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My dad won't get a ventilator, will he?

(87 Posts)
ivegotdreadfulpmttoday Mon 18-May-20 19:13:11

My Dad has tested positive for covid19. He is in his 90s, with dementia, in a care home. If he needs it, he won't be put on a ventilator, will he?

OP’s posts: |
TheAdventuresoftheWishingChair Mon 18-May-20 19:14:47

No, I'm afraid not, on the basis it would be traumatic for him and only cause him to suffer more.

But even being 90 and having dementia, it's not a given this will kill him.

Are you alright? I'm so sorry you're dealing with this.

RandomMess Mon 18-May-20 19:16:31


It's really sad and difficult to come to terms of DNR & similar outcome.

Rosesarere Mon 18-May-20 19:17:46

I'm so sorry for everything you must be going through

IHaveBrilloHair Mon 18-May-20 19:18:41

Unfortunately in his case the ventilator is unlikely to save his life.

Isadora2007 Mon 18-May-20 19:19:38

No. He wouldn’t as it wouldn’t work for him and probably traumatise him far more than allowing him to die peacefully and keeping him comfortable IF it comes to it. Sorry. People do need to consider DNACPRs for their elderly relatives though- even without covid. And consider WHY they are keeping people alive with medication and fluids etc when you probably wouldn’t keep an animal alive in similar conditions... and discuss these things with your parents and relatives now...even if they’re not in that place yet.

OhioOhioOhio Mon 18-May-20 19:19:37

Are you alright? Your Dad, I'm sure, will want you to think about keeping you safe.

ToffeeYoghurt Mon 18-May-20 19:20:48

I'm so sorry.
Don't lose all hope. There's increasing evidence ventilation isn't necessarily helpful with Covid.
Ask about oxygen. That's been shown to help in many cases. Precautionary antibiotics too (to prevent secondary infections). There's nothing to lose in asking.

MsHeffaPiglet Mon 18-May-20 19:22:54

I know that you love your father OP, so that being the case you want what is best for him. Deep down you know that being put on a ventilator isn't it. The doctors know that it is a traumatic experience and that it would be unkind to put your father through it.

Crimsonnightlotus Mon 18-May-20 19:23:26

I'm so sorry. Keeping fingers crossed for you. 🤞💐

P1nkHeartLovesCake Mon 18-May-20 19:23:32

No guarantee he will even need one. Not all older people die of this and humans can surprise you no end in what they survive. He may be ok.

Ventilator, probably unlikely at his age with dementia.

Such a sad situation, with so much worry for you flowers

DamnYankee Mon 18-May-20 19:24:26

Did you ask the medical professionals at the care home? Pretty sure they are the ones to ask first.

I'm so sorry.

ivegotdreadfulpmttoday Mon 18-May-20 19:24:26

Thank you. I'm feeling sad and worried. I hope he'll be ok and he is as tough as old boots. I don't want him to suffer and would like to just be able to hold his hand but obviously can't and if he dies now, it will be alone. Or at least not with loved ones around him.
Feeling guilty as I instigated the move to a care home as his needs were too great to be met at home.

OP’s posts: |
vinoelle Mon 18-May-20 19:24:50

Honestly, I think you’ve misunderstood ventilators. They aren’t a magic cure. The stats are variable still, but approximately only 50% of fit people on ventilators survive anyway, if it gets to that stage. So it’s not like the elderly are being denied a life saving cure for the sake of it. I’m actually trying to say this to make you feel better - hopefully it will help stop you feeling like he would be treated unfairly.

BuffaloCauliflower Mon 18-May-20 19:25:02

I’m so sorry. No he won’t, because being ventilated would be horrendous for him whilst also having almost no chance of success. He might be fine though, many very elderly people are surviving this.

ivegotdreadfulpmttoday Mon 18-May-20 19:34:04

I'm not suggesting he'll be treated unfairly, sorry if I wasn't clear. Just that if it got to the stage of him needing one it would be deemed pointless and maybe even cruel. So it's a waiting game to see how bad he gets and if this will finish him off.
Just a few months ago something to finish him off would have been more acceptable but I'm struggling with the thought of him dying alone.

OP’s posts: |
ivegotdreadfulpmttoday Mon 18-May-20 19:34:58

Not knowing he's loved

OP’s posts: |
Teatowel1 Mon 18-May-20 19:38:42

He will know he's loved, even though you can't be there. I'm so sad for you in this situation. It's not your fault flowers

spinningaround72 Mon 18-May-20 19:38:49

He may not need it. I have an elderly relative in hospital who has tested positive for covid. They were only tested as routine but the covid isnt actually causing them any problems/why they are in hospital. Theyve been positive for weeks now.

PeterPiperPumpkin Mon 18-May-20 19:39:07

I'm hoping you are ok. It's so very hard when our loved ones are in Nursing/Care homes and you can't see them. My MIL is 85 with advanced stages of dementia. She was a little poorly vomited one day then temperature over 2 weeks ago and now sleeping a lot . We were told they strongly suspected COVID-19 as the GP's working with the care homes seen similar symptoms. My MIL has been testing positive now (2 tests) for a fortnight. She is sleeping 90 percent of the day. Eating and drinking very small amount but enough. She is frail but was already, however clinically doing ok. We expect if she pulls through this ok her dementia will probably have advanced further. We already knew that if her health declines she will not be going to hospital and continue to be barrier nursed in bed. It would be so incredibly traumatic for her to be hospitalised as she has only recently recovered from severe infections where she needed oxygen for several weeks and can no longer walk after 2 months in hospital. It's kinder for her to be nursed at the home where she has a beautiful comfortable and familiar surroundings. Hoping your Dad will not develop severe Symptoms. I understand not all of the elderly dementia residents tested positive have had severe symptoms.
Best wishes

PeterPiperPumpkin Mon 18-May-20 19:41:57

Just to add. Does your Dad's care home have Video comms. We call every few days and speak to MIL or sing to her/play music. We know she can hear us as she nods and one day was able to smile. It's good for us to also see her and we hope she can hear or see us.

implantsandaDyson Mon 18-May-20 19:42:19

No he won't. My nana tested positive three weeks ago, she's 93 and in a care home. She has dementia and severe COPD. She is starting to improve, we had a terrible couple of days about a week ago but she's still here and starting to eat. The staff have been absolutely amazing, she's never on her own, they've kept my mum up to date and have been really comforting and informative.

It's such a terrible time and not being with them it was unthinkable to us. Because of her ill health all options re hospital admissions, heroic measures etc had been discussed, decisions made etc long before Covid-19 became part of any decision making.
I hope the next few weeks are easy on you and your Dad.

Muchtoomuchtodo Mon 18-May-20 19:47:04

We have had patients in their 90’s with dementia and many other illnesses who have tested positive for Covid19. There has been agreement for a ward level ceiling of care (no intensive care, ventilation etc) but several have survived and returned to their care home. Please don’t give all hope, but you are wise to be aware to the possibility that he may not survive this.
Is he still in the care home or has he been taken to hospital?
Either way there will be staff who can facilitate a FaceTime (or similar) call so that you call tell him how loved he is.
So sorry you’re going through this op.

seltaeb Mon 18-May-20 19:49:22

So sorry to hear about your DF. I am not sure how it is being implemented but the government briefing a while ago did suggest visits might be possible if someone was nearing the end of life:

clairethewitch70 Mon 18-May-20 19:51:53

My 82 year old DM who lives with us caught covid from me or my eldest son. She has severe bronchiectasis and survived with no hospital treatment, just increased her nebuliser and gave her antibiotics for secondary infection. It is not automatically a death sentence x

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