My Mother was enrolled in hospice by my brother the DPOA of hc. He is not revealing what her terminal diagnosis is. How can I find out?


My brother, an m.d. and the DPOA of my mother's healthcare, recently pushed to enroll my mother in hospice. There is no known terminal diagnosis and when I ask my brother what the diagnosis is he remains silent. My mother has periods of lucidity as well as confusion since she had a laminectomy under general anesthesia. How can I find out what the specific diagnosis is that qualifies my mother for hospice?

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Your mother appointed your brother DPOA of her healthcare, yes? It's always better if the folks with the documents feel they can discuss their reasoning with others in the family, however this seems not to be the case here.

Perhaps your mother asked him not to reveal her diagnosis. Perhaps he knows/thinks that you will be upset by whatever he reveals to you. Perhaps there is unspoken family baggage here.

I would suggest that you get in touch with the hospice social worker and chaplain and discuss your concerns.
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Hospice is either something that you have a good experience with or a bad experience with. It depends, much like other health care options, on the provider. My father was placed on hospice with no definitive diagnosis, just an "unidenified bleed". I have clients who have gone on hospice simply with a "failure to thrive" assessment. I have also seen people go on hospice and later come off of hospice. Hospice does not end a life, it makes a person comfortable and provides support as they face the end. Many people wait waaaaay too long to call in hospice, that is why we often see people on hospice pass away quickly. Also, Medicare pays differently on hospice and your mom gets alot more support. I know it massively sucks, but you may have steel yourself against the fact that you may not know until she has passed. Unless you have had a tense relationship with your brother, maybe not assume that he is "up to something"? Have you tried asking your mom during her periods of lucidity? Good luck, sorry you have to deal with this on top of your mom being sick......
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~ I can't see a hospice taking on a patient, that isn't near the end of her life. They don't take people on, like a nursing facility.
My mother-in-law was transferred to a hospice, and she was physically fine. BUT she refused to eat, and her Health Care Proxy stipulated "no feeding tubes, or artificial means to prolong life, and a DNR". She did have dementia, but had given up her will to live.
I would definitely look into this, the way "Babalou" suggested. Speak to her nurses also. Hope this helps ... Good Luck and God Bless.
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I'm so sorry for your mother's condition and for your pain. If a family member told me my mother was in hospice, I'd certainly want to know why! I think I can imagine your anger, fear, and frustration. And it is hard to imagine a legitimate reason for your brother not to tell you. This whole picture is very sad,

I feel for you. I do. I think I would feel as you do.

But on a practical level, your mother is now on hospice. Medical personnel say she meets the criteria. One of two things will happen:


1) Mother will continue to decline.
2) Hospice will do all they can to keep her comfortable.
3) Mother will die.

(This was the case for my husband. He died 5 weeks after enrolling.)


1) Mother will improve.
2) Hospice will keep her comfortable but realize that she no longer meets the criterion of being close to death.
3) Mother will be discharged from hospice.

(This was the case for my mother. She was discharged about 3 months after enrolling. That was nearly a year ago.)

Whether you know the terminal diagnosis or not, one of the two possible hospice scenarios will occur. You knowing or not knowing will make not one fraction of an iota of difference to the outcome.

Your brother is empowered to place Mom on hospice, with her approval is she is lucid enough, and within the guidelines of the program itself. Accept that.

He is not telling you the exact diagnosis. I have no idea why, and I can understand your frustration. I join other posters who've suggested talking to the hospice social worker. If it is meaningful to you, also talk with the chapline. Get comfort from whatever source you can!

Do not let your conflicts with your brother interfere with your relationship to your mother. Please, continue to visit her, comfort her, love her, and be there for her without regard to what your brother does.
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So sorry - and now that you have found out, it seems very possible that the right things were done. There is not much that can be done for someone with dysphagia in the setting of advanced dementia that helps increase either quality or quantity of life. I'm praying for your comfort and for the family to be able and grieve together in a way that mends the hurts. I am sure you will miss her, and hope you have some better memories to comfort you too!! Hugs...
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As long as I live - or maybe I should rephrase to: as long as my mother lives; I am her DPOA both financial and medical - I will NEVER understand all this secrecy crap! I am a self confessed control freak. I have a very volatile relationship with 1 of 2 brothers - yet I tell and show my brothers anything they ask about. Sometimes when something is particularly difficult medically I call them. What is the problem? I just don't get it! In truth I don't give my brothers passwords to access finances but that's just common sense - they are free to look at statements anytime they want to come on over. Am I the exception or the rule?
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The OP states that even now her mother has "periods of lucidity." It would be just about impossible to prove at this time that she wasn't lucid when she signed the document. There is a huge gap between a doctor diagnosing dementia and a doctor declaring someone incompetent to make decisions. (It is ultimately a court that makes that decision, in any case.)

It is the hospice doctor who determines the eligibility for hospice, often with consulting the primary care doctor.
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Very sorry for your loss. My hope is that you can put your differences aside with your brother he is family. If you can make peace it will go a long way toward healing. Pleàse know that others care.
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Manis, I'm so sorry for your loss. It may have been your Mother's wish for her diagnosis to have been kept secret, and you will never know the reason why. Perhaps in time your brother will provide you with an explanation, but now is the time to unite as a family and help one another to grieve your loss together. She is now your Angel, and will always be with you in spirit!
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Condolences on the loss of your mother.

I hope that knowing the hospice placement was appropriate will be of some comfort to you. I also hope that in the coming year you can reestablish some meaningful relationships with your brothers. This has been a sad ordeal for all of you.
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