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I am starting a new post because the previous one on "death hastened by hospice" has so many replies. Do people expect medical euthanasia when they accept hospice? Does hospice staff aim for 24/7 sleep using sedating meds? When did this become the standard of care? When we call hospice should we be prepared to have our loved one be medicated heavily and die soon? Why is the word "comfortable" left so open to interpretation? Why is "agitated" as minor as slight tossing and turning during sleep? What has happened to hospice?

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Heather10 He was my husband of almost 43 years.
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I just Googled "hospice hasten death" and there are websites but none of those websites are medical websites, such as the National Institute of Health, or the Mayo Clinic. They are website created by individuals who were upset that their love one had passed.

When death occurs, one has a real need to blame someone, that is quite normal. Yes, the emotions are very real. I would hate to find out my family was spending so much time regarding my death not to pay attention to anything I had done in life.

When it comes to the Internet, one can find anti websites for everything and anyone. There are still websites that claim no one dies from smoking cigarettes, that smoking health issues are a hoax.

There are websites that claim the world is flat.

it is best to concentrate on websites from highly accredited medical facilities, who have done decades of research on any medical subject matter.

Oh, regarding the recent new report about a doctor who overdosed his patients. Does that mean every doctor does that? What percentage would that be? 100% or less than 1%. It would be the latter.
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Pissed off Wife:

I am sorry to hear about the negligent care of your father.

You are right SOME hospitals or hospice care facilities do hasten death for their own convenience. Just google it.

Perhaps people need to stay in denial to comfort themselves.

Can you talk to an attorney about filing a civil suit. A civil case is easier to win than a criminal case. Most attorneys give a free initial consult.

My grandfather was given weeks to live in a hospice. I took him to my home and he lived more than five relatively happy years.

Also just recently here are links to a high profile case about a doctor that was prescribing overdoses of fentanyl and killing patients without permission from family members.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/families-sue-doctor-accused-ordering-fatal-doses-pain-medications-dying-n959476

https://www.dispatch.com/news/20190115/second-lawsuit-filed-alleging-deadly-dosage-of-fentanyl-by-mount-carmel-doctor
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Frequentflyer-Evidently you're not in CORRUPT NH where Hospice is running rampant. No-one consented or signed anything for Hospice and No-one consented to oor signed ANYTHING for a DNR. It all boils down to NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE and Medicare fraud. You have no idea of how Hospice and the NH hospitals work in Murdering patients. In this Nashua hospital you have No say.
Illegal? You're damn right it is! Oh and by the way, do you consider 225 mgs of Morphine daily to be too much? I do. Thats an overdose!
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pissedofffwife, please note the time table to passing is the same whether Hospice is used or not.

As for the reason why one isn't given food or water is because the stomach is no longer digesting, thus food/water would just sit in the stomach causing a lot of pain. This would happen with or without Hospice.

A person isn't placed on Hospice without a doctor ordering same. Who in the family signed the paperwork that is required by Hospice?

When it comes to morphine, a Hospice patient gets 5 to 15 mg, no different then the amount that a surgical patient would need for the pain. It would take 200 mg to cause death. Morphine is a highly regulated medicine, thus every mg is accounted for.

DNR is not given to a patient if the patient or whomever is representing the patient [Power of Attorney] had signed the paperwork. Someone had to have signed the DNR paperwork.

Most Hospice associations are non-profit. And many of the workers are volunteers.

I am sorry for your lost, it will be coming up to two years, correct? Could you tell us why your husband was in the hospital?
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freqflyer-Yes I have. I was told I can't file charges against them. That the State has to. Nobody seems to care about Medical Murder's. For some reason they are letting them get away with Murder. Probably Money.
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pissedoffwife, have you contacted the police?
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Hospice is ILLEGAL Euthanasia when the patient first off refuses Hospice and is UN-KNOWINGLY forced onto it anyway without ANY Consent. Second, the patient is denied treatment for illnesses found through lab work, but never told. Third, the patient is denied food and hydration and overdosed with morphine. Lastly, offered a morphine drip to hasten his death, which he is responsive enough to REFUSE along with his family. He's been denied ALL lifesaving treatment even though he adamantly states he wants treatment and does NOT want to die. Last but not least, ILLEGAL DNR takes place. I'm talking about my 66 year old husband, ILLEGALLY Medically Murdered. His name is William and he will NOT EVER be forgotten and the Murderers will NEVER here the end of me!!!
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My father returned home after a couple weeks in the hospital with hospice care. The help they provided was wonderful and the emotional help was amazing. He gained his strength back and probably could have gone back to home health but he was very comfortable with the staff especially the woman who came to shower him three times a week. Two years later he was still on hospice care when he began his journey. Every situation is different but he was restless, agitated, and seemed uncomfortable. Hospice advised us to begin administering the morphine as we felt was necessary. He passed very peacefully the following day. Hospice offered us so much emotional help and an understanding of what to expect when a patient begins their journey. My advice would be to make sure all family members are on board and understand exactly what hospice does. One member got angry with me and told me I should just take him to the vet and have him injected. Hospice is a wonderful organization and they are there to guide you.
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THANK YOU DR HOSPICE--
for your well thought out and professional statement.

