Thursday, March 20, 2008

Act V: Hospice

Today, after doing the meds and squirt of purree down the cat's throat, and the subcutaneous hydration, I drove to Mom's residence to meet the intake person from Roze Room Hospice.
Signing papers and giving Mom's medical history took over an hour. By the time I got Mom set up in her recliner and left, it was noon.
I had to be back at 3: 30 pm to meet with the hospice RN. Again I gave the health history and we discussed Mom's current needs.
At one point I asked Mom what her needs were.
"Just to go home to Telluride," she said. Right on target.
The discussions took until 6 pm, partly because Jill Murphy volunteered to give Mom an enema. I had explained that Mom had not had a bowel movement for 4-5 days, and someone had suggested that being constipated could cause her not to eat.
After Jill left, I dressed Mom and took her back to the dining room, where I spent 45 minutes trying to get her to eat and drink a little. Earlier she had refused her dinner.
I cut up her chicken and put a bite in her mouth.
She chewed it, then took it out of her mouth and dipped it in her water glass.
Then she put it back in her mouth and continued chewing, with a final result for each bite of either swallowing it or spitting it out. She did the same procedure with a few mushrooms.
With her mashed potatoes, two tiny spoonfuls were all she would eat.
She did drink an entire glass of milk by straw--very slowly.
I realized I could get her to eat if I were willing to spend an hour or two on each meal, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Or if I could get the staff at her residence to work this hard with trying to get her to eat.
Or we could just accept that she will be eating less and will be dying.
I went directly from the feeding exercise to the Maundy Thursday service at our church.
Home again, I lit a candle and sat in the dark, reflecting on Jesus death, the commandment to love others, and the end of Mom's life.
Then, of course, I ate dinner and worked on the cat.
"A new commandment I give you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another." John 13:34


Ben_M said...


My name is Ben Minor, and I am the Advancement Coordinator for the Lewy Body Dementia Association. I came across your blog and wanted to express our sympathy to both you and your family as you go through this difficult time dealing with your mother's dementia.

The Lewy Body Dementia Association is a nonprofit organization focused on raising awareness about LBD, providing supportive services for those affected by LBD, and promoting research for treatment options and a cure. Our organization was founded by caregivers to provide information and support for other caregivers and help them with any questions or concerns about LBD and their loved ones. If you would like additional informational materials on LBD, please feel free to contact us and we will send you our caregiver’s packet. Additionally, we have online forums and support groups which you can learn more about at

If there is anything else that LBDA can do to help, please email me at or call us at (404) 935-6444. We wish you the best during this struggle and hope that you will contact us if you need anything.


Ben Minor
Advancement Coordinator,
Lewy Body Dementia Association
(404) 935-6444

Etta said...

Good for people to know.