when I was 17 and having to drop out of college and redo the course the next year. Add in that school wasn’t a happy place for me before that and it has sort of become the norm for me to have something bad happening most of the time. Just taking each bit as it comes along, like I always have done. The problem is I’m so used to it that I have become very good at seeming happy and normal to others, putting a public face on that even has most of my friends fooled. I’ve actually had to cut a few friends loose these last few months as their reaction to me not coping has been somewhat un-friend-like to say the least! Some of the family haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory either.

    The hardest part so far has been telling my parents that seeing them in their current states is heartbreaking and that I’ve been struggling to visit them, I always feel crap on leaving. To their credit they’ve told me to do what I want to do on my days off, they’ll let me know if there’s anything that’s needed doing. I still visit as much as I can cope with as they have a garden that needs sorting (it’s an overgrown mess) and a dog that really needs the walking they can’t give him so that he’s not running around like a demented devil trying to expend some energy. Plus they both have a habit of saying they’re fine but when you see them in person it’s obvious they’re not. It’s tough.

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Subscriber

    My parents are both in their 90s and in decline. We’re very lucky in that they’re still at home and managing with twice-daily visits from carers and a fair number of family living locally who all go in and do their bit. We always make sure we have a proper large family get-together and sit-down dinner with them once a week.

    I’m the “go-to-guy” though and tend to be the one who gets the call at all hours about falls and other crap that needs immediate attention.

    Two bits of advice I would give to anyone in a similar position:

    Don’t beat yourself up starting to feel resentful about having to go and sort things out, or even hating dreading not particularly enjoying spending time with them. What you’re doing is mourning the people they once were, who have largely gone now.

    Don’t let it mess your whole life up. Sure, some things can mess a day, a weekend, a month up; that’s fair enough. But they don’t want you to ruin your life. After all you can do your level best but their life’s still going to be shit. Your’s doesn’t need to be.

    From time to time my dad tells medical professionals that he’s stopped taking his tablets: he just wants to fade away, doesn’t want anything to prolong his life, just wants to be free of discomfort. Each time the medics have given exactly the same answer – don’t do that, we can understand and sympathise with what you’re doing but you’re likely to have a heart attack or stroke and have a long and painful death, causing inconvenience and misery to all your loved ones – you wouldn’t want that would you?

    The fact that 3 unrelated people have given the same response makes me think that everybody over 85 must be saying the same thing and all medics have been on a course to tell them how to deal with it.

    Old age is getting to be progressively worse. They’re curing every disease they can so we’re just going to sit and rot till we’re 100 and spending all our savings on care home fees. When you’re young you’re told do/not to do things in order to live to a fine old age and when you get there you wish you weren’t! Roll on voluntary euthanasia!

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    My mum died last year after a few years of gradual decline. In her early 90s. Dad died 10 years ago, so early 80s. Latterly in very sheltered housing (which I can recommend – kind of half-way house between care home and sheltered housing). The staff there were determined she would pass away within the comfort of her own ‘flat’ – and that’s what they did, sorted medication, visits and sat with her in the last few days. Blown away by the compassion and care she was shown by folk who were not medic professionals / palliative care.

    But I would be visiting – maybe not every day but three times a week (i’m local which helps, no siblings which is good/bad). It did – and I can’t deny – get to a burden, and my friends would be horrified that I ‘only’ visited 3 times/week. I don’t think they realize what a drawn out and sad process it is latterly.

    tjagain
    Member

    Two bits of advice I would give to anyone in a similar position:

    Don’t beat yourself up starting to feel resentful about having to go and sort things out, or even hating dreading not particularly enjoying spending time with them. What you’re doing is mourning the people they once were, who have largely gone now.

    Don’t let it mess your whole life up. Sure, some things can mess a day, a weekend, a month up; that’s fair enough. But they don’t want you to ruin your life. After all you can do your level best but their life’s still going to be shit. Your’s doesn’t need to be.

    wise words

    I would add as a part of the first bit that you can only do what you can do – when you have reached the point you can do no more ( and that point is different for everyone) then you have to be content you have done your best. You may wish you could have done more but you couldn’t. this could be for practical reasons, emotional ones or physical ones

    As an example a very dear friend of mine got MS. Progressed rapidly. I supported her at home a lot. However once her mind went and she went into institutional care i simply could not cope and never saw her again. She died 18months later.

    I had done all I could cope with emotionally. I have to be content with that

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    I feel your pain mate.
    Struggling here too.

    Both my parents terminally ill.
    “Get everyone to the hospital ASAP” call for both in the last week or two.
    DNAR discussions for both recently, tough, very tough.

    Several times I’ve written it all out on here but not posted it for fearing it doesn’t read well.

    I’d echo TJ’s words & say let others help, talk if you need.
    And ride bikes if your up to it.

    Just effing horrible. So sorry to hear it

    Couple of things – when you look at the whole situation it all appears insurmountable and overwhelming. Look at things in small bits instead and concentrate on what you can do do not dwell on what you cannot alter – far easier to say than do but a very valuable tool .

    The other is look after yourself as well. You have already seen what happens when you do not. You need to be in top shape / form to help the rest of the family. Even if that means sometimes saying no or sometimes taking time out for you.

    Premier Icon sboardman
    Subscriber

    Oh man that’s really tough to read. There’s plenty of good hearted folk on here who will listen to whatever you want or need to get off your chest.

    Make sure you take the time to look after yourself too.

    A possible help might be contacting the Cinnamon Trust who can provide a bit of help for owners who are too ill to look after their pets, but without giving up the pet because of the valuable emotional and mental benefits pets can bring.

    Blackflag
    Member

    Life can be hard. Sometimes it’s too hard and can be a relentless **** for quite a while.

    Look after yourself and unburden as much as you need to.

    Premier Icon reluctantjumper
    Subscriber

    Just got back from visiting them on the way back from a ride. They were in good form, taking the piss out of me for getting slightly sunburnt (I was sweating so much the sun-cream just fell off every time I tried to re-apply it!) but they’re both struggling still. Dad’s not happy about not being able to go out in the garden while it’s sunny and mum is being harassed by her cousin to take her to the supermarket to get ice cream for her 4 kids even though she knows mum isn’t capable of driving. Facebook messages, texts etc. I’ve sent said cousin a message that she should pay for a bloody taxi or get a delivery, thankfully I don’t normally deal with that side of the family (they’re all a bit Jeremy Kyle: multiple kids by different dads, never worked etc.) so I was able to be very blunt and direct but she sent my mum another message straight after asking if she could do Tuesday instead!! My blood was boiling but held it together for my mum’s sake.

    The good bit was the dog was perfectly happy to just lie there in his little paddling pool to keep cool, too hot for him to go walkies. Just got to get through the next 9 days when the results of mum’s tests on her legs should be available.

    fossy
    Member

    We’ve been watching MIL die very slowly over last 15 years. Started with heart attack, then stroke, heart failure etc etc. FIL didn’t say anything to us but we had to force him to the docs as he looked unwell. Stage 4 lung cancer, and died a couple of months later. That left us sorting everything for MIL since, about 5 years now. She’s in a Nursing home as she has now lost mobility.

    Its hard, but you must look after yourself too, as you won’t be able to help if ill.

    It took alot out of our family, and still does. SIL was round in tears last week over some issues at the home.

    Yep, been there. It’s shit. (mine was pretty crap as I was busy getting divorced AND going bust at the same time as my Mum of 80 was dying of lung cancer, talk about stress)
    I’m still here, (no doubt to the chagrin of some on this forum) but It’s still shit.
    I think the best thing I did was to keep my Mum quite occupied with humour, asking questions about family that I didn’t know much about, & try to lead on to funny stories etc. (depends on how well you know your family maybe)
    My dad then had a stroke 2 years after, shit times again. 2 worst years of my life, (apart from the last 2 years while my wife has been recovering from bowel cancer)
    You’ll be fine, but only if you keep yourself busy on other stuff. Keep biking, having good times/memories with other family/friends.
    Can’t say much more really….

    Old age is getting to be progressively worse. They’re curing every disease they can so we’re just going to sit and rot till we’re 100 and spending all our savings on care home fees. When you’re young you’re told do/not to do things in order to live to a fine old age and when you get there you wish you weren’t! Roll on voluntary euthanasia!

    There’s a lot that I agree with in your post.

    But you’re talking from a younger persons perspective, a lot of people in their 80’s are perfectly content – your outlook changes, they enjoy pottering around, day drinking and spending time with their family.

    If I managed to get an early diagnosis of Alzheimers I’d get really **** high and jump out of a plane, naked, with no parachute.

    mooman
    Member

    Old age is getting to be progressively worse. They’re curing every disease they can so we’re just going to sit and rot till we’re 100 and spending all our savings on care home fees. When you’re young you’re told do/not to do things in order to live to a fine old age and when you get there you wish you weren’t! Roll on voluntary euthanasia!

    I previously worked in an older persons social work team. And old age is something I quickly learnt is very overrated .. certainly not something I want much first hand experience of.

    The Nirvana of being able to potter around in the greenhouse – and drink cups of tea & chat with family is the dream. Health, financial and often social network issues make it an impossibility.

    Best of luck OP. As others have said – take care of yourself.

    Premier Icon reluctantjumper
    Subscriber

    Well I’m off work again, couldn’t sleep last night as I had nausea, my shoulder muscles were locked rigid (seems to be my symptom of over-stress) and my brain wouldn’t shut off despite me being really tired. Got no sleep whatsoever and my brain is really struggling to function. As soon as I’d made the call to work though I was out like a light, strange as I don’t find my work stressful and enjoy dealing with the customers!

    The last few days have been stressful with mum struggling to get her FireTV stick to work (turns out she’d dropped the remote and it was dead), this made her stressed and argumentative so it was affecting dad who couldn’t really escape as he’s still not allowed to sit in the sun in the garden for any real length of time. Popped in yesterday on my way back from the Cycle Show (which was disappointingly bad, was hoping to de-stress looking at bike stuff for a few hours…) and the atmosphere was poor, they haven’t been keeping up on household stuff (hoovering etc) so I had to do a bit of that for them and arranged for a supermarket delivery for them for today. My cousin has still been pestering my mum to take her shopping, my sister is going to have a word with them about it this time. Going to get out on the bike for an hour, try and relax a bit.

    fatoldgit
    Member

    Feel for you,
    Am going through similar,
    Small steps is my secret,
    Worked on both parents till finally they agreed to get a cleaner in , only for 2 hours a week but it means the housework is kept on top of,
    Then it was a gardener, so likewise,
    Then persuaded them that as I went to the supermarket anyway I could easily get their shopping at the same time
    Still a long way to go, Mum had an operation for breast cancer 6 weeks ago and wont slow down to aid recovery, which in turn led to hospital admission last night ☹️ ,
    If she doesn’t get fitter then radiotherapy will be delayed and we are in a nasty catch 22 situation I hope doesn’t
    .
    Not much help I know, but share your concerns if you can and they somehow don’t feel quite as bad

    Premier Icon BigJohn
    Subscriber

    I feel (literally) your pain mate. My teeth have all started aching – I’m clenching them because of all the frustration with my folks. I managed a whole hour to myself yesterday! Woo hoo!
    But the good bit is, there are quite a few new trails I found on Cannock chase since last time I was out.

    Premier Icon reluctantjumper
    Subscriber

    Well things are going in a bad direction.

