Mom is only 69 and healthy in every way except she has advanced Alzheimers. The doctor says she is stage 7d (7f being the final end stage, or death). She just entered Hospice care this week and they mentioned something I've never heard of before--Do Not Hospitalize orders, in case she gets a future infection or something like that. Does anyone have experience with that? What are your thoughts on it? She keeps getting bedsores and infections even with very good care and is going to the hospital once a month or so with something.
I agree that it takes a certain, painful mental adjustment to comprehend that taking your acutely sick loved one to hospital is not the right move. The penny dropped for me when my mother was in rehab post-stroke, her b.p. and respirations suddenly fell, I called the nurse, the nurse came... and nothing happened. I realised I'd been expecting the nurse to go into overdrive and get my mother transferred back to hospital stat. More slowly it dawned on me that the reason that the nurse had stood calmly by and watched was that in any case there would have been no point in calling an ambulance. To take my mother to the ER... for what? For aggressive resuscitation? For intensive therapy? These were not procedures my mother could have endured. There would have been no point in taking her to hospital.
Your mother's symptoms can be relieved at home. The disease that is killing her, sadly, cannot be cured anywhere. Keeping her out of the mechanised, impersonal, frightening environment that most hospitals are is much the kinder option.
But meanwhile, I find it difficult to square "keeps getting bedsores" and "very good care." It is hard work to prevent bedsores in a bed bound and/or immobile patient, but it is not impossible and it certainly should not "keep" happening. Is your mother supplied with the correct equipment for her physical needs? Who is caring for her day to day, apart from the hospice team?
Every time mom goes to the hospital, she comes back in worse shape, contractures, spinal fractures, etc. She is not incontinent and i fear her getting C--diff more than almost anything, as she has a lifelong terror of diarrhea.
This is a difficult decision. We decided that at this point, our main goal is to keep mom comfortable and in no psychic or physical pain. Whatever can be done at the nh, that is the extent to which her symptoms will be treated.
I wish you well in coming to terms with this.