Thank you so much for all of your responses. I value each and every one. My aunt is 86 years old. She and her husband never had children and he passed away in 1991. She is a very independent woman. Currently she is talking about her cancer like it is just another 'bout' with an illness.
She is forgetful and, though she will not admit it, very hard of hearing. Her friends have been taking her to doctor appointments but she sometimes becomes very mean to anyone who is helping her.
I understand her desire to stay in her home but she could use some help with medicines, and routine things around the home. I believe she is afraid to let strangers in her home to help her which I understand.
My sister has been down three times in the last few months and I am going in the next two weeks. Admittedly, I'm no care giver. But, I have extensive experience with cancer as my mother spent 12 years, 4 rounds of chemo for breast and ovarian cancer, and passed away in 1996 of leukemia that her oncologist believes was brought on by all the chemo for the other cancers. Anyway, I spent every weekend with her and we were able to have her at home for her last 30 days. I really dreaded it but we all had a blast. She was so comfortable with her spirituality and so happy to have all of her friends and family right with her.
We all laughed and laughed, told stories, prayed and had the best 30 days (almost to the hour) that any of us ever spent together. She had great docs who prepared us well with what to expect til the end. She died in peace and we celebrated her life.
However, my aunt is just the opposite. She has no spiritual life at all. None of her docs have been able to tell us how quickly or what to expect at the end. Being so far away, we want to make these trips count. Can anyone suggest the stages of care she'll need and we'll need to plan? My mom had hospice and those folks are the most wonderful people in the world. Not only did mom love them, but they really endeared themselves and helped our whole family. I cannot say enough great things about hospice.
Thank you so much for your feedback and suggestions. I appreciate it immensely.