    Went to visit them on Friday and there were a few things that I saw that made me very nervous. Dad is stumbling over a lot, not really aware of where his feet are. He’s also repeating himself a lot too. I did notice quite a bit of food in the fridge was well past it’s best, had to throw out some of it together with 3 bottles of milk. He did say he was having a bad day when I asked if he was ok, but I’m worried he’s just saying that to hide deeper problems. Mum isn’t in the best shape either, sleeping a lot and not in the mood to do anything. She’s still planning to babysit my niece a lot the next few months as my sister finished her maternity leave this week, but we’re both of the opinion she’s not up to doing it. Breaking that news to her will be horrible as it’s one of the few things she talks about that makes her happy. Really felt like things were taking a downward turn in general, not just a small setback.

    I would go visit them more often but A it upsets me every time and takes me a few days to get over it and B they tell me off for checking up on them rather than doing things I want to do, seeing friends etc. Good thing is I’m back at work although I do have 2 week’s holiday coming up so will have to try and resist going to them too much. Strangely mum isn’t asking about Christmas yet, she’s usually planning who will be where so that we all get to see each other by now.

    How have others managed to cope with any of this? I can’t tell them what to do or be there every day to check up on them!

    I hate all of this.

    fossy
    Member

    Have you had social services in – Get in touch with their GP and explain how serious things are.

    I assume they don’t have carers – something needs putting in place to help them. We had carers 4x a day for MIL, even when FIL was alive – was just too much for him on his own.

    They might not like it, but it’s to ensure they are safe and have been fed. First thing is get a GP out to them both, and go from there.

    Premier Icon kcal
    Subscriber

    Its normal to feel as you do – in the latter stages I visited my mum quite a bit (though not as much as my mates, without knowing how it all was, thought I should…) and I felt rubbish while there and not happy when I got back. And that was shortish visits, just across town, when I could keep an eye on things day by day.

    The same stuff – milk going, odd requests for things for me to buy for her, just generally going downhill. Still trying to get over that I think.

    And latterly she was in very sheltered housing where at least I could rustle up extra care.

    Premier Icon csb
    Subscriber

    I did this back in 2008 and its quite literally a living nightmare – I’d zone out with the stress and come round to the realisation it was real. Waking every day to that same realisation was also hideous.

    When mum eventually died (6 month from brain tumour diagnosis to death) it was a blessing. No more suffering.

    Then 11 years of having to support my dad later….

    Stay strong.

    jonba
    Member

    My MiL hired a cleaner to come in 3 days a week for her dad when he was struggling. Except she wasn’t really a cleaner more a nurse/home help that was acceptable to him. She’d arrive with shopping, clean, makes sure they were eating properly, cook them lunch leave a few meals in the fridge etc.

    Expensive, but it gave peace of mind without upsetting anyone. No idea where you’d find someone like this though… There must be private nurses out there.

    Premier Icon onewheelgood
    Subscriber

    There must be private nurses out there.

    My mother has Alzheimer’s. She now has had to go into a home because her mobility has got too bad for her to continue in her flat. But before things got too that stage we had carers from Home Instead, who were absolutely fantastic. Not cheap, so not an option for everyone.

    Alzheimer’s is a terrible thing. Mum has now forgotten about her grandchildren, and is getting to the stage where she isn’t always sure who her children are. For all practical purposes, the person she was is gone, but there was never a time when we could say goodbye. She used to say that she was grateful to her parents for dying quickly (she was never sentimental), and dementia was the only thing in life I ever knew her to be afraid of. Luckily for her, just about the only thing she is certain about now is that she doesn’t suffer from it.

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Subscriber

    For all practical purposes, the person she was is gone, but there was never a time when we could say goodbye.

    That is so very true.

    Premier Icon Dickyboy
    Subscriber

    She used to say that she was grateful to her parents for dying quickly

    Reading this thread its something that I’m grateful for, had my dad live with us for the last 5yrs of his life to keep an eye on him but he passed away in his sleep just as we started down the route of getting carers in. My heart goes out to anyone dealing with long term illness in their aging parents as I saw what this did to my mum whilst looking after my gran.

