How many days in hospice?


My mom was just enrolled into hospice Monday with a weak heart and malnutrition (weight loss). How long do you suppose she has before she passes?

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Helping Mom,
The dose of Lorazepam is low but is given four times a day. They are probably noticing signs of agitation in your mom and are are keeping her anxiety-free around the clock.
(I take 1 mg. most nights before bed due to insomnia, to make sure I stay asleep.)

Signs of agitation could include; verbal or physical outbursts, general emotional distress, restlessness, pacing, shredding paper or tissues, sleep disturbances, delusions, hallucinations.

It is not 'necessarily' a sign the time is close.

This is from WebMD (which seems pretty accurate);
When death is within days or hours, your loved one may:
Not want food or drink, stop peeing and having bowel movements, grimace, groan, or scowl from pain, eyes tear or glaze over, pulse and heartbeat are irregular or hard to feel or hear, body temperature drops, skin on their knees, feet, and hands turns a mottled bluish-purple (often in the last 24 hours), breathing is interrupted by gasping and slows until it stops entirely.
If they're not already unconscious, your loved one may drift in and out. But they probably can still hear and feel.
At the End;
In the last days or hours, your loved one may become restless and confused and have hallucinations so upsetting they may cry out, strike out, or try to climb out of bed. Stay with them. Try to keep them calm with soothing music and gentle touch. Sometimes medication helps. ((This is when the Lorazepam is increased. But this isn't the case with everyone.))
Hugs to you-this is a hard time.
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My FIL recently passed away while on Hospice and in our home. He had a Lung Cancer diagnosis, and also had Pneumonia and Sepsis. We had him 9 weeks. One thing that we noticed was that in the final 4 weeks, every few days or so, his condition deteriorated further, and you could see the escalation two fold evey day in his final 2 weeks or so. He had agitation, increased sleepiness, decreased interest in eating, he became very needy, not wanting into be alone, as they are scared too, and finally we could see that his infection was returning, and all we could do was to see that he was kept comfortable as much as possible. His final 3 days he was mostly unconscious, and we swabbed his mouth to keep him moist, kept him cool with cool clothes and his pain meds of course too, as he was unable to swallow. It was a very fulfilling yet an emotionally painful time, but we know we did our best, as he so wanted to die at home, pain free as much as possible and surrounded by his loved ones, and he was. 

Our Hospice team was Amazing, and supported us through the whole process, without them it would have been impossible to do on our own.

Good luck, know that your time with her is precious and limited, so speak of all the things you wish to know and share with her, get good rest, stay Organized with good patient record keeping, meds diet, and such and a calendar for all of the visits, plus don't over schedule visitors as she may tire easily and Hospice will probably be in several times per week and out all can become quite exhausting to you and her. Do rely on your Hospice team to guide you through this process, and do take advantage of every bit of help that is offered from Hospice, family and friends, as you will need the help. It is not easy, but worth it, for sure! God bless!
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My mom was on hospice for eight months when she passed. It varies, patients are all very different. Hospice workers have experience, and can make a best guess, but they do not have crystal balls.
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Helping, are you talking to the Hospice folks, i.e., the nurses and social workers about your questions?

Enrolling in Hospice does NOT mean that your mom's death is days away. It means that she has conditions that cannot be cured and might reasonably be expected to die within 6 months.

My mom was declared " Hospice eligible" more than two years before she died.
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HelpingMom77, you can google "signs of dying in 2 weeks," "symptoms of dying in 3 months," "10 signs death is near," etc. BUT, my understanding is that so often it is really just not something easily determined. Your mom can stabilize where she is and have months or even more, or she could continue to decline with a rapid trajectory or slowly. I'M NOT A DR or NURSE, but maybe the anti-anxiety med could help with her appetite.
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Hospice has started my mom on Lorazepam .5mg 4 times a day for her anxiety. Is this a signal the time is close?
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Yes, speak with the hospice nurse. My mom had a stroke while in the NH and I put her on hospice then.
Living 4 hours away I asked the hospice nurse to please call me if she thought my mom was going to pass away.
Sure enough, the hospice nurse Holly called me @ 8:30am & told me she thought it would be soon, and I was able to get up there by 3pm. My mother passed at 3am that night. My mother lasted 3 weeks after the first stroke, and I suspect she had another stroke as she no longer knew me or my brother, stopped eating, & her breathing was shallow and fast.
I was so grateful for the hospice nurse in making a point to call me as she promised.
To this day I thank my lucky stars for Holly & called her a few weeks after the funeral to thank her as her call to me assured that my mom would not die alone.
That meant the world to me.
I am sending prayers for you and your family through this difficult time. It’s a horrible vigil but my faith in God helped me through it. 
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I agree to talk with the hospice nurse - they usually have a lot of good information. My MIL's hospice also had an excellent social worker who was good at helping family members work through what to expect. Every case is so individual (and often unpredictable) that we can't give you a time frame here.

MY MIL was on hospice for just over 3 weeks. My father for a couple months.
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Helping... I couldn't answer that question even if there were more details. Sometimes folks who go on hospice are taken off in 6 months since they have stabilized. Other times, hospice just keeps getting renewed. I knew one man who was on over 2 years. My neighbor was on for 2 days. My Mom, 6 months and one week!
You might ask the hospice nurse working with your Mom. He/she would have a better idea of your Mom's situation.
Blessings on both of you as she enters this new phase.
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