I don't know if this will help anyone. My father died while in hospice after about 18 days. Prior, he had strokes and became more disabled during a 4-month period. He required intense 24/7 care with eyes on, as he was very agitated and did not sleep. He was in his 80's, but very strong, so he was a handful. We communicated with him as if he was "normal," and I believe he appreciated it. When others would "baby-talk" to him, I would kindly ask them to not do it because it was just so wrong for him (and annoying to us). One of his friend sang him nursery rhymes, and I just came undone over it. PLEASE treat people with respect, and give them the support they need emotionally. My dad became unresponsive and died 6 days later. Before that, he ate and drank a lot, as he had no sensation of being full because of his brain damage from the strokes. He tried very hard to communicate with everyone, and it was traumatic for him and us. There are signs of impending death within days and hours, the first for me was the feet turning purple. He died about 30 hours after that happened, and from what I have heard and read, this is a strong indicator of when to expect death to arrive, and also, the breathing pattern as it becomes longer between breaths. We gave him ativan and morphine to keep him comfortable, and this was very important to make sure that no one compromised him on his medication schedule. He was also given Tylenol and phenobarbital suppositories for fever and to keep him calm and comfortable. I played music for him via headphones on a low volume so he didn't have to hear people yakking all around him, mostly hospice nurses talking on their cell phones, even when asked not to. We had to "fire" the hospice team and get another in in the last hours because the first hospice company, it was all about them, not about my father, and they stole time with him from us, with all of their ridiculous protocol. We called another company, and the house was calm, they listened to us and made sure my father had a quiet ending, which is all he really wanted (as he had expressed to us in his healthcare directive). Now, a few months later, I am with my mom in hospice, but she is easy by comparison to my dad (they have been divorced for decades). It is very difficult to go from one hospice experience to another, but my best advice is to carefully screen the hospice company (avoid the one with a "V") and make sure that all people, even other family members and all friends, comply with your loved one's wishes. If they don't, ask them to leave. This is not about them; it's about the person dying only, no one else. I learned the signs of how much time could be estimated to be left by what I saw and learned from others who knew, and if you just focus on the patient, everything else falls into place in its own time, but it is very exhausting and haunting. Just know that it will end, and hopefully you won't have back-to-back episodes, which can really ruin whatever life you once had. It is a time to start over, and that's alright. You do find out who your true friends (and family) are at a time like this, Try not to be too hard on yourself or burden yourself with guilt. Do what you believe is right, always, and what you know your loved one would want. The death process is remarkable and unforgettable, obviously, but the crisis part and the hard work all pays off in the end; I promise. Just go with it, try not to fret too much, and ease the mind of the dying person's fear with love and soft music and a calm environment. That's what I tried to do, against enormous odds, and it all came out fine. Follow your heart.