I'd hope that your comment would shut down the pointless round and round that the subject of euthanasia always brings. People just argue and no one really "listens".

Having 3 members of my family being aided out of life by the kind and compassionate use of Hospice, I will always be grateful.

A friend is entering Hospice care this week after a 10 year battle with multiple health issues. She's ready and her family is ready, not saying it's going to be perfect or wonderful--but she's done with the suffering.

I, for one, am pro-hospice. I plan to take advantage of it when my time is here.
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I have only one experience with hospice, and it was murder.  My mother's death certificate says cancer, but she died of malnutrition, dehydration, and overdose of Morphine/Ativan combination... be very careful about who gets your power of attorney...  Her cancer was just a convenient name to give to a woman who had no money and no insurance and a daughter who had no desire to fight for her right to fair treatment.
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I promised myself at an early age to graduate medical school and endeavor in further specialties, and I find myself in the blink of an eye a retired neurosurgeon. Maybe not that fast. I practiced as a neurosurgeon in the western US and now have to focus on my health and how I will receive care in my final days. I am alone with no children and my wife has passed away a decade ago. I have friends, and people who have become my family. But, I will research and decide the details for myself while I feel strong. I couldn’t put my friends through the daily back and forth and sometimes confusion of what is best. This is my life and I will end my medical career with myself as the patient. And enough of my boring details.

You posed the question “When is hospice euthanasia?” I can answer that easily with a single word, never. I say this with clear intent to highlight key distinctions and even basic definitions of these words.
What you really mean to ask by this is whether hospice care has mutated from the intent of care focused on patient’s concerns and needs and now can be so defined by a single word that evokes immediate shock and divides people instantly across many lines, that word being Euthanasia. Euthanasia by definition is a single specific act or direct process that brings about the humane death of a patient who finalized the decision over much time and information. It is a single moment.

Hospice is not a single moment of pre determined and mutually agreed upon means to bring death. I know there will be those with experiences they say reach that level, but just the initial conversations alone you learn of a series of services and interactions that are to take place over an unknown, but generally understood time frame.

Lets say you believe hospice literally performed a single act that brought intended death. By definition, the patient would not have consented and made an informed clear decision indicating his active participation and self intent to die. Words have meaning. And these words convey unique definitions.
Definitions aside to satisfy my need to answer the question as it was posed initially, I do understand what the question was really seeking to answer. Are they just playin’ nice and smiling with their brochures in a ruse to distract us from their ultimate goal of a quick death of Uncle Ed?
By by the time we bring a loved one to hospice we are adults. We have experienced many things, developed understandings and knowledge that only a lifetime of experience can provide. Yet, most people choose ignorance in new situations, because there is comfort in our ignorance. And it requires less of us and more of them.
Of course there here have been experiences between people, families and staff that have measured on the spectrum from ideal clear to Aunt Elda being convinced Uncle Ed was simply euthanized. I know how people interact. I know how people hear things and then twist them round and round. I know I can experience something literally next to another who witnesses all I have and yet gives an account of our shared experience in complete contrast to mine. People are wonderfully silly creatures.
So, inform and educate yourselves with decisions regarding the life and care of the final days of your loved ones IN ADVANCE of the day you ever walk through any doors or shake any hand.
I am here now beginning to become an expert in all things hospice long before I ever require that service. We know how to seek information these days, and even seek follow up resources on any topic known to man.
It is to me shocking that people choose not make time beforehand to research and freely and unencumbered know everything you need to know in preparation of the final days your sweet mother will be on earth.
People point fingers, blame, and often much prefer this path. Americans love actors and I imagine many fancy themselves on screen.

may you all persist in peace and prosperity
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Novallentjsmom

Thank you, Novallentjsmom.

I agree.

Yes, it was the spiritual guidance you and my friend and the dying person all needed from a supposedly experienced and supposedly kind and caring hospice work.

After all, guidance is all they can offer, and it is for their guidance that their services are requested.

Just like you, my friend said her mother's passing was very traumatic for her to experience all alone.

Yes, the hospice agency should be held accountable for not having someone show up.
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Heather10:

thank you. It makes me so sad to hear that this happened to your friend. It shouldn’t happen ever.

I wish they could be held accountable for not showing up at all. I feel like many people say to me “well they couldn’t have stopped him from dying” but that’s not what was needed. Guidance comfort and maybe explanations about what I was seeing would have been nice. Or taking care of him spiritually when he was still alive. I know I will harbor this anger forever. It’s sad.
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Novallentjsmom:

I am so sorry to hear your story. It is a common one, sadly.

I have a friend who contacted her assigned hospice workers because she felt her mother was about to die.

She was an only child and was alone with the mother. She has no medical training and was beside herself about what to do and what to expect.

The hospice nurse had not shown up that night and when called she said she could not come because she had unexpected family issues to tend to. The agency had no back up to send.

The woman died within hours. This woman is also angry and the treatment she received.
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My mother passed away in May 2018. Our experience with hospice could not have been better. (It was through the Visiting Nurse Service of NY.) She was at home and died around 8-9 weeks after we signed her up, following a 4-year odyssey of breast cancer, a broken vertebra, and then a massive stroke which left her bedridden and incontinent and with 24/7 care at home.

In her case, the hospice staff were very conservative with medications. They gave her a few tiny doses of morphine when she was having trouble breathing, but no way was it even close to euthanasia. I'm sure hospice providers vary considerably. (Personally, I want euthanasia if I get to the point where I have no quality of life. Bring it on!)
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My father passed away in January after being placed on hospice care 2 months prior in our home. The hospice never sent a priest out to give him the anointing of the sick like they told my dad they would. I never saw a social worker and we saw a nurse occasionally unless I called for something. They did come clean him every other day though.

My dad had a mini stroke in November and after was on Home health care for physical therapy, a nurse and occupational therapy. They were all able to get him up walking talking he seemed fine. The doctor came in a week later and said that since he refuses the hospital she wanted to put him on in home hospice care and we could leave it at any time. Since my brother had such a great Experience with the hospice he had before he passed many years prior we thought it would be a good idea. My dad refused the hospital and usually the paramedics wouldn’t take him because he could answer all of their cognitive questions even when he had a mini stroke.

My dad passed January 14,2018 and he woke up that morning feeling sick and vomiting. I called the 24 hr emergency line 6 times between 7:45 am and 2:34 pm when he passed and a nurse never showed up. We were told over the phone only to give him Ativan and morphine which he refused saying he wasn’t in any pain he wasn’t taking that. They never told us why we should give him that nor that he was actively dying and I was never given the signs of end of life.

My fathers passing was very traumatic. He was sitting up and went unconscious but still had a pulse. As soon as he went unconscious brown fluid poured out of his mouth and nose continuously. My mother, my 26 year old daughter and I were all yelling his name and freaking out. I finally sat next to him grabbed his hand and said daddy with tears pouring down my face. At this point the fluid stopped as did his heartbeat and his head laid over on my shoulder. The nurse arrived 5 minutes after he passed. Hospice failed my dad and they failed our family. They weren’t there when we needed them most. If I would have only known he was dying I would have laid with him and comforted him, right before all this happened I was upstairs making him his favorite banana pudding thinking it would make him feel better.

I still attend grief counseling but my grief will never get better better because I am so angry about that day and the events that took place. No matter how much I try that anger won’t leave.
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I'm so sorry to hear about so many horrible, sad and frustrating experiences with hospice. I was near tears at so many of your posts. it's emotional enough trying to get the best care for your loved one but to have an unresponsive, uncommunicative or overmedicating hospice staff is unconscionable. I didn't know much about hospice when we put my mom into their care. She was in a nice assisted living facility but fell a couple of times, complained about constipation, etc. and after 5 trips to the ER in one month, with one 5 day hospital stay, for a relatively minor complaint, having a nurse come to her instead of the stress on everyone, transporting her to the ER and waiting for hours... seemed the best for everyone. Every time anyone came to see her - nurse, aide, chaplain, social worker, I would get a phone call. They'd call before they saw her and if there were any concerns I had, they'd call after the visit to tell me about her condition. I saw her 4-5 days/week also and she had a personal daytime caregiver. She would refuse meds if she didn't want them - and the AL would call me every time she did. They never forced drugs on her and she knew what she was taking. When she was in pain, she wanted the pain meds. When she wasn't, she'd refuse them. I don't feel that the meds hastened her death. The meds definitely made her more comfortable. She was in constant pain before hospice and couldn't get comfortable, couldn't sleep, etc. When she started requesting the pain meds, it made her so much more pleasant. She enjoyed eating, she enjoyed seeing people. She wasn't getting physically better but she felt better.

The AL told us that some hospice companies were better than others. We were happy with the one we went with. Sometimes I felt they communicated too often but I was always glad to get the updates. If you have any concerns or bad feelings about the hospice company you're using, switch! My mom had COPD, CHF and PAD. She was maintaining, eating, etc but she became less mobile because of her PAD - her legs wouldn't support her any longer. At the end of COPD, carbon monoxide builds up in the brain which causes the sleep/lack of consciousness. When she got to the phase, she only lived 2-3 days. The hospice nurses called me when they were afraid she would live the night. No meds had been administered. Her O2 was on max - her body simply couldn't sustain life any longer. It was peaceful - I was with her - watching each labored breath until there were no more breaths. I think her brain stopped functioning hours before her breathing stopped because of the CO. I'm glad hospice was there for us - they made her more comfortable and were very attentive.
--Suzanne
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Carla B

Actually, my friend was determined by all qualified medical professionals to be unlikely to have more than a year to live and that treatments were not working well. That is how she was admitted to palliative/hospice care.

Apparently the doctors were wrong about how long she could survive.

With rehabilitative care she is still going strong, although her illness is not curable.

She is not the type of lady that likes to be sedated. So she is willing to put up with some pain to avoid it.

She takes advantage of meditation, acupuncture, massage and other techniques to relieve pain.

Thank you for the Kudos and sending some back to you, too.

Here is a link with some information about who is accepted into hospice.

http://palliativedoctors.org/hospice/care

From the link: [ "What is Hospice Care?

There may come a time when efforts to cure or slow an illness are not working and may be more harmful than helpful. If that time comes, you should know that there's a type of palliative care—called hospice—that can help ensure your final months of life are as good and fulfilling as they can be for you and your loved ones.

Hospice is not about giving up. It's about giving you comfort, control, dignity, and quality of life.

Eligibility

Insurers, Medicare, and Medicaid will generally provide coverage for hospice care if your doctors determine you ( likely) have 6 months (a year in some cases) or less to live if your illness follows its normal course.
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Heather - the account you shared about your friend is shocking! I'm appalled that any family would place their loved one in hospice unnecessarily and that hospice would accept a person who did not appear to be terminally ill. Kudos to you for putting a stop to the craziness and getting your friend out of there. I'm glad she is doing well.
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CarlaCB wrote:

["Heather - I'm thinking about what happened to my mother in hospice. Her immobility was not caused by her pain medication. Her immobility was one of the first signs that she was dying. She came home from the hospital bedridden. I tried to get her up only once - she could not stand up even with me holding her up. She couldn't use the bedside commode even with help. She couldn't turn or lift herself either. Even using the bedpan was too much - she had to be catheterized."]

Carla CB:

In your case your mother was already immobile and could not even stand.

I am talking about people who are mobile, I am talking about people who are still walking and mentally alert, and who request NOT to be drugged who may not even be in much pain, but are given sleep medications. Or, who are at tolerable levels of pain and specifically request NOT to have pain meds.

The person I am caring for called me, desperate and in a panic, requesting that I take over of medical and financial POA, after her children put her in a hospice facility that was drugging her to induce sleep. She pretended to swallow the pills, so she could avoid them and stay alert.

She then contacted me. Her children were all fighting over who gets what, etc., according to her, and she did not trust them. She felt the children wanted to hasten her decline. Whether or not this is true, is not for me to decide. The children may have had good intentions, but were simply naive.

However, she clearly did not want to sleep all the time. That is why she called me.

I moved her out of hospice and into a rehab facility. That was four years ago. She is does not have dementia and walks fine.

There are some wonderful hospice facilities, but some that are not so wonderful.

