Follow
Share

My mom and I met with the hospice case manager yesterday, and Hospice sounds like assisted suicide to me. Mom has congestive heart failure (she just told me that yesterday) end stage of COPD, asthma, cronic asperated pnemonia, panic attacks, etc, so we meet with the Hospice case manager, at the encouragement of Moms hopsital case manager. And they want her to be a DNR, and if she has trouble breathing then they will help her work thru it. If she gets to the point she cannot breathe, don't call 911, but for ME to administer the meds... are they serious !!!! So let me understand this... Mom can't breathe, so I am supposed to be ok with giving her a medication that will relax her so she can stop breathing...? ! ? I don't think I'm ok with this at all.
Everyone said "oh hospice is just wonderful." What I see is assisted suicide, and everyone else standing on the other side of the fence saying oh look, she has hospice, her daughter will be so supported we don't need to do anything to hel[ now...

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
1 2 3
If you are not OK with hospice, you certainly do not have to accept it. It is totally optional. Please do not feel intimidated to use it.

People who do accept it generally accept that their loved one is at the end of life's journey. They believe that the outcome will be death, relatively soon. With medical advice, they believe that there is no cure for their loved one's condition, and no way to regain a quality of life. They do not want to prolong their loved one's suffering. They want the inevitable end we all share, death, to come naturally but also while providing comfort and reducing pain. They want help for themselves in understanding the process of dying, to help them accept the end.

What was your mom's reaction to the meeting with Hospice? Many people try to honor their loved one's wishes, whether it matches their own preference or not. Is your mother able to comprehend what was discussed? Did she express her preferences?

Like many people, I do not think of a DNR order as a wish to die. I do not think of death without medical intervention as suicide. You have every right to your own views and to make your own decisions, along with your mother. I hope you will not judge others harshly if they have other views.

I wish you peace with whatever decision you make. May you have strength as you face what lies ahead.
Helpful Answer (22)
Report

From my understanding of it, the Do Not Resuscitate order is in place so that the patient (who is expected to pass away soon) does not need to have a breathing tube installed, which would only prolong this final period and can be very difficult for the patient. My mother asked for the DNR order, and she received her wish at the end of her life. She did not end up in the hospital on a breathing tube, being kept alive by this device. She was allowed to peacefully pass while in the ambulance.

Shortmomma, I don't blame you for not wanting to administer the morphine, or whatever the drug is they are talking about. Can one of the hospice nurses be responsible for administering the medication? I am sorry you are going through this....God bless...
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Shortmomma1, I would check with private Hospice companies before I'd go through your county/state Hospice. We had real good luck with the one we chose for my mom. They will still bill Medicare etc just like the others. They aren't supposed to be hurrying your mother along to die you know, just supposed to be making her comfortable as she travels that road. We had a wonderful nurse that was more than willing to accommodate us when we wanted mom to stop taking certain pills that were causing hallucinations. You are NOT a slave to them, they work for you. If you're not happy with something they're doing, then make your voice heard.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Morphine may actually ease breathing as well as pain - it will relieve congestion casued by pulmonary edema (fluid/pressure build-up in the lungs) so it may be ethcially very much OK to give it to make the actual dying part less awful, even if it makes that part shorter too. But that said, if you are not comfortable with that part then it would be right to have a nurse there instead or just because this is all very hard on caregivers to face death so directly. My mom had a bad heart attack in inpatient hospice that took her away - they gave morphine, which she absolutely needed as she was having classic, crushing chest pain for the first time ever... no one thought that was going to be it, though, and they left just her and me in the room - then her breathing changed and I sudenly realized this was it. I pushed the call button again, but no way was I going to leave the room to drag someone back in more immediately than they otherwise would have/should have come. I was glad I was there to hold her hand, but I wish someone had stayed to hold mine. When we had first checked in they actually wanted to take her off all meds except phenergan and oxycodone around the clock, assuming what we wanted was sedation and the shortest time to getting it over with, but I was still hoping for a little quality time, and I did insist they keep other things going...we got a wheelchair ride to the garden and a couple of pizzas shared out of the deal. I had not been comfortable when my mom first asked for DNR but with her heart the way it was, severe, diffuse, and inoperable coronary arteries, it would have been cruel to keep trying to make that heart keep working and I had to accept that. We could have tried a procedure called EECP but I did not think she could tolerate it, and we could have kept anticoagulating which was not really working anyways (she came into hospice having had another stroke and/or coronary event where she had passed out at the skilled nursing facility, even on the highest dose of Ranexa and nitro she could tolerate) and I still wonder if we could have had a little more time that would have been worth anything if we had tried that. So, no, it is not easy to decide, but you do have every right to talk it through with the doctors and nurses and settle on what you think is right and best in the face of the inevitable. It should not be a cookie-cutter one-size fits-all type of thing.
Helpful Answer (11)
Report

thank you all for the clarity about hospice. That was what I was looking for, honest personal experiences. See what I was hearing is that it is soo great, but what they didnt tell me ( until i pushed) is that its extremely hard for the family, emotionally, and financially. when something is presented in a cult worship fashion, it makes me second guess it... sorry that how I am.....
Mom decided to go with the hospice. Her Case manager said Mom is more sick than she is tellin us girls, apparently she is protecting us. Mom has instilled the help of her sister, so we arent so overwhelmed. Seems like now we are just hanging out, waiting for her to get sick, and thats pretty morbid.....
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Shortmomma - My dad passed away in October of last year. I had pushed to have him admitted to hospice because he no longer wanted to go to the hospital but I didn't want him to suffer needlessly when the time came that his congestive heart failure worsened, as it does. The hospital would give him meds to get the extra fluid out of his lungs, readjust his meds at home and he'd be ok for a month or so then back through the same cycle. The experience we had with hospice was wonderful. The nurse, nurse's aide, social worker, pastor - all were nothing but supportive, assuring me that at any time I could send him to the hospital and if we decided to treat him for his heart failure, they would simply discharge him from hospice so that Medicare would cover the hospitalization. I never felt like they were giving up on dad or pushing assisted suicide. However, when the time came, and it came very suddenly in dad's case, it was comforting to know that they had the meds that could help him remain more comfortable and not struggle. As opposed to hospice expecting me to administer the meds that day, when the hospice nurse got to the house within a half hour of my call, because I too am a nurse, she said to me "Now YOU are the daughter and I am the nurse. Just be here for your dad and I'll take care of his comfort needs." I know she gave him much more Morphine than I would have been comfortable with and it didn't stop his breathing, it just helped him not struggle so hard. He was still talking to me and the family but wasn't panicky about his breathing even though it was clear he was not breathing normally. And as another has said, if you don't like one hospice, call another. I got lucky with the one dad's doctor recommended but had called several others to better understand the whole process. And instead of thinking you're hanging out just waiting for her to get sick, cherish this time. Spend as much time as you can with her, talk to her about how she feels about dying, tell her everything you want her to know and listen to all she says. Those will be the memories you will cherish forever. God bless ~ kuli
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

My mother was gravely ill this past summer with pneumonia. She is in a nursing home. She has a host of other problems as well. She was on oxygen and the nurse manager called me to suggest hospice care. It was the best decision I ever made. Another person here posted that morphine can open up the lungs; one of the nurses told me this as well and I had no idea it had this effect as well as pain relief. My mother was suffering and I would do anything to help her. She made a miraculous recovery and showed results soon after the morphine. Of course this was administered my nurses; so I don't blame you for not wanting to be the one administering to your mother. She was made so comfortable it was like night and day.

So, just a positive note about hospice. This was a private hospice by the way.
Can't say enough about them and all their support. My thoughts and prayers are with you - difficult decisions - trust your instincts.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

From my prospective Hospice is a govn't sponsored legal suicide/murder. I lost my mother last month due to this practice. Hospice called me requesting that I get power of attorney ASAP because Hospice wanted to put her down. My mother did have her share of health conditions and needed pain management. Pain management could have been conducted by either pain management or oncology but her Medicare(another govn't health plan) Dr. would not refer her to either and would only give her 5mg oxycodone IR. I would not seek power of attorney because my mother was able to make her own decisions and she was active and able to do her own cooking, laundry, etc... So I called my mother ( we live about 750 miles apart) and told her what hospice wanted me to do. My mother said not to worry cause she didn't want hospice care anyway. The next thing I knew, hospice went to an Elder at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witnesses because he was listed on her health care proxy as a liaison for no blood. He and the hospice people met up again with my mother and talked her into signing the paperwork giving her the impression that they were signing her up for assisted living. All of this was done behind my back and I did not hear about it until a few days later. Once I found out, I told my mother to call me when hospice comes to talk with her. My mother has a speaker phone and I could ask questions and state my concerns. My concerns were that they were going to give her medications that would put her down on her back and/or make her a health risk as she does live by herself but has never fallen and even takes her baths by herself. I was mainly concerned about Roxanol (liquid morphine). Hospice stated that they were not going to give the liquid morphine and were going to use a morphine sulphate pill 2x day. They ASSURED me that this would make her more mobile because she would be more pain free and able to be more active. I then told my mother while hospice was present to go ahead and at least try the pill but I also stated that she should and could stop if she feels that she is too sedated. I also told her that she could refuse hospice at any time along with the medication but I wanted her to try cause I did want her pain to be managed. 2 days after they had started her on the morphine, they gave her seroquel. Hospice never disclosed to either of us that they were going to give her seoquel. The following day after her first dose of seroquel she was out of her mind. Walking around her home naked and she had fallen once. I also found out that she had taken her morning meds twice, so she had taken 2 doses of morphine and 2 doses of seroquel all while she had a caregiver with her. Hospice now decided to call in Social services to evaluate her as a health risk so they could take her out of her home and into a Hospice center. I insisted that the Seroquel was putting her over the edge and wanted her off this med. Hospice told me not to worry cause they were going to quit giving her the seroquel and was only going to keep her over the weekend to evaluate her meds and that she would be going home on Monday. When Monday arrived Hospice told me that she was on a 5 day respite and would be going home on Wednesday. All of this was being told to me so that I would not rush to her side and cause any problems. By Thursday, I couldn't even talk to her on the phone from being so drugged, so I decided it was time that I get up there ASAP. I got to her side by Friday afternoon and she was soooo drugged up. She knew who I was but couldn't communicate well. There was no way that I could take her out and bring her home with me. At this time hospice disclosed that she had been on Roxanol for 4 days. I did get a couple of times (about 1/2 hr each) where she could communicate with me and then she was totally drugged up and unable to talk or drink. 5 days later she passed away. I just want to let everyone out there know that Hospice has one job and one job only and that is assisted suicide/murder. In the case of my mother, I feel as though it was murder because of the way they went around to do things. If you and your loved one are OK with this process and that is what is wanted, I'm sure it's a good program but if you are wanting them just for pain management and in good faith feel that they are going to do as you request, please think again. Most hopices are govn't sponsored and want these people off Medicare and Social Security and the sooner the better. At least this has been my experiance with the Hospice program.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

REALLY????? I think you over reacting my friend i think hospice is the best thing..i work for a hospice and sucide is not it ..its a comfort zone actually for both..but the first lady is right you have every right of your own opinion but please dont think of use a suicide method thats not what we do.....
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My experience with hospice was this - I interviewed 3 different hospices before I chose the one that my dad's doctor had first recommended. Yes, during the first meeting they talked about discontinuing all of dad's medications. However, when HIS nurse came we looked over his medications and she left the choice up to me what to continue and what to stop based on what meds would keep him comfortable. In my dad's case, with end stage congestive heart failure, we kept him on all of his heart meds, his diuretics, his rheumatoid arthritis med, his coumadin but stopped his oral diabetic med and some supplements because they weren't necessary. I was also told that anytime I wanted him to go to the hospital, I had the choice. If the hospital decided to admit my dad, I had to let hospice know so that they would discharge him from hospice. Once he returned home, we could then readmit him to hospice but could also decide not to. My goal in all of this was to not only keep dad comfortable but to reduce the number of hospital visits for him. He hated being in the hospital and was getting more and more confused each time he was there. It was so hard to see them tie him down and have someone watching every move he made just to keep him safe. Dad did go to the hospital a few times and the ER doctor would ask what measures were to be taken. One time, a week and a half after dad was admitted to hospice, they thought his diagnosis was a combination of pneumonia and CHF and I said give him 24 hours of IV antibiotics to see if he gets better and if not we would make decisions at that time. He got better and came back home the next day. Hospice did ordered oral Morphine for my dad and it was a life saver. My dad had suffered with severe back pain for years. He couldn't take over the counter stuff because of the coumadin and his options for pain pills was very limited. Even though he usually would only take a minimum dose 3 times a day of the morphine, he was so much more comfortable. I also could see that it did help his breathing. I always thought the opposite but it allowed him to relax and take deeper breaths instead of panting and getting more anxious. And when my dad was heading down the last road, they were there one hundred percent, helping with whatever they could. The day he died, I couldn't even think straight when I realized what was happening. I called his hospice nurse, she came right over and gave him morphine. He was able to relax a bit but was still conscious and able to talk to us. Without that, he would have suffered for much longer with feeling like he couldn't catch his breath. That would have been torture not only for him but for me. I always promised him I would do what I thought was best and he trusted me. There would have been nothing I could have done that day without hospice and the meds they provided. He was in hospice for almost 5 months and those were his best for the whole year. I'm sorry that anyone feels that hospice is assisted suicide. I had just the opposite experience. Kuli
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Experience, I am very sorry about the death of your mother. Sincere condolences.

