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Hi. I am just wondering what it means to be stabilized when receiving inpatient hospice care at a hospice facility.


I am very new to this -- my mom, who lives with my teen daughter and me, had refused to go to a doctor for 7 years, was unwell for most of the past year, was unable to eat for the past month, and finally let me take her to a doctor. She was sent to the hospital immediately, given a Stage 4 cancer diagnosis, metastasized, growths in her throat, lung, and liver, prognosis of "weeks, not months", and was admitted to a hospice facility in 4 days. She wants no treatment, nothing invasive, so that's that.


The hospice social worker told me that people do not stay there for weeks, definitely not months, and that the purpose of inpatient hospice is to stabilize my mom. It has only been 2.5 days in the hospice facility (yes, a week from initial diagnosis to this), so they have been working out a pain med schedule and seeing what allows her to swallow. She is feeling better -- she must have been in some awful pain -- and I am now starting to wonder if and when they will release her from inpatient and send her home. I want to prepare for that, if I can prepare for that at all, figure out her care at home, since I work full-time and I am the only person who will be caring for her. All I've heard is that if they are still changing her pain med schedule, she is not yet stabilized... but I imagine it will change until the end of her life, as her pain increases. And I know that home caregivers increase pain meds at home, so I am confused.


Anyone have someone in patient hospice and have them sent home? How well were they, what were the hallmarks of being ready to have hospice care in the home?

How are things going with your mom, Liaainn?
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Is mom on Medicaid? Have you asked the Social Worker if you should be applying to Medicaid, because you'll need to place mom if they discharge her?

Many Nursing Homes will accept patients Medicaid Pending, meaning that an application has been filed. There are also situations in which Medicaid applications can be expedited due to the patient being close to death.

We're here with you!
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Thank you so much for answering! I don't really know what's happening -- we are pretty freaked out.

All I know is that if they keep changing her med schedule, she's not yet stabilized. As this is all new to everyone, it is unsurprising that this may take awhile. It is a lovely hospice facility -- I don't think they are in any rush to get her out, but are really seeing to her care and trying to find what will make her comfortable.

Thank you so much for your sentiments.
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Me again ~

My best friend and I went thru hospice care at the same time. Sept 8th of last year. Her mom, my dad.

Tracy's mom had final stages of liver failure. They gave her days and not weeks to live. They stabilized her and sent her home from the hospital. They set up all her meds plus morphine and another med to help with anxiety like ativan or something. They brought in a hospital bed and other equipment to help with her care.

She ate a little for the first couple of days ~ soup, pudding...

Tracy hardly left her side during this time. Her 3 bros. wanted nothing to do w this and her father sat in the front room the whole time except to try and get her to the bathroom, which Tracy said after the 2nd time, Never again. She started using diapers.

Tracy administered the drugs every 4 hrs on the dot. Her mom was able to communicate somewhat thru the 1st few days then slowly slipped into a coma like state. Tracy's mom passed on the 8th day.

Tracy was exhausted and sad but said she was so glad to have been there at the end. Her nerves were shot for quite a long time tho. She didn't have time to grieve until I noticed months later she would break down outta nowhere and she would say she was thinking about her mom.

It's a sad story but I think you should start getting yourself prepared if you plan on keeping her home til her passing ~

My dad, on the other hand lasted 6mos. It was the HARDEST work I ever did in! my! life! I put him in a hospice facility so I could get a few days rest and he passed there the second day. I think he was waiting for the time to be alone to pass.

Hang in there lovebug ~ and look here for other answers.

Much love with you today ~ J
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liaann12 Aug 25, 2018
Thank you. I am a research freak, so I am reading everything I can about this process, so I can prepare my kid and myself. I'm just shell shocked, really.
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hey Liaann ~

I don't answer q's very often but I read this site religiously while my father was still alive. So keep yourself posted here for answers from this community. It is comforting and vital for you now.
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Liann, first off, (((((((hugs))))))))! This must be so very, very hard for you and your daughter. How are you doing with this news?

So, I have not been through a hospice facility experience. My mom was in a NH when she went on Hospice, so I don't have any advice about the stabilization part.

Have you spoken to the Nurse about mom's particular situation? It sounds like the SW is talking policy, not specifically about your mom.

If your mother were to be sent home, she would need caregivers with her 24/7. Are you thinking about bringing in round the clock caregivers? Have you considered having mom enter a nursing home with Hospice care?

I would strongly lean towards NH care, given that she needs meds administered.
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liaann12 Aug 26, 2018
Thanks for the (hug). I just want to do right by my mom and my kid; figuring out how to do that is overwhelming.

Finances are essentially nonexistent, so the NH option is scary — but I am seriously considering it, and my mom knows there may be no other way. This is all so new that I think no one knows what the real options are now. I know I don’t.
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