Some simply obey the requests of the medical POA, particularly if a patient is difficult. Others will not and will suggest that a patient be put in rehab, if that is a better option.

The key is to be aware that some of the not so good facilities will do what is best for them and not the patient.

That is why the courts are filled with neglect lawsuits regarding such facilities. If one simply goes down to their local court house they will be able to read the horror stories.

Also many times, the workers at the not so good facilities will clean a patient up when they know the patterns of the family visits but if a hidden camera is used, the patient is not attended to at other times.

In your case, you mother was obviously declining rapidly. You and your family were there attending to her, too. So you were obviously very ALERT TO HER NEEDS.

Your mother was lucky to have you.
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I’m so sorry for your loss MadGdaughter. I am glad you finally got answers. Our family experience was a little like yours, we knew MIL was dying but we didn’t know it would be so soon because nothing was communicated to us by the family member in charge, the person who was primarily taking care of her. The night before she died, I asked him if the nurse had given an indication of how much time she had left and he said no. I found out shortly after she passed that the nurse had told told him she wouldn’t make it through the weekend. We had a problem with lack of communication amongst each other and information being withheld. We knew her heart could give out at any time but we expected/hoped that when the end was near, we would be informed and allowed to say goodbye. But like I said, there was communication issues and when she was in her final days, that information wasn’t shared so we were all blindsided when she died. At a time like this, communication is so important.
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Hi everyone. My grandmother passed away 6 days after going on hospice. I was clearly very upset and confused when I found this forum and posted. For my tone I apologize. I’ve done a lot of thinking/studying on this subject. I’m thankful my grandmother (I’m told) wasn’t in pain or distress. That is a blessing. I do now realize that all my family members were shocked. No one knew she was days away from dying. When I walked into the scene I believe her children were just realizing their mother would not wake up. She went into a deep sleep as soon as hospice came in and did their thing. She had been talking and there was shock that she would not be waking up. My big issue with this: the family should be very clear about what’s going to happen as soon as hospice walks in. My understanding is that wasn’t made clear. The hospice nurses were wonderful and brought great comfort to my family. I’m in my 30’s and have a lot to learn about this process. It’s unnerving to watch a loved one’s body shut down but I feel knowing more about this inevitability for all of us brings a little comfort to a mysterious life event. I appreciate all of your wisdom as caregivers and will continue monitoring these topics. By the time (hopefully a long time from now) that my parents health declines I will hopefully be more prepared mentally and emotionally to give the support needed.
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In 2013, when my stepmom was mostly "out of it" on morphine in a hospice facility (she asked to be drugged into sleep because of the pain), she was bathed, changed, and had her bedding changed daily. She was turned several times per day and even and had her limbs exercised regularly. Nurses came in every half hour to check on her. She had a TV, DVD player, and stereo in her room, all provided by hospice. The only "fight" I ever had with the nurses was to make them leave the window open - unlike most elderly people, my stepmom preferred cool temperatures.

My mom already sleeps 20-24 hours a day at home, and mostly refuses to get out of bed. She refuses to have her limbs exercised and eats barely anything. She is not allowed to take anything stronger than Tylenol because of her kidney failure, so it has nothing to do with being drugged. Her attitude did not change when she spent time in hospice for my respite break, and I don't imagine her attitude will change when she goes into full-time hospice care next week. The hospice room where she will stay also has a huge flat screen TV, DVD player, and stereo, as well as two huge windows looking out onto the garden. There is a main living area where she could cook or eat her meal in a homey dining atmosphere, or watch TV, do puzzles, play the piano, and engage in any number of other activities if she wanted to. She can have food any time of the day or night if she wants it - even if it's 3 in the morning. I can even bring the pets to visit.

I am eternally grateful for everything hospice services have provided to my family.
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My bro died many years ago but as he lay in his bed he looked anything but neglected - his beard was trimmed, his hair and body were clean, his room and bedding smelled fresh, he looked.... comfortable. I'm so sorry for those whose experience was so different from ours.
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Heather - I'm thinking about what happened to my mother in hospice. Her immobility was not caused by her pain medication. Her immobility was one of the first signs that she was dying. She came home from the hospital bedridden. I tried to get her up only once - she could not stand up even with me holding her up. She couldn't use the bedside commode even with help. She couldn't turn or lift herself either. Even using the bedpan was too much - she had to be catheterized.

