I'm managing my mom's care hopefully well. Not enough space to explain her cardiac problems. Top 3? permanent Afib, CHF, hypoxia.

Most people believe that calling in Hospice means their loved one is near death. What it actually means is the acknowledgement that your loved one is not going to get well or even better. They provide so many other things than just medical care. They have Chaplains, nurses, counselors. They will spend time with the family as well as with your loved one.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to GranJan

Aim high...Shoot for the stars!
Far to often people wait and are not able to take advantage of all that Hospice has to offer.
If mom is eligible for Hospice you will get far more in the way of help, supplies, equipment than if she is on Palliative care. However if you feel that Hospice is not quite what you want yet (for some it is a bit daunting making that decision) Palliative is a nice first step. The Palliative Care team will let you know when they think it is time for Hospice.
But, me being me, I would try for Hospice first if I thin found out she was not eligible I would go with Palliative.
Contact a few Hospice in your area. Interview them. Let them tell you if mom is eligible for Hospice. Select the one you have a good feeling about, one that you have checked reviews on. They all have Social Media presence check that out. Once you have selected you are not bound to them, you have the right to change Hospice just like you can change to another doctor if you feel you are not getting the care you want or deserve.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Grandma1954

Hospice Care is usually if a patient will be dying within 6 months and not seeking any treatments just being treated with Comfort Care like pain management.

Palliative Care is Comfort Care along with continued Treatments.

Your Dr will advise you when they think the patient should go in to Hospice Care but at that time, start with Palliative Care.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to bevthegreat

We just included a palliative care dr to my mom’s team. Super helpful in coordinating care among her specialists. He has already been a great advocate in identifying and addressing her needs. We have a clear plan of her priorities and cater to that. My mom is not at end stage so don’t be afraid to explore that option before you get to that point!
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Madrede2

Bless your heart!
I know this is all very difficult, we all have to be ready for this eventuality.

To keep it short, my mother is 89 years old, has multipal medical conditions that require medication, and has 24 hour supervision. She is in constant pain from her arthritis and a compression fracture in her spine. She can get out of bed with her walker but has still fallen. Her mental capacity is mid to late stage dementia.

I asked the Board and care manager if there was anything else I could do for her and was told to ask her PCP about Palliative Care. I had never heard of it before, so she had to explain it to me. When I asked her doctor about it he put in an order for her evaluation right then.

The person they sent out was very patient and kind to mother. She asked me alot of questions but also asked mother separately. It was dicided that she did not need it at this time, but they would be happy to re-evaluate her again if her situation changes.

It doesn't hurt to ask and it can relieve/confirm your concerns.

Good luck with all of this. Hang in there, you are not alone.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to MzFrob

Do an intake interview with hospice. They will advise on available services and you will be prepared to start their services when needed. Friends and family repeatedly suggested for two years that we do this, but we were reluctant. I finally called on a Monday afternoon, the interview was conducted Tuesday morning and hospice was ready when needed later that same day. My friend passed away that evening just a few hours afterwards. Hospice came to certify the death so we avoided transporting a body via ambulance to the nearest hospital so they could confirm the obvious. They also called the funeral home to pick up the body. I have no doubt that hospice would have been a tremendous ally had events happened more slowly.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Bobby40

I'm more familiar with hospice care than palliative care - but palliative care is designed to keep the patient comfortable when not pursuing active treatment of disease. I believe this can be utilized when the patient doesn't meet guidelines for hospice - death not expected to occur within 6 mos.

Hospice care is end of life care and is similar to palliative care in that no active treatment of the disease is treated but the patient is kept comfortable and allows them to meet death with dignity.

My father was on hospice the last six months of his life and the agency we used was very caring of both my father and the family. At 91 dad landed in the hospital with what was thought to be an upper respiratory virus going around that mom had had. However he was Dx with CHF, Afib, leaky heart valve and another heart issue - he had already been dealing with AD and vascular dementia. He was done no more rehab no more treatment. As far as I know dad was never in physical pain and the pain meds were never used but he was taken off all meds except those that kept him comfortable - like the drugs to keep fluid from building up.

So the question, is mom looking to stop active treatment of her heart disease, if so then you should speak with her, your siblings and her docs about options.

Hope this helps - also check out the care topics at this website for more information on palliative and hospice care. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to cweissp
katepaints Jul 22, 2021
I was surprised to learn that now palliative care differs from hospice in that palliative care—keeping someone comfortable—is done while receiving treatment, whereas hospice is for people with a terminal condition. Those terms used to be almost interchangeable. I learned about this while trying to figure out care for my brother with glioblastoma.
I agree with other postings that say to check with her doctor. They will guide you in the right direction.

I seriously doubt that you or your mom would even desire surgery at her age. Your profile says that she is 88. So, you can be satisfied with palliative care. If the situation worsens drastically, then by all means, utilize the services of hospice care. They will offer comfort care, a social worker and clergy.

Best wishes to you and your mom.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
CTYankeeinOR Jul 23, 2021
Thanks for the advice. One reason I asked is that my dad passed the night before I was going to ask for hospice care to help out my sister (they took in him to her house for 4 months). I was also concerned with her quality of life. Mom can barely stand and pivot to get on her commode. My sister lives nearby and has been great with assistance (just as I did for her when she had my dad). I live alone with her in my house, and am worried about burning out myself. Surgery is not an option at this point.
Ask your moms cardiologist. I asked my moms about a year before she died and he transferred her to a group that helped me manage her CHF more intimately. I had a doctor/nurse who were immediately available. I was already working with a great HH Agency that was also very responsive. I wish I had asked again but she actually passed from aspiration pneumonia. I would have spared her the last hospitalization if I had asked.
With my DH aunt, when she became incontinent, I asked for more baths from the HH. They explained she could get those through Hospice. She qualified because of her dementia.
So, ask your moms doctor or call a hospice and discuss. If she’s not eligible now, you will learn a bit more about when she would be. It’s been a good move for aunt and me. She was already on homebound home health so it wasn’t a huge change, just more help. Plus some of her expenses are covered which allows more funds for extra hours for her aide. And it’s good to have them onboard before she goes into a deep decline. I hope this helps.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to 97yroldmom

I thought someone with significant medical issues could include Palliative Care any time during the course of their illness. It seems worth investigating the Palliative Care options in your area.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to RedVanAnnie

See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter