Is hospice a death sentence?

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"I'm sure that hospice has its place in certain circumstances, and they do a good job of easing the pain and comforting the dying. But it shouldn't be an absolute death sentence and routine medical care should be provided."


Hospice is not a death sentence, but generally the diagnoses of the patient is one (a death sentence). By definition hospice care does not start until the patient is terminally ill with 6 months to live. Hospice can't change that.


Sadly, many families and patients are in deep denial until hospice is called in. It's often very late in the disease process (for some only weeks to live). So hospice gets the blame when in fact your loved one is dying, and the disease is killing them, but BLAME feels good. So hospice gets blamed ... for pretty much everything.

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Sad to say the title of your discussion is apt to attract the very people you are describing, I only came here to see why you hadn't posted on the other anti hospice threads. I think many of us have tried to point out that hospice care isn't a shortcut to get extra help in the home but is at it's core a philosophy of easing pain and suffering at the end of life. One thing I have learned from reading the other hospice threads is that there are some true horror stories - sometimes employees of hospice only see the diagnosis and not the individual and apply end of life medications too aggressively or when not needed at all. I feel for those who have been bullied into agreeing to choices they did not understand or were not ready for, unfortunately every organization has it's less than stellar employees and at end of life there are no do-overs.
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My father was diagnosed with mild dementia and advanced stage COPD over a year ago. At that time he was living in an Assisted Living facility and had fallen so man times I can’t count them all. The last fall landed him in the hospital. He finally got a doctor who took the time to get to the bottom of what was going on. His doctor advised that he be placed on Hospice care and moved to a smaller home type environment. Luckily we found a great place. Between his caregivers and hospice, he rallied. Hasn’t fallen since and he’s done very well. It’s been over a year and he’s still on Hospice care. My fear is they’ll take him off because it’s been too long, however lately I have seen quite a decline. He doesn’t want to get out of bed much anymore. Hospice has been a godsend, not a death sentence. These people are so caring. They help the patient and their family.
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