My mother was sleeping maybe 20 hours per day when she came home. That was without pain meds. It certainly didn't allow us to withdraw attention from her. She woke up every hour needing a sip of water, her head or legs adjusted, more blankets or less, etc. And we took those opportunities to get her into clean clothes, change her bedding, wash her, apply powder and lotion to her skin, feed her a few bites of whatever she could eat, etc.

We started giving her pain meds when she started moaning with pain. We knew she was dying - we just wanted her to be comfortable. I hope it's not true that meds are given in hospice facilities to allow staff to ignore the needs of sick patients. It certainly wasn't true when we used hospice to allow Mom to die at home.
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If a patient is being heavily sedated to the point where they are sleeping and immobile 24/7, this definitely will hasten death.

Being immobile causes severe muscle wasting and rapidly.

Please research what happens to the human body when it is lying in bed for too long. It has been likened to smoking two packs of cigarettes per day.

Being immobile is very unhealthy and it sends the person into a musculoskeletal downward spiral that is very difficult to recover from.

Yes, I think hospice, in the USA and perhaps other countries, needs a severe overhaul.

Yes, it is easier for the staff, if a patient is drugged into mainly sleeping. There is then no need to feed them, bath them, change clothing from day clothing to pajamas, provide exercise or entertainment, etc.

All these things will without a doubt hasten death.
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CharlieBee, I am so sorry this happened to your family. I don’t even know what to say, except that. I also found in my experience there was a huge gap between what the Hospice provider website promised about compassion and support and what actually happens to some people.

Debbie1955
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I think *perhaps* Hospice works better for patients without dementia. I feel sure Hospice killed my father, who had been living in the memory unit of an assisted living facility. He declined antibiotic meds for his lung infection once (from an *unfamiliar* nurse, which was typical for him), and the next step in Hospice's view was to start morphine and Ativan to "keep him comfortable". Being heavily medicated, he could no longer eat, drink or be coaxed to take his antibiotics from *familiar* people. He died 3 days later, after a morphine injection. (Before the lung infection, he was mobile and in excellent health for his age.) My elderly mother was too polite and confused herself to question Hospice, whom she thought she could trust. They refused to answer questions her children had about backing off morphine and simply referred to his directive which my mother had agreed to. The Hospice decision to start morphine, once my Dad refused antibiotic meds, was a rigid clinical approach that did not acknowledge the desires of his family---and failed to consider communication and behavior issues related to his dementia. We expected spiritual and emotional direction, but they simply came in with regular doses of meds and were otherwise mostly absent. These weren't my dad's regular caregivers who understood his idiosyncrasies. There was little communication and once Hospice started the drug protocol, it could not be stopped. This was all incredibly upsetting to my 88 yr old mother who feels heavy guilt about how he died.

We'd had previous experience with Hospice several years ago when my dad went through a weight loss period. They told us he was dying and accused us of being in denial. We figured out he wasn't eating enough because of broken teeth, and he was taking so long at meals that facility staff took his plate before he finished. (Another resident told us.) When we started bringing him appropriate food from home, he gained 18 pounds!

Make sure your local Hospice has nurses who are responsive listeners and
are willing to engage the entire family, not just the spouse or health POA. Decide how you will treat simple infections like uti's and pneumonia. Hospice will hasten death rather than treat these--and dementia patients are especially vulnerable.

The spiritual/emotional component to my dad's Hospice care was absent. We mostly saw an eagerness on their part to start the med protocol and "make him comfortable".

Hospice made the decision about when my dad would die and I feel incredibly angry.
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MadGDaughter - I can't speculate about why your grandmother is on hospice care. I CAN tell you that my stepmother walked into hospice house on her own two feet, went through the entire facility introducing herself and getting to know the nurses and other workers, and died 3 weeks later. Nobody who didn't know her struggle intimately would think that seemed reasonable, but that was the nature of her disease, which was cancer.

Some diseases can consume a life that quickly - or, even more quickly, can overwhelm a person with pain and suffering. Cancer was an incredibly painful disease for my stepmom, so she asked for medications, which, yes, made her sleep a great deal, because she preferred that to the terrible and sudden onslaught of pain. (She also begged every one of us to kill her, but in fact, she still died of plain old cancer.)

Ask questions, talk to your relative and find out why your grandmother is on hospice care. I can pretty much guarantee it's not because of mild dementia.

Edit - she can still hear your voice, by the way. Talk to her, sing to her, tell her everything you want her to know, The hearing is one of the last senses to go.
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