    Premier Icon reluctantjumper
    Subscriber

    Me and my sister looked into getting some sort of home help a few weeks back but my mum is dead set against it. Her bipolar means she’s incredibly untrusting of strangers and she craves her own space, as she has no sleep pattern (takes random naps of 3-4 hours at random times) getting someone to work around that is impossible. She’s bad enough if we offer to clean for her, her defenses go up and that’s the end of the conversation! Dad is also very proud of being able to do things himself, although he is happy to have his wounds dressed three times a week by a nurse but he goes to the local surgery for that.

    She used to say that she was grateful to her parents for dying quickly

    If only that could happen to all of us, it would make the whole death process so much more bearable. Sadly none of my grandparents managed to. Dad’s mum had a severe stroke and spent months in hospital virtually paralysed and unable to speak but was obviously aware of her surroundings and in terrible pain, mentally and physically. Mum’s mum had a gradual deterioration resulting in pneumonia before eventually collapsing in agony in our front room. Mum’s dad also had a heart attack after a long period of being severely ill but then went into surgery to save him, dying on the operating table the next day. My dad’s dad had a painful death too but it was before I was born so I don’t know the details.

    Why can’t we have a service like Dignitas here? Surely that’s the humane thing to do, with checks and failsafes obviously. I know if I get to the stage of my life just being constant pain and discomfort I’d want the option of checking out on my terms.

    fossy
    Member

    Even getting parents into Nursing Homes has it’s pitfalls. MIL is in a lovely one, but they aren’t getting her out of bed on time or indeed hoisting to the loo enough – down to staffing – these places don’t pay well. MIL had no bed sores at home despite being in bed, or in a chair all day. Now she is in a Nursing home, she has sores – she’s bought herself a £2.5k chair, but because she is so immobile, she is in nappies, but they aren’t being changed quickly enough – she knows when she needs to loo but there aren’t enough staff to hoist her to the commode (takes two staff under H&S) so she ends up wet (and she is large).

    It’s crap getting old with a knackered body too – her mind is there. We can’t believe she is still here, but modern medicine is keeping her going – we were at the ‘now’t we can do’ stage in hospital in February..

    It’s the stress of going through these ‘near death’ stuff every year… it’s exhausting and so draining on the person affected.

    It’s not good getting old…

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Subscriber

    @Fossy. My lad is a learning disability nurse and says he never wants to go in a home. He works in what looks like a lovely place all the staff are doing as much as they can for the clients but there’s never enough money/time to do the job he wants. The budget for days out is pitiful (essential for mental stimulus for the learning disabled) which leads to ‘warehousing’ of the residents. That’s the bad.

    The Good. The care assistants do a great job of making sure the clients are accompanied and interacted with at all times. This weekend a lady in the home had her 57th birthday. They threw a party for her and staff not due to work turned up to celebrate with her, care assistants did ABBA songs in costume for her. (ABBA are huge for the learning disabled). All the residents had had their hair done, make up for the women and best clothes/shoes put on. It was a humbling experience for me.

    tjagain
    Member

    Why can’t we have a service like Dignitas here? Surely that’s the humane thing to do, with checks and failsafes obviously. I know if I get to the stage of my life just being constant pain and discomfort I’d want the option of checking out on my terms.

    This really is a whole new topic. Needless to say I have very strong views about it and why its not available here. I have family in the Netherlands where physician assisted suicide is available. My brother in laws sisters husband recently availed himself of it. Diagnosis of leukemia, he sorted his affairs out, went to his GP, signed the papers and a week or two later the GP came to his house and gave him a shot. He got to die in peace with his loved ones around him with dignity and at a time of his choosing

    I know my parents are scared of dementing or becoming dependent. I have power of attorney in place for them and know their views and I will fight as hard as I can that those views are respected

    to me this is a fundamental basic human right. To be able to have a dignified pain free death at a time of your choosing. Once I have retired I am intending to do some campaigning on it.

    tjagain
    Member

    To the OP – have you got a power of attorney? ( or whatever its called in England / these days)

    If not get one as soon as you can – its much easier to get while your parents are of sound mind and it does not come into effect until they are no longer capable of making decisions.

    Its well worth looking into

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