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I have to admit, my father, himself, helped us have a wonderful experience. He was impatient in a hospice. His 13 days there were actually a time of great joy for our family as all his children came to say good bye, and my mother (and the rest of us) were supported and cared for. My father was ready and was cared for with great tenderness and dignity.

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My stepmom was in hospital-connected hospice when her cancer became terminal. When she went in, she went around to all the staff and introduced herself, got to know them. They adored her and treated her with respect and tenderness. They cried when she finally passed.

They also had a family room across the hall from her room, where one of us children would sleep each night. I was the one there the night she died.

One of the very last things my stepmom said to me was a command to "SING!" So that's what I did. I held her hand for 6 days and just sang every song I knew. They say the hearing is the last thing to go.

The only thing I would have changed is that she begged for assisted suicide, and she should have been able to have that. She was very clear on her wishes, years in advance, had an advanced directive, and and posted a notice on her hospice room door absolving anyone who shortened her life through medication that eased her pain and suffering. She even made a video from her hospice bed, to send to the Canadian Commission on Assisted Dying (or whatever it was called). If someone is that clear about it, they should have the right to it.
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Non hospital connected Hospice, probably decent, Hospital connected Hospice is a different story.
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Not really.
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Yes-- for sure. We had Hospice in when daddy was dying, It eased him so much (and US!). I know mother is in the last legs of her life, and I expect we will use this same Hospice co. again. (wait for it, Prolife is gonna jump on this site---)

Hospice is a godsend and a kind and loving way to ease someone out of this life into the next. I have nothing but good things to say about the Co. we had.
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I often met caregivers in places like the grocery store after their loved ones had passed. They always greeted me warmly often with a hug and memories of things that happened many years ago.
When I had my knee replacement who should come in to the hospital but the wife of one of my patients. We ended up being room mates and she was the nicest room mate I ever had and we spent four comfortable days together. Well not comfortable because knee replacement is not painless but companionable. Of course i also knew most of her family.
She asked me if I minded if she watched her soaps on the shared TV. I told her to go ahead because I planned to sleep.
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I wish we'd gotten hospice services earlier. My mom was deemed eligible two years before she died, but my brother and SIL seemed to think it was "giving up" in some way.

Mom was on Hospice at the NH. She fell on a Tuesday ( after nh onformed they were going to run some blood tests because they were seeing some marked decline) and was checked out at the ER. Broken wrist splinted. Vame back to NH and never got out of bed again. Since her stroke in 2013 my mother was very aware that if she didnt "get up" she would decline. Staff kept encouraging her to get up; pneumonia developed, which we greated aggressively.

Hospice came in when we saw she was in great pain. They allowed her to breathe more easily and took great care of her.
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We have hospice...while it does not provide services I could not live without...it does ease my load. We have an amazing CNA to bathe mom twice a week and a superb nurse to check on her once a week. The hospice doctor is great too... She comes about once a month. I like the opportunity to have a ultrasound conversations ;-)

My daughter's father in law had hospice care for the end of life with cancer...it was amazing for their family.
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We have hospice...while it does not provide services I could not live without...it does ease my load. We have an amazing CNA to bathe mom twice a week and a superb nurse to check on her once a week. The hospice doctor is great too... She comes about once a month. I like the opportunity to have a ultrasound conversations ;-)

My daughter's father in law had hospice care for the end of life with cancer...it was amazing for their family.
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I haven't used their services directly yet, but, have seen what a great help they are for many others. I've never spoken to anyone personally, who didn't sing their praises, so, I'm always amazed when I see negative comments. I try to focus on what I see as positive, realizing that nothing is perfect.
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Yes, excellent comfort care when both of my parents were in their final journey.

I couldn't have ask for better care. The 3-ring binder the Hospice group gave me was filled with valuable information, plus I could call Hospice 24 hours a day with any questions. Hospice worked hand-in-hand with the nurses/aides at my Mom's long-term-care, and later with the Staff at my Dad's Assisted Living/Memory Care, and worked with Dad's private caregiver.

When Hospice told me that my Mom would pass within 24 hours, I spent the night with her at long-term-care. While channel surfing at 1 in the morning I came across my Mom's all time favorite movie "Smokey and the Bandit". Mom was in a coma but I felt maybe she could sense the movie was on. Apparently she did, as within 5 minutes after the end of the movie she passed. I asked the Hospice nurse about that, and she said when the body starts to shut down other senses are enhanced, even though my Mom was almost deaf there was a chance she could hear the movie.

Believe me, when it comes time for my final days, Hospice better be by my side.
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Yes I did.

I used the same non profit for my Step Dad, Grandmother, and my Mom.

They made a difficult experience so much easier to bear.  So helpful, kind, compassionate.  Not only towards my loved ones, the patients, but for me also.  Hospice was my support system.  Everyone was great.  The RNs, the aides, the social Worker, the Chaplain, even the wonderful women that answered the phone 24/7 in their office when I had a question or needed an RN to call me back.

Thanks Meallen for starting this post.
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