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 Mom has a mass in her lungs 
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:28 pm
Posts: 463
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Mom has a mass in her lungs
Before you remodel the bathroom, which could take more time than you want it to, look through some medical supply catalogs and websites and stretch the imagination. Maybe a shower wand with an extra long hose will be enough for a "shower." If you could find something like a child's wading pool (or just plastic if it'll hold enough) to put under a chair for her, and the bathroom is large enough to get around it, you may have a quick option for showers. Or there may be other options. I wonder if your 10 year old might be able to come up with some good ideas. Kids are great at coming up with unique solutions. :roll:

Good luck!

Kate

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Kate [i](Cared for Mom for years before anyone else noticed the symptoms, but the last year of her life was rough and we needed to place her in an SNF, where she passed in February 2012)[/i]


Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:27 pm
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Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 4:46 pm
Posts: 119
Location: Salem, Oregon
Post Re: Mom has a mass in her lungs
Those are good ideas, Kate. I think a wading pool and an extra long hose attachment in the bathroom might work. I'll suggest that to Dad. Currently he has a small shower which is awkward for a caregiver to use for bathing her because the door is small, so the caregiver has to literally get into the shower with her. It might work to remodel just that shower with a bigger opening, maybe even something with just three walls and no door will work. Dad also has a bathtub that he can convert into a shower, but with no bathtub, I'm afraid he'll lose a whole demographic of potential buyers (families with young children). Mom just can't lift her legs high enough to get into the tub safely, but a wading pool would have shorter sides.


Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:38 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Mom has a mass in her lungs
What good news that the MD recommended hospice. Can you find out if there's a specific agency she recommends?

There are several reasons hospice is appropriate for your mother: you thought she might die last week; she has a partially collapsed lung; and she is at the point where she's utilizing lots of medical care (which can be a signal that she's nearing the end). By definition, the MD thinks that your mother could die within 6 months. Certainly ask the MD if she can narrow it down further.

Your father will need to discuss very carefully with prospective hospice agencies what your father will want to do if your mother falls. If she goes to the hospital ER, then she'd have to be taken off of hospice. I'd also recommend discussing if the intention is to treat pneumonia with antibiotics, if your mother develops it.

What's wrong with sponge baths? I would think remodeling at this point is a waste of energy and a nuisance for everyone in the house.


Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:59 pm
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Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 4:46 pm
Posts: 119
Location: Salem, Oregon
Post Re: Mom has a mass in her lungs
We already know which agency we want to use. My mom has a faithful friend who volunteers for a local hospice and who has visited her every single week that she's been in the assisted living facility. She and her husband have also been a huge support to me and my dad both. She first brought up the idea of hospice about two months ago, but Mom's doctor said it wasn't time yet. I'll let Dad know she'll be taken off of hospice if she goes to the ER. Is that a universal thing?

My mom is on antibiotics now because of her flu which seemed like pnuemonia (and maybe was last week). The doctor made it clear to me and my dad that she is taking comfort measures only now and understands that's what we want. Mom's advanced directives don't address this particular situation (whether to treat pneumonia), but Mom did make it clear that she wanted to be as pain free as possible, and that's what the doctor says the antibiotics and nebulizer are primarily for--to decrease her discomfort. She may have cancer (tumor on her neck), but we've decided not to pursue a biopsy or treatment.

Sponge baths will be fine once she's bedridden, I'm sure. But Dad is hoping to have her home for a few months before her death, and he wants her to be as comfortable as possible. Before she got sick, Mom would shower every morning and bathe every night to soothe her achy legs (RLS and arthritis). Baths were one of her last bedtime comforts before she was too impaired to use the tub safely. Since being at the assisted living facility, she's wanted a shower every day. I think Dad just wants to make sure she has the best end of life experience as possible, including baths or showers, even if it means some remodeling. One of his ideas--to add a whole new bathroom--would create a second (and larger) master bedroom than what now exists and could increase the value of the home, but I think it would take longer than Mom has. I like the wading pool, long hose attachment idea, though, and will suggest that to Dad.


Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:31 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Mom has a mass in her lungs
Right, if you are on hospice, the hospice agency takes care of the entire medical bill. They would not allow an ER visit because the hospice agency would have to pay for it.

Someone here got stuck with either a CT scan bill or an MRI bill when they took their family member to the ER though their family member was on hospice. It takes usually one phone call to get off of hospice.

Some do decide that comfort measures do not include antibiotics. Some look upon antibiotics as a life-extending treatment.

How will your father care for your mother if she moves back home?


Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:54 pm
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Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 4:46 pm
Posts: 119
Location: Salem, Oregon
Post Re: Mom has a mass in her lungs
I was concerned about the antibiotics being a life-extending measure rather than a comfort measure so talked with my dad about it. He then asked the doctor if that was her intention, and she said everything she does now is intended as a comfort measure only. Mom's inablility to cough did seem to be causing her great discomfort. It interfered with her eating as well, and although her appetite is diminished, she can still swallow and still wants to eat. When Dad moves her back home, he intends to hire full-time caregiver support, 24-7. My aunt and I insisted on that when he brought it up, and he agreed without too much protest.


Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:27 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2007 4:18 pm
Posts: 835
Location: Acton, MA
Post Re: Mom has a mass in her lungs
When we had Hospice for Frank they said NEVER call 911 or go to the ER. If I had a concern call them, if they thought it was necessary, possible broken bone, they would call 911.

The wading pool sounds good but how will you lift it to empty? Daily bed baths worked well for us.

My thoughts are with you,
Gerry

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Gerry 67, cared for Frank 71, married 49 yrs; dx 2004, passed away October 26, 2011.


Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:29 am
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:28 pm
Posts: 463
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Mom has a mass in her lungs
There is another option for bathing - one I used when Mom was at home - but it does cost between $500 and $1000 if bought new. That would be a bath lift. It is a chair that you can raise and lower for getting your mom into the tub. There are usually either flaps or attachments that fit to the side of the tub, or transfer boards/seats that also help with this. There are other versions, too. At the time I got ours, there was also one advertised that inflates and deflates, using a compressor. I considered this one because it would get Mom closer to the bottom of the tub by completely deflating. The more standard lifts, like the one I did get, stop an inch or two from the bottom of the tub.

Using something like this would let your mom soak in the tub. For my mom, it also allowed her to bathe somewhat privately, while she could. She was sitting in the tub, the lift had a back to it that could recline or not depending on what is needed (for shampooing, we always reclined it as far as we could). Falling or slipping down would have been close to impossible. Mom loved her baths, too.

You might be able to find one used. I sold ours for $200 at a garage sale, but it might take time to find one. I got ours at www.activeforever.com. But if you do a web search on "bath lift" you will find lots of suppliers. You should also find that shower wand with the long hose (which we used in conjunction with the lift) at some of the sites supplying the lifts. I spent $900 on the lift for Mom about 4 or 5 years ago and it was worth every penny.

Kate

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Kate [i](Cared for Mom for years before anyone else noticed the symptoms, but the last year of her life was rough and we needed to place her in an SNF, where she passed in February 2012)[/i]


Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:55 am
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Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:04 pm
Posts: 7
Post Re: Mom has a mass in her lungs
Well I agree with Kate, we just saw my husbands dr for blood work results. He said bad cholesterol is high, good is low, triglercerits high, blood pressure is high. He wants him to completely change his diet ( almost vegan ) stop smoking and quit coffee. Why so he can live years longer with dementia? He is still able to do most things and is able to express his wishes. We have done all the legal work to let him go how ever that comes. We have been together 44 yrs, I hope I will be strong. I have also done my legal work so I can live and die how I choose, not a doctor chooses. I worked in the medical field for 15 yrs and believe each family and person needs to do what feels right for them. Wishing you well


Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:07 pm
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