Hoarding Woes: Hospice, Bidding Adieu……..

“I am not trying to alarm you. But, I want you to just tuck this into the back of your mind; your aunt could be coming into a hospice status….” Not a shock. Nor am I an expert. Having been down this road only once before, I can see the situation is different this time. But, only slightly.

I won’t go through the hospice events surrounding my mom. I just know that my aunt is changing almost daily over the last three weeks. Considerations of a UTI have been eliminated. Medications have been reviewed several times and considerable care has been given to not over medicate my aunt, and allow her some kind of alertness during the day and sleep at night. 

At this juncture, and you probably know how there are fluctuations in this journey….ever slight improvements that give you mental comfort, but don’t change the true pathway…my aunt is refusing most food, most beverages, and medications. She has little interest in taste. But, she also is paranoid and frequently hallucinating. (wow, is that a convoluted paragraph) 

She is turning inward. Still sitting upright. She is seemingly awake and even recognizes me…”Gary…Gary…take my hand. Tell me something. Is this real? Is this really real?” She has asked me this same question several times before. It is a sobering question, showing the little dear is aware she moves between different dimensions of the mind. It is not uncommon to sit beside her, and she knows who you are by name, and she is in another world with people, events, objects before her that are not there. At least, not in my realm of awareness. 

There is a change in the mind, the energy levels, the consumption of life sustaining nutrients and maybe things are changing… What does it look like when it is time for hospice? We all picture the bedridden patient, not communicating, lapsing into another place and eventually wasting and then leaving us. 

This is that place just before that. So, for now, I will tuck it back aways in my mind, but it seems to be difficult to do that right now.


I pick up the check from the sale of my mom’s house today. I will transfer it into an estate account. File the paperwork, via an attorney, with the Probate Court, settle all remaining debts (beyond the big ones that were just paid off) and walk away from that hoarding house. 


When I was a very small boy, my mom had a dear girlfriend. They were both poor and I recall playing with toy cars while my mom visited her girlfriend in a rundown apartment, in a bad part of town. They remained friends for years.

At the end of my mom’s life, Eleanor could not maintain the relationship with my mom because of dementia. My mom could not compute how her longtime girlfriend could be so mean, so verbally abusive and painful distance ensued. After my mom died, there was not word from Eleanor.

Recently, I heard from Eleanor’s family that she was in a care facility. The family lived back East. They asked if I would go visit her and give my regards…sure I said. Definitely. I never got there. She died this week. Alone in a care facility. No family near. I will remember her as the pretty lady that visited with my mom as I played on her floor with cheap little tin cars from the five and dime. Odd how you remember things. Sunlight streaming in…little dust particles flitting around in the revealing sunlight. So sorry I didn’t make it by. Good Bye sweet Eleanor.



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