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My dad has no short term memory and moderate dementia and had started having pain that was causing him to yell out. Medicine was having limited effect, so since we were exhausted from being up at night with him, Hospice recommended that we send him for respite care and to try and get a handle on the pain. I could tell that he was declining because he was sleeping more. Well, they called and told me that he now has coronavirus! This man who has survived a dozen falls with no serious effects now has no chance. Now I feel that I should have never trusted them to keep him safe and that it was a mistake to send him, especially since he and another family member were against it. We cannot get many answers and they are not even answering phone at hospice. We only know that he is now 'unresponsive' and 'declining.' I know that some nursing homes are being sued by families for not keeping the virus in check. Of course they have already said that we will not be able to even go in his room - I'm worried that he will wake at some point just long enough to wonder why no one is there before he passes.

I am in a northern state but the nursing homes here are allowing 'essential caregivers' to visit. If the person is on hospice they should have at least one family member that is allowed to visit in person.
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I'm so sorry for this.

It's nigh unto impossible for care facilities to keep COVID under control. It just is what it is.

Are they keeping him out of pain? Can you bring him home with the painmeds that are keeping him comfortable?

My dentist's sweet wife had to be placed in a MC facility. He was heartbroken, but after caring for her at home, he wound up in the hospital with exhaustion.

About a week before they begin locking places down, he brought her home and employed 24/7 care, Hospice, so he could have her home. She passed fairly quickly, and he was so glad that he'd been able to get her home.

While COVID is awful, no doubt, it is NOT an automatic death sentence. I wish you luck as you make your plans, going forth.
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Living South, Just within the last month my 85 yo sister who has no mobility and is in a skilled nursing unit was sent to the hospital with bleeding ulcers and heart fibrillation. Somewhere along the line she also contracted COVID. We, her family, were just sick about this, but guess what? She never had any symptoms and was quarantined for two weeks and is now back in her nursing facility. So don't assume the worst. She never got so much as a cough. So she is 85, has heart problems, a bleeding ulcer, is immobile and overweight and had COVID, and she is fine.
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We had considered moving him to the hospital but my state is currently in the red because of breaking records for the past several days. Our community has huge spread of the virus. Not sure if there would be a bed available and then I have to consider that his living will might not support a ventilator. He was only convinced to go because I promised that they would work on getting him the correct pain medicine. They told us that we would not be allowed to be in the same room, so I am guessing that in the event that he is in the last minutes of his life, they will not let us be there either. He has heart failure and COPD so I know his chances of surviving are very slim. Other family members are sick too, so that is having a bearing on us trying to get him out. No one returns our phone calls. Received a call that had hospice on ID, but then the phone went dead.
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First, you have my total sympathy for the very difficult situation your family is in, along with so many other families. It is heart-breaking.

My guess is that you are also thinking a lot about why this happened, and who or what was to blame. We have had a government inquiry here in OZ, after similar problems in aged care. We have a similar area to mainland USA, but far fewer states (as well as people), so a state government inquiry is more telling than it might be in the US. You might be interested to look at it too.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2020-12-10/how-health-care-workers-in-victoria-caught-covid/12961340
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I am so sorry that you are having to go through this. It makes me wonder about this hospice agency---not answering their phone, and not letting you in to see your dad. What in the world??? Hospice is required to be available 24/7, and yes that means they have to answer their phone 24/7 as well, and they are supposed to let the same 2 family members in each day(during Covid) to visit their loved one, especially when they're actively dying.

Hospice is not intended to treat any major health issue, just make the patient comfortable, so if you feel that perhaps dad could survive the virus(as many do), then perhaps have him transported to the hospital where he can be treated properly, before it's too late.

Please don't bear any guilt. You've done nothing wrong. You thought you were doing what was best for your dad, and that's all any of us can do. I will be praying for you and your dad.
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I agree with GardenArtist. Can you bring your Dad home? If you cannot because of exposure then please don't attempt it. With hospice care your father will be medicated quite heavily so he doesn't have air hunger. I think that you knowingly put Dad into care because, and likely only because you truly felt you had no other option at the time. Otherwise family could have convinced you that Covid-19 times were not conducive to putting him in facility. You really have no other choice but to accept you did this because you were at the limit of your own human limitations. I am so sorry that this has happened. It is surely no comfort in loss to know that you did your best, your elder had a long life, and many others are now suffering as you are. Don't be too certain here of outcome. You are likely correct, but some elders are surviving Covid. I am so sorry. Do know that beating yourself up does no honor to anyone, and will not help anyone. We do the best we can, and then we must learn to live with life as it is dealt out to us. I hope you will find comfort during this trying time and that family will pull together to reassure you.
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Living South, I feel for your emotional pain, and for your father's situation.   You suspect, but don't know for sure, that he has NO chance of survival.   However, it doesn't seem as though the hospice facility is being cooperative at all, although I do understand being overwhelmed and not having sufficient staff b/c of the pandemic.

Would your family be willing to try to care for him, with a different hospice company assisting?  If you, start calling and finding a different one that's more flexible and willing to assist, and discuss arrangements to terminate care at the existing facility.   Read the documentation you've signed first to cover all your bases legally.

This won't be easy, each of you will be exposed and have to take precautions, but at least you would be supporting your father in his apparent last days.

I hope you find a solution that eases your worries as well as your conscience.   Good luck, and may you find peace in whatever decision you make.
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