How do you know when to call for Hospice?

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I am really confused as to when to set up hospice. My 89 year old mother had a stroke in January 2006 and moved in with my family and I. She started using a walker after the stroke. Last Saturday she could no longer stand and now needs her wheelchair 90 percent of the time. She was just at the doctor and he gave her a good bill of health. She sleeps more, eats less, and has had one accident (diarrhea). She had a real bad day on Wednesday. I thought she was going to die. I called my brother and sister and they talked to her. The next day she was better. Several people including my sister think I should call for hospice.

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When my dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor we were told to contact hospice as soon as possible. They sent a caseworker to open the case and assess the situation. We were told that it would be much better to have the case open even if we didn't immediately have the need for them, as then once we did, things would move faster. I would recommend that as well. All the best to you.
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Karen,
You are not stupid, just trying to do the right thing. Think about calling back the doctor's office and say please go ahead.
I know of a case where the facility advised calling hospice. With the correct meds and equipment, ordered by hospice, she improved considerably. Hospice still sees her week days at her Assisteed Living facility.
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Thank you so much for all of your answers. I was told to call hospice for my mom by friends and sister. When I called the doctor (he is out of town until Monday) the nurse asked if she had cancer. So I felt kind of silly. Then she said she could go ahead and order it. I said I would wait for the doctor. Thanks for your advice. Now I will have more confidence when I took to the doctor. My Dad died in 2004 and my mom couldn't admit he was dying and the medical staff was too gentle with us. So I felt rather stupid about the process.
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Hapfra is right, you need a doctor's order for hospice. His office should be able to steer you to some hospice organizations. "When" to get it started is always nebulous. When my Mom's dr ordered it, I must have looked at him funny. He told me that the common misperception is that a person needs to be within 6 months of death, but unless you are clairvoyant, how would anyone know that. Interesting point. My mom had a "clean bill of health", but she was 92 was was tired of living. Hospice was wonderful, so supportive and caring and compassionate, and they have equipment that will keep your Mom so comfortable. Start with the drs office, but also contact some local home health agencies who often times have hospice care, and check them out. Hospice organizations have their own medical people (ie: doctors) who can order medications and equipment.
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Call hospice immediately.They will keep you sane in a dreadful situation. I found one in the telephone book and contacted them. Hospice contacted my dad's MD for the order for hospice. It is my understanding the patient does not have to have a terminal illness but a chronic condition that is not expected to improve, like a debiliting stroke. They have nurses on call on the weekend. My dad was ill, diagnosed with lung cancer that had metasized to his brain. We found this out on January 9 and he passed away February 25. Hospice was great. I had moved my dad a few days before he passed to a Hospice house and they continued to see him there also.
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Hi Karen~I went to use hospice, after I was advised by my Mom's physician, who saw the need. We went from pallative care to full blown hospice. Although my Mom was in a facility, hospice was there to assist. They are specially trained in bringing Quality of Life to those in need as well as comfort to the family. I personally do not know how I would have done without the support of hospice. The way I understand things work, your physician who takes care of your Mom is the one who has to call in hospice. In some cases there may be more than one hospice organization in your particular area. But again, to answer your question, I would call them ASAP--as it is a win win situation for both you, your family, and of course your Mom. Please let us all know how you make out...and Good Luck!
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my dad is doing the same thing . i too am wondering when its time to call in a hospices .
he would look so deathly ill one day and sleeps 24 hrs if i dont wak ehim up . then the next day he looks good . ijust dont undertstand it . past few days he has had diahrhea too i think its stomach flu going around cuz my kids came down with it 2 weeks ago .
he used to walk too but not anymore , its like takin care of baby huey .
i hope somebody could help us and give us ideas when to call in a hospices .
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