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My sisters and I have been caring for our 96 year old at home. He has a DNR. He has congestive heart failure and aspiration issues.


His doctor is currently paying him visits at home.


Our greatest fear is that he will struggle to breath and we won’t be able to help him.


We live in California. Does anyone know what exactly the paramedics can do to “make him comfortable” and relieve his
breathing issues at home? We see conflicting information about the paramedics being able to administer meds/oxygen, He currently is not on oxygen at home and we do not currently have hospice.


We realize dad may be in crisis at a time when hospice is not at the house and we would like to have a plan.


thank you!

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Thank you all! His doctor comes on Tuesday, looking forward to getting clarification at that time. Side note: his doctor’s father was with hospice for 18 months before passing.
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worriedinCali Aug 11, 2019
Thanks for the update. Sounds like the doctor would probably be willing to refer your dad for hospice. Remember, hospice is NOT a death sentence. Hospice has really changed a lot and while a lot of us have only used them towards the end of life, it is now common for hospice to be started when there is no indication the person has less than 6 months to live. Your dad could be on hospice for 18 months too, you never know. They will keep your dad comfortable and that’s really the goal at this point it sounds like :)
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You would need to put him on hospice. Paramedics won’t come out and provide comfort care—they will want to take him to the hospital and provide life saving measures. If you want comfort care, you need to bring in hospice. They will give you the tools so you can provide his comfort care—they will provide oxygen and a “comfort pack” of medications you can administer to help control his breathing and keep him comfortable.
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I agree, ask his doctor if it’s time for a referral to hospice. They have medicines to keep him comfortable as well as oxygen.
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California laws are very different. If you were here I would say get him evaluated for hospice. What has his doc suggested?
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