She would have died with or without hospice, of course. The point of hospice is to ensure comfort during the dying process. Sometimes they are able to be more successful than at other times, just because of the nature of various diseases.

Since you were 750 miles away, and since you were not her healthcare proxy and not her POA, it is not surprising that you may not have gotten all the medical details. I think you are overreacting and misinterpreting what happened and what caused what, in your grief. That is understandable, but it would be a shame for others to take your from-a-distance view too literally.

Your mother appointed a church person to make health care decisions for her when she could not. (I don't know why she did not appoint you -- perhaps because of the distance.) You last saw her when she was cooking and mobile and could care for herself. But when the body starts shutting down things change very rapidly. The local people, including her doctor and her health care proxy, made decisions with her, to promote her comfort as her body went through the dying process. Your mother was not murdered and she did not commit suicide.

My husband was on hospice for about 5 weeks and it was a wonderful, caring experience. He was dying. There was no question of that. He was able to be comfortable and mostly in good spirits.

Statistics show that persons on hospice live slightly longer than matched counterparts who are not on hospice. There is definitely no goal to shorten the life span. Since Hospice only gets paid for patients while they are living, it certainly would not be in their self-interest to shorten lives.

Once again, I am truly sorry for your loss. I hope you can eventually find peace and comfort yourself.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

I know many people that say Hospice is the best gift they gave their family and loved one. As a Hospice volunteer, I always felt I was the one gifted by being able to share such a special time with my families.

I've had people say that their loved ones' condition was like a "big elephant" in the house until Hospice arrived. Families usually come together as a unit at this time and talk about things they should have shared years ago. Perhaps having us there helps them feel less burdened and they are able to open up to each other.

I am so sorry for your loss and I am glad you were able to spend time with your Mother. I am sure it meant a lot to both of you. God bless!
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

My mom just passed away January 1st. The nursing home suspected pneumonia and ordered a chest x ray a little over a week before. THey were going to give her iv's and blood work. I refused because my poor mom (95) didn't want to be poked and prodded any more. She signed a DNR over 25 years ago, and I respected her wishes. I called in hospice right away. It was the best thing possible. They gave her medications without needles, and gave her 24 hr care. They were so supportive of me and my family. If it weren't for those people my mom would have never been able to go as peacefully as she did. They give the meds to control the congestion and relieve and stress and pain. My mom passed away very peacefully at 4:05 am New Years Day,
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Hospice is the best thing that ever happened for me and my sweet mama. She had Lewey Body Dementia and if they weren't here to support I would have given up on her along time ago. With hospice you have the support of many caregivers, CNAs bath aides, doctors, nurses and the comfort pack that takes care of all the needs for any comfort and care meds. All paid for by medicare. Hospice workers came to my home 2x times a week to bath or care for mom with any hygiene needs, the nurse came in 2x times a week in the end. They set us up with equipement and hospital bed, trays, bedside comode. Any supplies to help her with incontinence. It was a God send...not assistant suicide. If you have to do this all yourself you will see it's a pretty hard thing to endure. And they are there to help you with anything you need to care for her. It looks like your Mom is in final stages of COPD and she is having panic attacks, thats where they take over and help her with any medication that will keep her calm and make it easier to breath. They make sure that in the end your mom does not suffer. I know this because today at 1 am my sweet mom spent her last 5 days on this earth in the Hospice house. They kept her comfortable, without any distress. These people that work for Hospice are the nicest, most caring, loving and compassionate people. I feel so grateful to them for making moms process of dying easier and dignified. I hope you will see that and give them a chance. Because I will just say your going to be overwhelmed with the anxiety of seeing her suffer at any time. Good luck and God bless.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

