You all know me to be a fan of Hospice. I spent my career as an RN and though I am almost two decades retired, I follow closely, having a good friend who still works in Hospice.
Much as I love Hospice, esp. Hospice as it began in this country--a real mission and a vocation-- I fear it is much changed.
I first noticed this when my friend told me "how it is now" in that the patient gets so many RN hours, so many aide hours for a bath several times a week, and until the very end, very little else, though the costs charged to medicare are enormous.
I am afraid things are changed a whole lot. Do I still recommend Hospice? Yes, and always, but I think it bears more thinking about on our own part. When my brother went into Hospice for end of life (and coming quick) care, the Hospital-recommended Hospice and the ALF-recommended Hospice virtually had a fight for the body. I am afraid this has all descended into the area of profits and who gets them.
Just food for thought. Hospice is the best we have. But be a bit careful now in which one you choose. I am afraid everyone is getting a "piece of the pie" for recommending particular agencies. When you need them, you want the best of them. In my own city on the bay we have several MARVELOUS hospices. Try to find the best you can.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Find Care & Housing
Alva, thanks for sharing the insights of a professional in the medical field.  That insight makes a big difference, especially in credibility.

When my father was nearing his end of life, I knew that I couldn't continue to care for him at home, and began contacting hospices.  I may have been using an Alz. list, as I found their lists on various caregiving aspects to be very helpful.   I may also have contacted a few hospices recommended by Dad's friends.  One was recommended by a very good doctor, who was at the time the attending at the hospital in which Dad was spending his last visit.  

I was surprised, appalled and disgusted at the banality with which a few approached this issue.  It was as if the contact pulled out a checklist and went down the list, issue by issue, probing for information.    One even became somewhat aggressive. 

I don't recall what the turning point was, but I believe it arose b/c a long time friend of my father's had been in a local religiously operated long term care, then hospice complex.    His wife and best friend had good insights; I contacted that facility and once I got past the money oriented Admin, I was at the RN stage of interview.  

Two RNs, one not stationed at the facility, wanted to interview me, and I was impressed, especially since one of them said that a particular subject (which I can't remember now) was one which they were not allowed to discuss, or on which they could comment or offer insights.   The others I had interviewed did not take that approach.

I went with this company and was never sorry.   The staff, and especially the DON, who had a dog who visited several times a week, stood up to their good recommendations.

Thanks for the important insights, Alva! This is why I find a useful tool: to get real opinions quickly from those with first-hand experience, and not some rating system that can be manipulated.

I second all your concerns. The largest hospice company is Vitas. Their subsidiary is rotorooter. They aren’t getting people who are ideologically invested, they are getting those whom they scam to make a buck

Start a Discussion
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter