Dad has relatively advanced dementia and has been in a memory care assisted living facility for 2 years. He has declined in the last 6 months but is still ambulatory and able to eat on his own. He is dropping weight and has become fully incontinent. He eats a lot but is stick skinny. Today I spoke with the head nurse and she says that due to the weight loss and incontinence, she is recommending a consultation with a Hospice nurse. She says this does not mean he is at end stage, but hospice could step in and provide additional care at dad's current facility. I have no experience with Hospice. Any thoughts on what to expect and what this means??

Upstream, my Mom was on Hospice at her nursing home because it was thought she could end her journey in six months or less.

It was a RN stopping by once or twice a week to check Mom's vitals, an extra set of eyes to see how she is doing. A volunteer would stop by to chat with Mom, but in my Mom's case, Mom's dementia was so far gone that Mom wasn't able to communicate or even understand what the volunteer was saying. Hospice also could call in a religious person to say prayers. Hospice also ordered oxygen.

Hospice also knew that within 48 hours my Mom could possibly be passing. Thus, enough time for me to arrange to stay with Mom that final night.

My Dad lived in Assisted Living/Memory Care. One day we had to call 911 as Dad wasn't feeling very well. Turned out he had pneumonia, but this time it was "aspiration pneumonia". The hospital recommended Hospice.

Hospice ordered a hospital bed and an oxygen tank for Dad. Dad passed quite quickly from the pneumonia, within a week. I knew Dad wanted to be with my Mom who had passed the prior year as they had been married for close to 75 years. Dad did rally one day, which is normal, then the next day went back into his peaceful sleep.
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Reply to freqflyer

I would allow Hospice to evaluate. As said, a nurse will check on him 2 or 3 times a week. They also provide an aide. They take care of meds and provide Depends. If Dad is private pay I would take advantage of everything the do. This should decrease the cost of Dads care at the facility.

It was recently mentioned that some ALs feel its OK to use the Depends supplied to a hospice resident to use on other residents. Not so. Previous posters have suggested only leaving enough for the hospice residents use. Keep the balance in your car.
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Reply to JoAnn29

Thank you for your responses. I am an only child and have limited help in this situation, so I am very grateful for any additional support I can receive! The nurse at Dad's facility did say Hospice might help with supplies & meds. Mostly I look forward to having someone else check in on him and be a source of information for me.
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Reply to Upstream
MelissaPA2AZ Jan 17, 2019
I believe you will definitely get what you are looking for then. The advantage is that most hospice is covered by Medicare and most AL (not sure about memory care) is not. My experience with hospice was that they helped us understand what to expect from the process of dying, which can be long or short. This allowed us to be better prepared and make more informed, and I think better,decisions. Wishing you strength and peace for the road ahead.
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My Husband died 2 years ago. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's 12 years prior to that.
He fell and broke his hip and after he got home from rehab, and he had done very well there, I stopped by the Hospice facility in our area and talked to them about how would I know when he would be eligible for Hospice. After talking to me they said it sounded like he was already eligible. So, condensing....he was on Hospice for almost 3 years! I would not have been able to do for him what I did without having Hospice there to help him, help me both with equipment and supplies but the emotional and educational help that they gave was unprecedented.
So needless to say I am a big proponent of Hospice.
they will give more help to your Dad. There will be a CNA that will come in and bathe and dress him a few times a week. (likely the facility where he is will no longer bathe/shower him if Hospice is doing that) there will be a Nurse that will come in and check on him once a week.
the phone call, the consultation will not cost anything but time. (ask if you can be there when he is evaluated)
Talking to the person that is evaluating him and after getting all the information you want if you decide that you do not want your Dad on Hospice you can say no.
After getting on Hospice if you decide that you no longer want him on Hospice you can drop it.
And if there is more than one Hospice Organization in your area you can contact each one and "interview" them just like you would any Doctor. Some Hospice are Not for Profit and some are For Profit. It just so happened that the Hospice I chose was/is Not for Profit. I do not know if that really made a big difference but I think it does.
Bottom line...I think Hospice is wonderful

Oh, side note along with CNA for bathing and dressing and the Nurse there will also be assigned a Social Worker that can help with many things, you also have the option to have music therapists come in, there is art therapy, a Chaplain if you so wish, and Volunteers that will come and spend time with him if you want to take advantage of that.
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Reply to Grandma1954

I had an positive experience with Hospice. The head nurse at dad’s CBRF/memory care was so in tune with dad’s health she knew something wasn’t right. Fast forward to a prostate cancer reoccurrence and qualifying for hospice.
He was under hospice care for 14 months. This organization provided everything. The social worker would spend time with me and call afterwards. The same as the chaplain who got dad to obtain the final rights.
He had a nurse practitioner who recertified him as well as saw him quite a bit the last month almost daily with the nurse.
A couple of the staff came to dad’s memorial service and now 6 months after his passing I still receive calls from their grief counselors.
Ask around for recommendations for hospice.
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Reply to wi57twin

My mom has dementia but it's fairly mild at this point
Our doctor recommended hospice care even though my mom isn't terminal. She lives at home with me. We have a nurse that comes once a week and a CNA three times a week to bathe her. My mom is wheelchair bound and stays on the couch most of the time. Hospice also provides us with adult diapers and wipes, lotion and body wash. They'll provide any medical equipment we need. I hope what I posted helps you.
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Reply to Teresa914

I have had great experience with Hospice. As previously mentioned supplies like depends and wipes, lotions, hospital bed,oxygen,etc. will be free. The diaper rash cream Hospice supplies is the best stuff I have ever used! My hospice agency even supplies Boost products like pudding and juice which are perfect supplements for his weight loss. Depending on your needs they have Spiritual councilors and social workers and of course nurses and aides. I love and appreciate working with our local Hospice agency.
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Reply to Monica50
cetude Jan 17, 2019
yeah but they don't give you much. I only get 20 diapers a week..sometimes the nurse forgets to bring them so their supplies are only supplementing. and I don't even get to see the nurse every week--the visits are not predictable. the aides don't do much so I don't even bother using them. it's another person to wait up for.
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Hospice is great! The hospice org. that is involved in my wife's care is a non-profit. I would check to see if there are any non-profit Hospices in your area.. Hospice does not only provide end of life care but also palliative care for those who have chronic illnesses that will lead to death at some time.

The nurse comes to see my wife at least once a week. The aide from Hospice does the CNA's part 2 times a week.(shower, change bed, clean room, ) Also a mental health specialist checks on her about every 3 weeks. She also provides me with some counseling during each visit. If she misses me at the facility we have a phone session. ( I spend 3 to 6 hours a day with my wife, then I pick our 16 yo son up from school and try to keep his life normal).

I highly recommend Hospice.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to garylee

Our experience with Hospice about a year ago with our loved one was a very positive one.
Dad wanted to be at home where he felt most comfortable when he passed and the individuals who provided compassionate care allowed us to do that and give him the dignity he deserved.
Everyday CNA’s came and provided care - we wanted to aid as much as possible and the team of people who were assigned to Dad’s case were amazingly supportive and allowed us to assist when possible and gave thorough instruction in how to do what he needed to keep him comfortable.
Supplies were provided, physical care given but for us, the counseling and spiritual support offered was so comforting during one of the most difficult experiences for our family.
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Reply to MaryElisabeth

My mother died of Alzheimers last April while in a nursing home. We were told by them if we wanted to use Hospice, we had to use the one they had a contract with. This ticked me off a bit but I went along with it. It turned out to be a blessing. They personally knew all the administrators and nurses and were able to get things done that I could not. For instance, they had my mother in a bed that would not raise up due to being broken. I had asked for another one but it never happened. When Hospice came in, they got her one that worked immediately. They took over her bathing and she no longer was in tears after it was over. Someone from Hospice saw her everyday. I thought Hospice was wonderful and I had a direct line to someone at all times. Don't listen to these people who are naysayers, try it and if you aren't satisfied you can stop it.
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Reply to GranJan

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