My wife is 83 years old. She recently had a stroke that paralyzed her left side. She failed the swallow test.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
If you are in the States, yes and hospice is most often given in the patient's home. I've helped enroll 3 people in at home hospice. The physician provides a script for hospice evaluation. There are likely a number of different hospice providers for you to consider (at least if you are not in a rural area). You then call the hospice provider and a representative comes to your home to evaluate the situation.
I'd urge you to call each hospice provider available to you and ask them what services they provide. The services do vary. Make notes of the calls so you can go back and look at it. Choose the one that has the best services for your situation. Medicare pays for all hospice services. Range of services goes from 2 hours of an aide five times a week (bathing, dressing, bed changing, help feeding, etc); Visits from an R.N.; spiritual care visit; volunteer visits, 24/7 hotline; etc. Once your wife is approved for hospice (often the day after your call) they deliver equipment she may need and services begin. The hospice workers I have been involved with are some of the most caring individuals I have EVER met. They will help with your journey. Sending prayers your way . . .
Helpful Answer (14)

Yes, blancito hospice can be at home. But, it is not 24/7 care. As geewiz said, there are various visits through the week by hospice workers. Would you be able to provide the remainder of the care. Are there other friends or family that would be willing to assist? Caring for someone in the last stages of life is very stressful. I would suggest you find what other volunteer or self pay care would be available.
Helpful Answer (10)

Dear blancito,

I'm very sorry to hear about your wife's devastating stroke. Please talk to a doctor, nurse or social worker. My understanding is yes, a patient can have hospice at home. Hopefully the doctor or hospital will give you all the information you need. Thinking of you and your family during this difficult time.
Helpful Answer (5)

Geewiz and Gladimhere pretty much covered it. How they explained has been my experience. My FIL and mother were both on hospice. Also I volunteer, as a volunteer, I give 1-4 hours a week, usually. In the Hospice I volunteer for, as a volunteer we can do most anything except personal care. Most jobs I get are to sit with the patient so the family can do what they need to do. As glad I am here, people have gotten family, friends or members of their church volunteer. From my understanding do not be afraid to reach out to others, it makes them feel good they can help.
Helpful Answer (4)

Echoing the others above, blancito, yes! Her doctor will first have to prescribe or order hospice attesting that her life expectancy is six months. My mom, who passed away last month, was on home hospice. They were all fantastic and all paid for by Medicare. They brought up installing a catheter for Mom as getting her up and to the toilet was getting harder on all of us. Supplies, such as pull-up Depends (before the catheter) and some of her medicines they paid for (saving her a lot of money).

They even brought in a hospital bed so we could easily get her to sit up and raise her feet, and raise and lower the bed depending on what needed to be done. A nurse came twice a week to give her a bath (and in Mom's tiny bathroom--not an easy feat). They brought in Mom's priest and we had a chaplain visit--who I had to tell my own troubles to and helped me enormously.

Their patient advice, even the virtual "there, there", and listening helped all of us.

I'm sorry you're going through this with your wife. May hospice help bring her and you peace and support.
Helpful Answer (4)

I didn't get help from anyone but my husband and the few hospice people when I brought my Mom to our home on hospice, but the hospice people were great. I would never have been able to do this without their knowledge and help. They came 3x a week but I handled the rest, not easy because Mom was bedridden. My Mom was glad to have her own private room that was quiet, unlike the nursing homes that have this bizarre set of rules of TV's blaring all night. My Mom could nap when she wanted and listen to classical music etc. She valued the privacy and quiet. I do not regret taking her home on hospice. If you need additional help you can always hire a private home health aide in addition to the hospice personnel. I wish you all the best.
Helpful Answer (3)

Hospice is WHERE EVER the patient resides.
I had Hospice for my Husband for just over 3 years and he remained at home.
I have friends there spouses were in an Assisted Living and they had Hospice.

You will have a team of ANGELS that will help you and your Wife. Typically you will have a CNA if you want one, a Nurse, a Social Worker, a Chaplain if you wish to take advantage of that as well as volunteers that can come in and give you a break. And a wide variety of therapists that can help make her comfortable music therapy, massage therapy, and a few more.
You will get supplies and equipment that will help with her care.
As the saying goes..many hands lighten the burden...
Not that I ever thought caring for my Husband a burden but just having help made my life possible. Not to mention making his comfortable.

The only suggestion I have for you is to call a couple of Hospice, unless you know of one by reputation, and "interview" them just like you would any Doctor, or other professional. There are 2 types of Hospice Not for Profit and For Profit. The one I had in was a Not for Profit. I do not know if his care would have been different but I never had any reservations about the care he got, the help I got.
Hugs to both of you!
Helpful Answer (3)

You’ve been given very spot on experienced advice.
I’d like to add that hospice is a MediCARE benefit. As it’s MediCARE it’s considered self-directed, that is your wife (you as her spouse or MPOA) can choose which hospice. You can speak to more than one and select the one that seems the best “fit”.

You can change hospice provider if need be. I did this for my mom who shattered her hip and became bedfast & met the criteria for hospice while already living in a NH. The segue way from provider 1 to provider 2 was very straightforward and done within like 3 days from my written (faxed) notification to old hospice group after I’d selected the new one & the new hospice group provided a RN for the NH care plan meeting set for the next day. My mom was on hospice 18 long, l...o...n..g months, hospice was amazing for her and for us her family.
Helpful Answer (3)

Yes, you can have home hospice. However, if you can afford it, a free-standing hospice gives 24 hr care. Yes, hospice itself is covered by Medicare, but room and board are not. Since your wife cannot swallow, there won't be much "board," so perhaps you can negotiate that. My late husband could not swallow and lived for two weeks following his stroke, getting mouth care, a catheter for urine, and a few enemas in the beginning. Someone checked on him every few hours. He and I had time in the beginning to talk about his wishes--NO feeding tube, which hospice does not do anyway. I certainly hope that my own passing will be carried out in the same loving and caring way. I could not have managed with home hospice, but some people do.
Helpful Answer (3)


Frist, one thing you absolutely should do before calling hospice companies is to make a list of your wife's conditions, and ask specifically if their nurses can treat for that.

I.e., failing a swallow test suggests she's dysphagic, and won't be able to eat food that isn't pureed and liquids that aren't thickened. Ask if the home health aide can puree the food, and if they have aides who are experienced AND knowledgeable of dysphagia.

I asked that of private duty caregivers (not hospice staff) and found that aides either didn't have experience, knew about it but didn't have experience, had limited experience but didn't know the differences between levels of dysphagia, or outright refused to do it.

If you can't get help with that, you'll have to learn how to manage a dysphagia diet yourself.

Secondly, I would contact nonprofit hospice companies. In my search, I found that there's a world of difference, in flexibility and in compassion. I'm not religious but found that the Catholic facility and staff we had were far superior and helpful than any of the commercial hospice companies (some of which were just downright arrogant).
Helpful Answer (2)

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter