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For many months, the only method used has been the mid-arm circumference measurement which is questionable since the patient has hanging fat that's not going anywhere.


Are there other areas of the body that could/should be measured? For instance, the belly/torso area seems to be getting smaller but is never looked at or measured?


In sum, hospice needs to document weight and they have not. What else should they be doing?


Thanks in advance!

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My mother has lost 55 pounds, but you'd never know it if you measured her waistline. She's still as big around there as she ever was. Her legs are skinny, but again, it depends on the day because she has terrible edema and some days her feet and calves are huge and others they aren't.

My dad had liver cancer, and he'd retain huge amounts of water in his abdomen. We'd have it drained, and he'd lose 10 pounds in an hour. A week later, he'd be back up six or seven pounds, we'd have him drained, and he'd lose another 10 pounds. That's how we knew he was losing weight, because his weight never went back up to what it was, but the same amount of fluid would be drained off.

I'm with JoAnn, though -- I'm not sure how important weight loss is when someone is dying.
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Reply to MJ1929
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My husband was completely bedridden and under hospice care for the last 22 months of his life. Every week, the nurse would measure his upper arm with a tape measure to see if he was losing weight. I guess because that is one of their prerequisites to remain under their care, is the reason it is done.
I found it quite silly, because one nurse would pull the tape measure real tight, while the next one wouldn't. There was no way they ever really got a "true" measurement. I think it was more for show than anything else.
Hospice doesn't have to document an actual weight, just if it appears the patient is losing weight.
My husband retained a lot of fluid during his stint with hospice, and the only time he lost weight, was during his 6 week dying process when he stopped eating. I wouldn't worry too much about it. I'm sure you have way more important things to worry about. Best wishes.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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If the person is bedbound, very hard to weigh them. I have never heard that Hospice needs to check weight. The person is dying. Does it really matter how much they are losing?
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Reply to JoAnn29
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