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So the Hospice Evaluation Nurse was out today. She was here for four hours. As per everyone's commentary, she was wonderful. After talking with mom for a half hour (by herself, I left them alone), she visited with Cousin Sue and I. Yes, she's a candidate. And yes, I enrolled her. They've discontinued the one heart med she was taking, and all she's on is Senna-S (2X/day).

Mom's doctor joined her here, and we had a good, informative visit. Not so much as "things to come" as the assurance that things were fluid and no certainty what lies ahead except that mom would be comfortable.

After she'd talked to mom, who I introduced to mom as "your visiting nurse," I told the nurse I'd prefer not mentioning "hospice" to her -- a silent promise I made to her years ago when she said she'd NEVER want to know when she was dying. They will honor that promise as best they can, still being honest. All I can ask for. If mom asks, she deserves the truth. (She won't.)

She was "chanting/singing" while they were here. Both thought this was unexpressed anxiety and a function of her dementia . . . meaning she'll be doing straaaange things as time goes on. That I believe.

Some of you may have read that she got a cut on her leg late last week. It ended up an ER visit (though didn't start that way) with, probably, ten steri-strips pulling the skin together. They disappeared. IOW, the only thing that could have happened to them (about five days into the bandage) is that she ate them. They were removed and nowhere to be found, OMG.

It's been 2-1/2 hours since hospice left (started this post much earlier in the day...just finishing up). The new supplier's oxygen has already arrived -- an oxygen generator and two spare tanks for power outages.

Now, it's 7:45 in Chicago. The drug company just delivered some meds (the only one she'll be taking now is Lorazapam which I'll give her in the middle of the night if she wakes up and starts chanting.

I am soooo glad I called Hospice. And thank you sincerely to all of you who encouraged me to do so. It was so right. I feel as if a huge burden has been lifted. And, thanks to their bedside manner with ME, I know I made the right decision at the right time.

Sincerely. I am so glad I found this site. Bless ya'll. I'll always try to pay it forward.

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Hospice is just the best benefit of Medicare. Mom has been on it now for 15 months (totally bedfast @ her NH due to fall with a hip shatter) and it is very close to the end of the long goodbye. It sounds like you have found a great hospice provider, what a blessing.

If you would like to have her get a bit more nutrition ask hospice what they suggest. For my mom, since she needs a low-volume feedings, they order cases of TWOCAL HN with FOS (Abbot labs). It has prebiotics which is good for colon health and will make for a nicer diaper. Also gluten free and ok for the lactose intolerant. TWOCal an institutional product so hospice has to order it but Medicare totally pays for it.

Some of the other "drinks" (like Ensure) are dairy based and can produce nasty diapers. Boost as it's fruit based doesn't seem to have this issue.
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You can't go wrong with hospice. Good choice.
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Maggie, I'm so glad that you found a good and caring hospice for your mom. It makes a difference having them there. {{HUGS}}
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Maggie God be with you and your mother. He has his arms out waiting to recieve her as soon as she is ready.
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Maggie, ask the hospice nurse for a demo of diapering an adult.
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i have reason to think that late stage dementia patients arent in a lot of mental pain . they get frustrated at the short term memory failure sometimes but my mother and now my aunt were / are pretty content . my aunt gives me her little handfull of canadian , etc quarters for safekeeping about every other day . the next day she claims somebody got them so i give em back . layin them out and scrutinizing all of them gives us something to do for a while .
glad you have hospice maggie . when the body begins shutting down they make sure the patient doesnt suffer thru it . i was glad to put my mom out of her agitated state -- it was pointless for her to be aware during that time ..
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SunnyGirl, mom has congestive heart failure and moderate dementia. Her kidneys aren't great from the years of diuretics. She completely collapsed five days ago. Can't get on her feet anymore. She's in bed all the time now. She hadn't eaten for two days, little water. Today, she ate two pieces of toast, some applesauce and a Portillo's hotdog. (It's hardly good for her, but I'm not that concerned.) Oh, she's a completely different camper from when she was slurring her words, couldn't focus, etc. Hospice is wonderful. They've called every day, the nurse was out today again, social worker called. The Personal Aid will bath her on Wednesday. Wonderful support.

NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If somebody ANYBODY could teach me how to put on an adult diaper, I'd kiss them. Roll this way; rolll that way; roll back; roll again; lay on your back. Poor mom!!!!!! Jesus, I shoulda' had kids.

And yes, Pam, that's exactly what I've found 2.5 mil (whatever the measure) is good for about four hours. I'd go NO sleep without it. She cries, she mumbles, she carries on conversations with dead family, and then, of course, her famous Chicken Little lecture. ;)

If I thought she was REALLY crying, it'd break my heart; but I think it's some kind of vocalization. If I interrupt her, she can still put a smile on her face. So cute. God love 'er.
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We found giving the lorazepam at bedtime helped my daughter sleep. It actually kicks in within 15 minutes, but it only lasts about 4 hours. God love you both.
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So glad you found a good kind compassionate hospice, this should be the begining of a fruitful friendship. Wonderful that the meds were delivered and the equipment set up so promptly and bless the Dr for that visit. Here in the booneys no pharmacy is open later than 9pm although some will climb out of bed if you plead. The wife of one pharmacist called one morning after I tried unsucessfully to reach him and told me she did not like him going and opening the shop in the middle of the night as he is too old for that kind of thing. I managed not to ask her if she thought I was too old as well because I was a couple of years his senior.
Yes Maggie you made the right decision hard as it seems at the time to face up to that reality
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You have always given kind sage advice. We are all enriched by your wisdom. We are here for you in the next months.
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((((Maggie & Mom))))
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Thanks for sharing the information MaggieMarshall. I was curious as to what your mom's diagnosis was. Does she have cancer, advanced dementia or something else? Did the doctor tell you what to expect and suggest Hospice? I'm so curious. Please ignore me if you can't share that much. I'm looking for insight with my situation.
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Thank you very much Jeanette -- and all! -- for your kind words, encouragement, and all the knowledge you've all imparted to ME during my short time here. I'm more grateful than you'll all ever know.

I thought I was going to have to wait for my cremation to have a hot, smokin' body, but with the last year of caregiving? I'm gettin' close(er). Up-down-up-down-up-down . . . I sure know exactly what you mean.

*Hugs*
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thanks Maggie.... I know when the pharmacist dropped off all those powerful drugs withing hours of the hospice visit, it freaked me out. I was like, what?...am I supposed to just drug him?? That was before I was active on this website... thankfully he passed 2 days after their visit ( not without me calling them 20 times within those 2 days)!!

It's scary, it's heartbreaking and also, the right thing to do :) (((hugs)))

Oh... we love ya smarty pants!... and thankful you share so much here, least for me, it has helped a lot!

now... how can I get my mother to sit and relax between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00p.m?? Lately she bounces ( Yes UTI) but still.... whew
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Glad to hear it went so well!
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Maggie, thank you for the update. What a good decision on your part.
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I can feel that you feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. I'm so happy for you and your mom. Sounds like you've got some great help moving forward.

You may still find the Steri-Strips. My mom can hide things now in some pretty odd places. I think I know everywhere to look and then I'll find something else tucked away in a totally new spot. :)
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Even though I'm a Smarty Pants at times. ;)
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