I always thought hospice was to help with pain especially with people with terminal illnesses. However, my grandmother has mild Dementia. She was having trouble falling and wasn’t wanting to eat. She’s been living in an assisted living facility. A relative brought in hospice. Next thing I know she went from talking, sitting up and moving last week with poor memory to now comotose. I know there’s morphine and Atavan being used (though I’m told very low dosage). I’m told she’ll be resting now until she passes. She’s not on IV and is getting no nutrition. Of course she’s going to die. Hospice says this is her body shutting down — only because days ago (when she wasn’t shutting down) she wasn’t given nutrition!! This is euthanasia. I’m sitting here watching her and wondering what I can do? I want to her......don’t make her die faster...wake her up...give her a chance!!! This is so upsetting to watch. Yes, I know it’s a prettier death, quieter, my grandmother isn’t scared but this doesn’t feel right. Hospice came in and immediately she was asleep and didn’t wake up again. I feel better writing this. I will NEVER allow this to happen to my parents. I wish I could ask my grandmother what she wants. Does she want to lie there thirsty and shutting down and unaware or wake up and see what would happen. See her families faces again. Hear our voices. This is so wrong. There must be a way to help with pain but not put patients to sleep permanently. Her vital signs are all normal. I truly believe she could live - how long I don’t know - but that’s for God to decide not us!!! By the way, this is my third grandparent I’ve watched this happen to. Each situation textbook. Hospice comes in, meds go in and my loved ones passed out and never woke up. I don’t think the loved ones realize it’s a death sentence.

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MadGDaughter - I'm sorry for what you and your family are going through. But I'm wondering also, why hospice was brought in if your grandmother was not sick and was managing okay. Hospice will only come in if the person has an illness that is likely to cause death within 6 months. Someone must have been thinking that your grandmother had declined enough to require the care of hospice.

Maybe hospice in a residential setting is different, but my mother's hospice experience did not start with morphine and Ativan. I had to ask for pain meds for her when she started experiencing pain about a week before her death. She had been in hospice about 7 weeks by that point. If the first thing hospice did was administer a drug cocktail to put her out and keep her out, I would not have agreed with that at all. I don't blame you for being upset.

Have you been able to talk to doctors about what exactly her health status is?  I think we need to get an idea of what the problem(s) are and then figure if hospice is needed.  Has she made her wishes known through an advanced directive?  But as for the "sentence of death" - well that is what hospice is concerned with - the sentence has already been passed by disease, so the question is really about how the time remaining will go.

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