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My grandfather is dying of Alzheimer's...

My grandfather, like his mother and grandmother before him, is dying of Alzheimer's. He's in the final stages - those really unbearable stages that only someone who has seen it can even imagine. We've had two "false alarms" of his impending death just in the last few months. Its really starting to wear on me, and my family. Years ago, before he was ever even diagnosed, he gave my family their inheritence - he said he "never wanted anyone he loved to be sitting around, waiting for him to die". And yet, here we all are, wishing (for HIS sake, not ours), that he could just pass on. I'm feeling incredibly guilty for that. We know he is suffering, and we want him to just be able to be free again. I feel like we are not honoring his wishes, but at the same time, for him to pass on would be better for HIM. Any advice for me? I'm just so conflicted.

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:50 PM on May. 7, 2010 in Relationships

Answers (10)
  • I am a hospice nurse and I deal with this type of situation every day. Please get your local hospice involved. They will not only help keep your grandfather comfortable, but help you and your family emotionally....

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:53 PM on May. 7, 2010

  • Keep visiting and keep talking to him. When my grandmother was in the nursing home it was hard to visit because we didn't think she knew who we were. Years after her death I had a dream, actually I don't think it was a dream but a visit because it was very real and I can remember it like yesterday. She came to me and said she always knew who we were but couldn't say anything. And I believe it's true. Just in case it is, wouldn't you want him to know your there and speak words of comfort to him? Sorry for your family, this is a tough situation.


    Answer by Anonymous at 11:58 PM on May. 7, 2010

  • I have worked with the elderly now for about 20 yrs. I have worked in senior homes and assisted living communities. So I do know your plight. It is hard. I do not know if he is at home or in a center. If he is in a center, just be comforted in knowing they are doing all to take care of him and make his final days comfortable. Of course if you are trying to take care of him at home that makes it even harder. I guess the bottom line is he will not go until God is ready for him. I had a lady with Alzheimers ask me once " What is wrong with me, I feel like I am going crazy?" I just had to reassure her she was not. I would tell you to find a support group, some major cities have them. as far as your feelings. I understand. You do not want him to die so you can get his money. You just want him to have some peace. It is so hard on the families. Do not beat yourself up. He knows your love him. I'll pray for you.

    Answer by my2kids312 at 11:59 PM on May. 7, 2010

  • annon #2....It is so funny you speak of a visit like that. My husband who had a very bad childhood with his mom, who is not deceased said he dreamed she came to him along with his grandparents and told him she was sorry and always loved him. I told him I believe it was a visit and she was making her peace. Thanks for sharing that.

    Answer by my2kids312 at 12:02 AM on May. 8, 2010

  • I meant to say she is "now deceased"...

    Answer by my2kids312 at 12:03 AM on May. 8, 2010

  • (hugs) dont beat yourself up for wanting the suffering(his and yours) to end. thats natural, no one wants to see that let alone live it. I agree call the local hospice and get some support for all involved. and please please dont forget any kids in this situation, they need help too. its hard on them because they also feel conflicted and fearful. I will pray for you too hon, gbu.

    Answer by Bearsjen at 1:23 AM on May. 8, 2010

  • It sounds like this is the genetic Alzheimers. Please get involved in research studies.

    Answer by rkoloms at 10:28 AM on May. 8, 2010

  • You are doing the right thing. Just keep visiting. He knows you are there. My grandfather had Alzheimers and when we would visit the nurses always said, he is acting different, like he knows you are here. I understand you want the suffering to stop. Just make sure he is comfortable and tell him you love him as often as you can.
    Also yes, Hospice is an awesome choice. They will help ease his suffering. They help with family alot too!

    Answer by Annette4797 at 10:53 AM on May. 8, 2010

  • OP - I can't visit him, at least not often. He lives in a memory care center 350 miles away from us. We tried once to get him moved to our city (where my mother - his daughter - lives) but his wife wouldn't let that happen (even though she moved away from the town he is in, too). He only has his two sisters nearby to visit him. Hospice IS involved - they came in to his care unit last month for him. But we don't have any involvement with them, since we are so far away.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:01 PM on May. 8, 2010

  • My dad and great aunt both died from it and now my Mom has it.I watched my dad die.He had an infection and his body started shutting down.Do get Hospice involved.They really do help! I am so sorry.I know how horrible this is to go through.HUGS!!

    Answer by momofsixangels at 3:27 AM on May. 22, 2010

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