Can mother-in-law on hospice at home be sent to a nursing home?


My MIL went into the hospital in Jan of this year suffering from end stage copd (and still smoking) the doctors said basically your lungs are shot and do you want to go home and die? So she went home under hospice care, my FIL's care, and 24 hour paid caretakers. Not only is she ill but she suffers from untreated anxiety and OCD. This makes her extremely difficult to deal with. She can't and won't do anything for herself. She's so pumped up on the steroids she takes that she rarely sleeps, then takes these delusional fits where sometimes she is convinced someone is poisioning her. She needs people to care for her 24-7 bc she is so needy and difficult. This has been going on for almost a year now and my FIL is at the end of his rope and spending 8000 a month on caretakers and medical expenses. My question is, can she go into a nursing home to lesson the burden on my FIL and her sons?

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Joy, please let us know how you all are doing in the coming days. We care, and we learn from each other.
Helpful Answer (1)

Thank you for your support. Your experience helps us feel like we are not alone. Thank you for taking the time to share. We are currently trying to help my FIL look at all the options, especially the social worker. We are trying to convince him that his health and mental state is just as important. Tx again.
Helpful Answer (1)

Yes, she Can and should go into a Nursing home or even better, a Hospice Hospital, if there is one in your area, but you need for your FIL to speak privately to his Hospice Nurse and SW, telling them the exact situation, how she is unmanageable and how she is beyond his scope of care, and is severely affecting HIS HEALTH!!!

It isn't right to place so much pressure, on what I imagine is and older gentleman himself, and then it will be up to the Hospice Nurse and team, to force (convince) her to go inpatient for her own good, not him or the family. They will have to pose it, to make it THE HOSPICE'S Determination/Decision for her to go Inpatient for her Health Reasons, or at least a medication adjustment period of time, not "coming from him", or else she will make it even more difficult than it is going to be in the first place.

Hospice is (or should be), about the whole family caring for the patient, Not Just about the Patient! You must be adequately supported, or it is an impossible feat to do this at home! 

My husband and I are currently caring for my FIL on Hospice, in our home, he is bedbound, on a catheter, and we told our Hospice Nurse that if we are to do this at home, then he is going to need to have sufficient pain and Anti-Anxiety medicine around the clock, or else he will be constantly calling out for us, wearing us down, and will be too unmanageable for us to care for him. Not that he is "drugged up" or anything, but calmer, as being stuck in bed 24/7, for however long he has left here on earth, he himself would be going stark raving mad, as Anyone would in his situation. My FIL has lung Cancer,  which has spread to his ribs bones and diaphram.

So 3-4 times per day, he gets a mild medicine called Lorazepam, which keeps him Calm, allows him to nap frequently, and he doesn't fixate on any particular thing, mainly snacks and food type items, that he would just Love to send my husband out several times a day for.

We keep plenty of those sorts of things on hand, and he is free to eat whatever he chooses, but if he sees something on TV, he wants it, and won't give over, until my husband gets it for him, and this medicine helps to tame home of these sorts of fixations.

Money is another thing he constantly worries about, and there is no need for him to do so. His main worry is that there be money for my husband in the way of an inheritance, which is not important to us, as long as he has sufficient monies, should we end up needing him to go inpatient nearer the end of his life, simply because we May not be able to manage him, as you well know, Nursing home care is Not covered, and expensive, but the Hospice care would still be covered at 100%, in the facility the Hospice patient might end up in.

This is such a hard job, probably the hardest I've ever done, but knowing our Loved ones are being well cared for is the main thing, whether at home or in a facility, but the Carers lives are just as important too! Make sure you are utilizing every available service that Hospice provides, including the volunteer services too! In fact we have a Massage Therapist coming in to massage him next week, and he's really looking forward to it!

My suggestion to you is to ask if there Are meds that she can be Rx'd, that will aid in calming her down, as Long Term Steroid medication can cause Severe Mood Swings, agitation and even delusions, but in her case with the COPD, it is unfortunately a very nessesary medication for her disease process!

I'm sure sorry this is so difficult for your FIL and the family, and your MIL too!

I'll be thinking of you and hope you can find a solution that works for all parties concerned! Take care!
Helpful Answer (4)

So, is hospice treating her anxiety and agitation? Call the hospice social worker and tell them that this situation is going to kill FIL ( that's no exageration).
Helpful Answer (3)

She refuses to go to a nursing home, so if we took her it would be against her will. Also she's not really being treated by a doctor anymore, the meds she's on are just to keep her comfortable. The doctors thought she would die in a few days when she came home.
Helpful Answer (2)

Hospice can provide services in nursing homes. It's quite typical. This is a horrible time for the whole family. All, including MIL, would be better off with a skilled nursing facility.
Helpful Answer (5)

Why is she NOT in a nursing home? She needs meds for her anxiety and trained professionals managing her health and other needs.
Call her doctor today to make sure she's medically eligible for nursing home care.

Alternatively, does your hospice organization have a facility where she could be cared for? Talk to the hospice social worker about this today!
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