Good Morning everyone. This question is for those who work in hospice. My mother, 93 1/2 yrs old has been on hospice for 9 months now. She is due for recertification soon. My worry is that she is trying to be too independent to prove that she is still well and fit. She was diagnosed with end-stage CHF as a diagnosis for hospice after an emergency room visit last April of 2019. She was retaining fluids and couldn’t walk 2 feet without getting out of breath. Her primary care physician referred her to hospice from this ER visit. Hospice took her off a lot of medications throughout these past few months, and with all the comfort care, she seems to be more comfortable. She has a pace maker that is 10 yrs old now (Jan 2010) and we all know the battery is almost out of juice. She has some symptoms of this, but she is not really complaining of feeling any different. She has a CNA who comes in twice a week and it took my mother some time to realize that the CNA is there to help her with things and that she should let her do things around the house. My mother will get up extra early on those days so she can “get things done - including her own shower” so it doesn’t “appear” that my mother can’t do anything for herself anymore. My mother is ALL about appearances and I’m so afraid that hospice will deem her too capable and drop her.
My mother’s blood pressure is dangerously low most days and they have since taken her off the metoprolol and she is now only on her lasix and metazolone daily. This has helped her a bit and her b/p has come up a bit. My mother does get dizzy and in fact she has fallen in front of me, but denies this if asked. She does have coughing fits when she lays flat, but never admits to this. I tell the nurses on the side, but I have to wonder how this all plays out in the eyes of the hospice nurses and recertification?
I don’t know what I would do without hospice. She still lives in her own home and I cannot be there all the time, although I do check on her daily. She just won’t admit she’s down, when I’m fact she is. What is the criteria for hospice? Am I worrying needlessly that she will be dropped? I cannot go back to the many doctors we saw for her before hospice. She does have valve problems too. I was diagnosed with cancer (nhl) and I have to keep up with my own health. She does not know I have cancer, she just thinks I’m anemic and that I go for iron infusions. I have been her caretaker for over 8 yrs now and it has affected my health.
My mother also had squamous cell carcinoma and has to have Moh’s surgeries every 6 months or more, but she is not in hospice for the skin cancer. Hospice has been great to do the wound care after the surgeries however. I could never do it and my mother could never do it as she has macular degeneration and is legally blind.
I would appreciate any explanation of Hospice criteria. She is now going on towards a year of this great service. TY.