msdaizy - I am so sorry for your loss but glad you're mom was comfortable as she passed from our world to the next. It's so very hard and will become harder in the days and months to come but take pride in the care and love you gave her until the very end. That is the best thing any of us can do for those we love. Angels be with you ~ Kuli
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I'll say just one more thing about hospice and then shut up. Before my experience with hospice with my dad, I used to think what a depressing job it must be. As a nurse, I am used to focusing on helping people get better. The problem is that these days people can be kept alive long after they are enjoying a quality life. After my experience with hospice, I have and still do consider working for a hospice in the future. I now think there is nothing greater in this world than to be able to help someone through the process of dying - not just death but the time before that as well. Most people know they're dying and must find it so comforting to have people they can express their fears, their thoughts, their unfinished business, their regrets with because I know in my dad's case he didn't want to upset any of us with that. He seemed so ready when the time came both physically, mentally and spiritually and I know it was in part because of the hospice staff he had in his last months. This was a journey I'm so very glad I was able to share with him and one I'll never forget. Dying at home with family all around is so very different from dying in a hospital. I know, I've seen both now. Best wishes ~ Kuli
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

It seems as if your mother has been ill for a very long time. Mothers are good at "protecting" their children from the severity of their illnesses, and children are just as good at taking what their parents say at face value because, quite honestly, they'd rather believe the good than worry about the bad. It's not until things get to the point that the parents are unable to care for themselves that the kids really get a first-hand look at the actual reality of their condition. I'm guessing you have only recently been made aware of just how serious your mother's condition is, and you are trying to absorb a LOT of overwhelming information all at once. Hospice is not assisted suicide, as others have said. The fact is that your mother is dying, and she wants to go peacefully - that is why she has accepted the help of the hospice team. There's nothing wrong with or "morbid" about her being involved in the dying process. Look at it as you having time to say what you need to say to her, and her to you...get those memories written down...ask her to write your children (or future children even) a letter for their graduation/wedding/etc., ask her the names of people in old pictures that only she knows, etc. etc.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Partly because the West, and Western style medicine has declare death; the natural process obscene and with it the fear and pain of the actual loss of the loved one. The thought of NOT getting in the way of the death process seems totally against all human judgement. People cling to life harder than anything and why should this not be, but Death is part of life and one, everyone must let go eventually. I'd say, talk to everyone whose opinion you value, get competent medical advice, speak to your loved ones and decide what feels best for you. If you are absolutely not comfortable with the letting go of your mom this way, that will be your decision, also depending on what your mothers wishes were.

It is a very upsetting situation all together. and no one can make your choices for you. Or tell you how you should feel about it.

Remember, even when she is gone, your mother lives on in you and all she was to you is never gone.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Im so sorry for everyone lost but working for hospice has been a greatly esperience for me the most i love about it.. i get to be there with the love one when they take their last breath and for the family that nees he lively confort and i get to know them as the process proceeds ..but imma tell you a secret i was in hospice when my father passed on and i couldnt even do my own love one and that is the hardest thing to do for ANYONE that does hospice and see it on their love one
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

It is all your perspective. My Mother had ALS and utilized Hospice services. If she would not have, it more than likely would have killed my dad. For our family, Hospice was a blessing in disguise!
Hospice did not kill my mother, progression of her disease did. Hospice made her as comfortable as possible!! Mom ended up with pneumonia and got a fever, hospice took her into their unit as in-patient and everything was wonderful. Very professional, let mom go with her dignity and with church members around praying for her.
We had a wonderful experience and I hope your mother has the same! God bless.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Lildebb39 is right. The disease is what's killing them. Hospice will make them feel dignified and comfortable. There is no reason for her to suffer or have any anxiety over her breathing. They will keep her comfortable and ease any pain she may have. COPD is scary...try being a fish out of water. Can you imagine how scary it would be to breathe. Thats where they will come and assist her to a level of comfort. It's not suicide at all. They don't kill you..they comfort you. Its the disease thats killing her. I'm not familiar with COPD as much as dementia but I know when mom was in her last hours...she never had any pain or discomfort. She showed any wrinkles in her brow she was administered medication to help. The dying was inevitable...so why should it be so excruciating and scary. Hospice are angels on earth.
Helpful Answer (9)
Report

But...what if my Mom is not 'actively dying'?? My sister has read so many positive posts in various places about Hospice that she is pushing Mom (and us other sibs) towards Hospice. Mom's Dr said she would sign a Hospice order, too. But Mom's diagnosis is back pain and "old age, failure to thrive and depression'. She is 89 and just survived Norovirus and Pneumonia. Mom is now in a rehab place and depressed because her PT is going slowly and she can only walk with walker a short distance. Mom wants to give up....but unless Hospice assists her suicide - what can they do for her?? Mom has a DNR. We all had a telephone conference with Hospice and even they say she may not qualify. Sister still wants it! I really think she thinks they will honor Mom's wishes and help her die.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Angie4567...Hospice was so helpful. With mom she was 91 with progressive dementia. I know it sounds like a death sentence, but please know, they were my sanity. Mom had declined to fast I was no way I would be able to do the things those wonderful people did. They were all about comfort and care. That involved a CNA 2 times a week to help with bathing or any other hygiene needs for mom. A nurse came to visit us every week and near the end 2 times a week. She kept us up on all mom's medications. They supplied me with diapers, gloves, bed pads, all the medical equipement she needed for safety. I got a hospital bed when it came time for it. They were angels...listened to my cries and concerns...and helped me where ever I needed. When I was at my wits end they gave me a respite week. 5 days of a much needed break. Took care of my mom with such love and care. I would highly recommend them any day. Like I said...they were my lifeline when it came to mom's care. I hope you understand..they will never do anything that you wouldn't want them to do..but they are about giving comfort and care to the loved one and that also means helping with the anxiety. My mom was treated with such value and not ever did I think they were there to help her die. But in the very end ..they gave her a dignified way to go...with no pain or suffering. The dementia killed my mom..Hospice was there to help her be comfortable. Good luck with your momma...God Bless.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Hospice is hospice for 1 reason, End of Life Care... I just recently lost my little Brother he was on hospice for 3 years. I took care of him the entire time, the nurses would come in twice a week and the person who bathed him 3 times a week. His hospice team was great, they got very close to him very fast but the thing is hospice will give a patient medicine for anything they need except for what there on hospice for. In my brothers case it was his lungs his whole life he had to have his food puree to prevent him from choking (he had cerebral palsy) but he would always cough while eating and inhale food into his lungs. I wasn't happy at all in March 2012 when he got a UTI and eventually it went to his lungs and the doctor would only treat him for the UTI. We were told when he was just a baby that he wouldn't live past age 7, well when he turned 41 he went on hospice and we were told he had less than 6 months, and I got 3 more years with my brother. I slept on his bedroom floor stayed with him 24/7, it was a hard thing to watch and they kept him very comfortable with medication etc ... I don't think I could have done it without hospice support. To this day the nurses, Chaplin & the volunteer still come over. Being a hospice nurse is a very emotional stressful job, they do get attached to their patients I know how much they loved my Brother & he loved them.It takes a very special person to do what they do. Gail
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Angie4567: My mom was 95 and she didn't want to die. She had to be admitted to a NH in Oct 2012 because the type of dementia she had hit hard, and she also had COPD. Msdaizy and I have alot in common. Our mothers went quickly. Hospice was the best thing that I could have ever asked for. Because of the dementia by Dec 2012 my mom was doing as Gcrow56's brother was doing, her food & drink were going into her lungs. Then she was diagnosed with pneumonia. Mom had a DNR and made me promise not to let them "poke" her with needles, IV's, etc. I asked for a hospice evaluation and to my surprise they not only said she qualified, but she qualified for 24hr nursing care. I was in shock, because my mom was still alert and sitting up. She was just very weak and not eating much. They sent a nurse in the day after the evaluation. She said she could tell by mom's lungs that she only had about 2 weeks. Again, a shock, because mom was talking to her and seemed ok with the exception of being very weak and having bad congestion. She was getting every treatment associated with the COPD/pneumonia. The hospice nurses assured me she would be kept very comfortable and that's what I told mom. She knew she was "very sick", and I told her not to worry, all the meds would be given to her by mouth. That night was the last night she talked. The next day she was unresponsive. Those hospice nurses took such great care of her. I would have gone out of my mind if it hadn't been for them. No only was she cared for, but so was I. Believe me, hospice is not there to speed up the person's death, they are only there to provide comfort and relief for pain. My mom started getting pain morphine every 4 hrs., but day 3 any time she showed pain (in her face), they gave her the morphine. She was comfortable and died peacefully on Jan 1st.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Shortmomma1,

Hospice is not for everyone and I really believe we all were trying to give you a little insight on how our dealings with Hospice were. By all means, if you do not feel comfortable going forward with Hospice, then I would not. This is a decision you will have to live with and reflect on for years to come. It is extremely difficult when our parents and loved ones get older... So many decisions, which is the right one, the best one? If you are able, I would talk it over with your Mother and go from there. She is very lucky to have your support and between the two of you, and I completely believe you can come up with a health care plan that does not include hospice. Good luck, God Bless =}
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Kull's words: "Most people know they're dying". are so helpful. Now that modern medicine has extended life so much longer, we have to be sensitive and compassionate to realize when it truly is a person's time to die.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My experience with hospice for my dad at end stage cancer was very similar to Mzdaizy's. They were wonderful, professional, reassuring and answered questions along the way. My parents made the choice for hospice following hospital referral. We supported that. Please don't think of it as assisted suicide, its anything but. It is a lovely, compassionate way to enter the last stages of one's physical life. Many prefer this over the bells and whistles, disruption of a hospital stay and feel a personal relationship with the hospice caregivers. Give it a chance and if you and your mother (she should be the ultimate judge); then you can choose something different. Also, sometimes, a loved one's ability to communicate privately with hospice and not have to worry about their children, spouses, etc. feelings can be very liberating for them. Hospice can be a great liaison between you and your loved one and accepting/understanding each stage til death.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Angie4567, does Mom want hospice care?

If her doctor is willing to order it and she is in "failure to thrive" mode why not apply? If she isn't eligible yet there is no harm in trying. You can try again later.

In my experience, Hospice is neutral regarding the timing of death. They aren't trying to hasten it or to postpone it. Their goal is to make the remaining time, whether that is weeks or months or even years, the highest quality it can be under the circumstances. I don't know specifically what they can do for your mother, but what they did for my husband was awesome. As a small example, when saliva accumulated because he had trouble swallowing, they put a patch behind his ear to dry up his mouth. And they didn't have to justify it to some insurance company and I didn't have to leave the house to go get it. When he began to develop a bed sore they took care of it and showed me how and also brought an egg crate mattress pad the next day, to minimize the problem. When his belly was distended I described how much trouble he was having passing urine the nurse brought in a sterile catheter kit and solved that problem immediately -- no transporting to an ER, just do it right here at home. Lots and lots of little things, none of them remotely close to helping him commit suicide, all of them making his end of life a little or a lot less uncomfortable. They definitely would have honored his Do Not Resuscitate wish, that that never came up -- he did not have a heart event. They gave me information that helped me recognize when my husband's time was at hand, and he died with me at this side, holding his hand. They took care of all the paperwork of reporting the death and having the body transported.

Hospice would do an evaluation and also take into consideration your mother's doctor's recommendation. If in their best analysis your mother is not actively dying, then they cannot accept her. If they accept her, what do you think they could/would do to "assist her suicide"? [From a strictly selfish point of view, hastening a death would mean losing a patient Medicare is paying for.]

I hope that you and your sister can come to some agreement. Do either of you have healthcare power of attorney?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Hospice is not assisting suicide. To think that they are is just......not right. Hospice literally saved my fathers life! My Mom was so sick and weak from ALS and all the Dr's did was send her home and tell her to come back in 6 months. She did not last 6 months! In Hospice, if you are terminally ill, they allow the disease process to proceed. They do not fight each little secondary infection or problem that may arise as a result of your disease. This is not suicide, it is natural disease progression. When no more can be done and death is inevitable, why not go in peace, pain free, with a little dignity ? I can not speak for everyone, but I know for my Mom....it was a Blessing! If Hospice is not for you, find a way that is, there are so many who have been touched by angels of Hospice!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

1 2 3
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter