Tagged with end_of_life

Conversations about Dying

“… old age is a place we have never been. We may see it up close as our parents age, but we will never know what it’s like until we’re there.” The quote comes from a piece I just read, a post by Paul Staley at the KQED Perspectives site. Staley describes a conversation that he had with … Continue reading

Hospice Helps When a Parent With Dementia is Dying

Sometimes acquaintances describe how a hospice program entered the lives of an aging parent during the last week or even in the last few days of life. My husband and I are aware of just how much hospice offered to our family during the four months before his mother died. However, we have spoken with people — who … Continue reading

End-of-Life: Another Form!

In the July 18, 2010 New Old Age Blog Paula Span reports on yet another form we need to fill out if we want the most control at the end of our lives. Her article, A Final Prescription describes the POLST form, though the name may be different from state-to-state.  A individual completes this form … Continue reading

Dementia: Choosing Her Own End-of-Life Strategy

Take a few minutes to read a post at the Intrepid Paper Girl blog about the life and dementia-related death of journalist Lynn Forbish. Forbish’s last years of life demonstrate how people with dementia continue to think, feel emotions, and make decisions. Her end-of-life experience illustrates the cognitive model that researcher Justin Feinstein and University of Iowa … Continue reading

Aging Parents: Research on End-of-Life Decisions

Researchers at the University of Michigan have published Advance Directives and Outcomes of Surrogate Decision Making Before Death (abstract link) in the April 1, 2010, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The study included 3,746 participants and focused on their end-of-life decisions between 2000 and 2006. Another article about the end-of-life research is at … Continue reading

Aging Parents: Death from Falls, Part I

With aging parents on my mind a lot these days, I am extra clued into sickness, decline, and factors that contribute to the end of an elderly person’s life. Frequently I ask two questions. Why do falls have such a strong association with the death of people over age 65, and why isn’t prevention more … Continue reading

Writing a Parent’s Remembrance, Part I

Other Posts Relating to Remembrances: After a Parent’s Death: Writing a Remembrance, Part II,    After an Aging Parent’s Death: Obituaries and Remembrances,  Mother’s Memorial Service When an elderly parent accumulates serious medical diagnoses, becomes weaker, and is sick more often than not, set aside time to review memories and talk about life. Engage in … Continue reading

Aging Parents: Caregiving and Saying Good-bye

Caregiving, especially helping to care for an aging parent who is ill and nearing the end of life, is arduous. One never stops asking questions about “doing the right thing.” Throughout this challenging time an aging child has lot of things to say, memories to review, and good-byes to be arranged for family members near … Continue reading

Mother’s Memorial Service

Other Posts Relating to Remembrances:  After a Parent’s Death: Obituaries and Remembrances,  After a Parent’s Death: Writing a Remembrance, Part II,    After a Parent’s Death: Writing a Remembrance, Part I Our goal was to plan a memorial service that celebrated the life of my husband’s mother. As she was two months shy of her … Continue reading

Anticipatory Grief

This National Cancer Institute web site features a number of explanations and resource links on bereavement and grief. One section, titled anticipatory grief, describes how people often feel and behave when the death of a loved one is expected. This type of grief usually applies in a situation where a person is seriously ill and … Continue reading

After Death Details, Part I: Grief

Grief … It has been a week since my husband’s mother died. We miss her, though we are glad she is not in the extreme discomfort that she experienced at the end. We’ve laughed and we’ve cried, more of the former, because she lived a long and rich life. Saying goodbye takes time. Photograph albums … Continue reading

The End of Mother’s Life

We were not able to follow through with the hairdresser, though we know that Mother would have loved it, even so close to the end of her life. Raymond was a master at making her feel good. Early on Monday morning mother died, perhaps from the dementia, but more proximally from congestive heart failure. She … Continue reading

Dementia: Mother’s Continuing Decline

During the week between Christmas and New Year’s mother’ decline has accelerated. We realized a day or so before Christmas that our plans to bring her to our house were overly optimistic. She simply did not have the wherewithal to move, eat, climb the few steps or even stay awake for very long. She began … Continue reading

Late State Dementia: Concentration

By the time a person reaches late stage dementia, concentration disappears.  Mother’s ability to concentrate is mostly gone. A fleeting memory, a song listened to, a story read, a much enjoyed TV news show broadcast — not one of these activities can be completed. We can start any of them and for a minute the … Continue reading