Is hospice appropriate for a dementia patient (94) who possibly had a stroke?

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Mom has a history of small strokes, that's why she has lived with me for the past four years. Last week mom showed stroke symptoms so we called Paramedics to take her to the hospital. The hospital ran some tests like a CT scan, which showed no evidence of stroke. Maybe she had a clot in her brain. The Dr said that there wasn't anything more that they could do for her, so come and take her home. He explained that they "could" do and MRI/MRA but why? They wouldn't do surgery anyway. Even if they gave Mom Plavix, they needed to do an MRA first. So, I opted for a Nursing home. She is there to rehab for two weeks. She has been there 9 days so far. The first time I visited her, she was sitting in her wheelchair and trying to talk. The second time I visited her she slept most of the time I was there. Lately she keeps her eyes closed most of the time, doesn't seem to hear when I talk to her. She sleeps more. She has lost five pounds. The Nursing home staff asked if I thought about Hospice. I called the Hospice and a nurse came out and did an assessment. Mom is appropriate for Hospice. Wow.. This means that Mom is really failing fast, and won't recover from this. My question is ... Is Hospice the right choice for Mom? How will she benefit from Hospice? I thought Hospice was for people that have terminal diseases like cancer... people that are facing their own death and need support and counseling? If Mom isn't aware of her surroundings, how will she benefit?

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Hospice is for your mother's comfort no matter what she understands or doesn't understand. The program did, years ago, start out for cancer patients, but now hospice is for anyone who has a terminal disease and has six months or less to live. They care for many people with Alzheimer's and other types of dementia. Since hospice has been suggested to you, to for it! They are wonderful.

Take care of yourself and let us know how you are doing,
Carol
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So nice to hear good things about hospice for a change. Yes this would be a good choice. Even in the N/H they are another set of eyes watching over her care.

Pam for once I have to disagree with you. Roxanol (liquid morphine) is available for anyone who needs it - not just reserved for hospice patients.

Many COPD patients are greatly relieved with it's use when oxygen alone is not enough.

The main advantage over other forms of morphine is that it is liquid and can be given to any patient as it can be placed in the mouth and the small quantity is actually absorbed there when the patient can't swallow
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When the nurses go so far as to suggest Hospice, it is actually past the time to look into it. Your mother is terminal or there would be other options.
Your mom will benefit from proper pain management. Roxanol can be given now, which is not obtainable without Hospice in place.
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My husband has had hospice care in our home for 4 months now. Two of his doctors suggested it. He had a stroke 13 years ago, and his doctors said he was likely having smaller unnoticeable strokes in his sleep over the years. Hospice is a godsend for me. They come twice a week for his personal grooming, including changing his bed. His nurse comes to check on him weekly, when she responds to all my concerns. She orders prescriptions which are delivered and paid for by Medicare. His doctor makes housecalls. They have a healthy, realistic attitude toward dying. We pay nothing out-of-pocket. Slowly I'm reclaiming my own life back. I'm even traveling to Italy to visit a granddaughter while they tend to his needs in assisted living. That's also pd for bt hospice through medicare. My anxiety level has dropped amazingly, and when I get sad, I have a counselor to give me support as we live through this stage of our lives. My husband is happy the couple hours he's up daily. I can't say enough about the help hospice is giving us.
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My Mom began to fail fast about 2 years ago, couldn't walk etc. After months of rehab attempts a wonderful NP at the NH where she was for rehab that was just not working, suggested hospice. Hospice was a Godsend. I took Mom home and they came several times a week. They kept Mom comfortable and pain free for 8 months and when she passed they were right there doing everything that needed to be done. As difficult as the last 2 years were, once hospice came on board it was so much better.
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Cactusflower --

You can benefit from hospice services, too. When my husband was under hospice care, I became eligible for the services of a hospice social worker. She was helpful to me toward the end of his live, and continued to visit me for a year after his death.
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My husband is 75 and has vascular dementia. He has been in hospice for about a week. They are awesome!
The end is near.
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wow. ok. I feel better. She will be transferred to Long term care tomorrow, and I will sign papers too. I know she will have better care there, at least someone will be there 24 hours a day. That is comforting. I hadn't thought about the pain issue. Since she is losing her ability to speak she cant always say when she hurts, it would be good to have someone there to help her. The Hospital also said that on her Xray of her pelvic area, there are signs of possible bone cancer. But of course no more testing was to be done. So Hospice is a good thing for Mom... thank you.
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Cactusflower (What a delightfully lyrical title!)--
As the comments have emerged, I trust that you are observing that hospice is really a service for your whole family. Your mother is the primary patient, but the dying process puts stress on everyone, and good quality hospice will try to help the whole family system through the ordeal. Beyond the work of the nurses and CNAs, the social workers, chaplains, and volunteers can help you all with problems that "sneak up on you." Their familiarity with the process enables hospice personnel to offer partnership in meeting needs you otherwise might not even acknowledge. Please stay in touch with the hospice people as your mother engages this "great transition."
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In my experience with my aging parents and in-laws, hospice care is end-of-life care. It is for people who are not expected to recover to their former levels of functioning. Hospice care is wonderful. Their job is to keep your loved one comfortable as they decline. The people who work in hospice are really good at this kind of care. Your mom will be in loving care.
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