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Mom is on the cusp of Hospice eligibility. She's in Assisted Living, end stage, still has a good appetite (but must be spoon fed), wheelchair bound, can't speak but still enjoys our visits very much. She's not experiencing pain but we worry about use of pain meds making her less able to enjoy our visits. Trying to decide if now is the time to start at the insistence of one family member. Thanks for your time!

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Tell the interfering relative to please back off. Hospice is not the be all and end all, one size fits all solution. It is totally up to the patient. Our mom was bedridden and spoon fed, but that does not meet the criteria for Hospice. Multiple crippling strokes do not make you a Hospice candidate. On the other hand a terminal disease and a doctor who gives you less than 6 months to survive will qualify you. It is the patient's decision, nobody else's.
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You really should meet with a hospice administrator and learn about the services and methods that are used for end of life care. There is lots of misinformation out there about what hospice does and does not. Make sure your family completely understands the process.

When her doctor determines that there is 6 mos or less she is eligible for hospice.
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After reading all the comments from those who have had a negative experience with hospice, I think my foremost thought is to be present when choosing a hospice provider and to work closely with their caregivers. First, understand that hospice is providing end of life care and seeking to keep your loved one peaceful and comfortable. Morphine is available for those who need it, and in their final days many do, but it should not be administered to those who don't.

I think the vast majority find their hospice providers to be a blessing, however, don't be afraid to question what they are doing, don't be shy about disagreeing with their methods/recommendations, and feel free to change providers or remove your loved one from hospice altogether if things seem to be not right or if your concerns are not being addressed.
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You might also consider "comfort care", which is what my mom is on now. No aggressive treatments, no transfer to hospital unless they suspect a fracture. If she gets pneumonia, they do oral antibiotics. This may be what your relative is suggesting.
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Um, it's not up to a family member. Mom can be evaluated for Hospice, but must be found eligible in order to have Hospice services.

If your mother is not in pain, why do you think Hospice would give her pain meds? Were you told that by a Hospice provider? If that was the case, I would not use that Hospice organization!

You say your mom is "end stage". End stage dementia? If she still has a good appetite and can sit in a wheelchair, that's exactly where my mom is right now. Not end stage at all. When she can no longer swallow tells you something, I think.
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