Advice on how long my Dad has left

Hi all,

I’m just looking for some advice and to draw on others experience.

My Dad moved in with me in November after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. His cancer is lung cancer with aggressive bone metastasis. He has a fractured pelvis, hip and ribs. He’s completely immobile and can just about transfer from a bed to a chair.

Over the past couple of weeks he’s become really confused and disorientated. He doesn’t know what time of day it is, is seeing things that aren’t there, talking nonsense and falls asleep midway conversation. He isn’t absorbing information and has forgotten about conversations 5 minutes later.

He’s stopped eating mostly, I’d say he probably has 1-2 ‘meals’ every couple of days but never asks for food. He’s asleep most of the time. His mood is difficult to manage - he’s snappy and aggressive, or overly happy and laughing, or depressed and crying… very manic. That’s when he’s awake, which isn’t often.

He isn’t washing or changing his clothes. His bowls are still working okay but his urine output is minimal. He’s also very hoarse when he wakes up in his throat. Simple things like finding his own mouth to take his tablet are a challenge for him.

He has good days where he’s more alert and awake, but they’re becoming less and less.

The hospice are refusing to admit him as they’re saying he’s not actively dying yet. Could anyone plot my dad against their experience and let me know if I could challenge this?

Thanks x

Hi Bethany,
What support are you and dad getting??
Has the GP arranged “NHS Continuing Healthcare” for you?
It is primarily designed for people in this situation.
There was an important Panorama film on Barbara Pointon or Poynton. Google her name, and you should come up with the details.
Apologies for the brief reply, just on my way out.

Hi Bethany

So sorry to hear how ill your Dad is …

What is the input from Dad’s G.P.

I hate it every time I suggest this, but I think it really helps.
When my mum was desperately ill, I googled “Signs of Dying” and found some really helpful information written by people who were involved with hospice care. They explain how the body gradually shuts down, over a long period, and why people who are ill don’t want much to eat or drink, to be guided by the patient.
Have you considered which funeral director you will use when the time comes.
Having had to appoint two urgently, I know how upsetting that can be.
It is much better to accept you will need one soon, and doing some research about prices, choosing the one you want, and getting in touch beforehand, as I did with mum.