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My Mom, 87 has advanced dementia, radiation colitis, high blood pressure and living in a memory care, assisted living facility. She has had 7 hospital admissions within the last 4 months since she has been at the care facility, 6 in which she had partial blockage that were passed with IV fluids. Hospital said due to the radiation to her intestine 18 years ago for colon cancer she will live with chronic colitis and the hospital visits most likely will continue. Nursing director from the care facility mentioned that I should speak with her doctor about Hospice Care. I do not feel my Mom is at that point. She eats, participates with others at times when she is up to it, has the will, functions somewhat independently with some assistance and monitoring by the staff and myself. Any input as to why they want to have Hospice at this point when I was not told by her doctor that she was at the end of life?

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How does the poor dear even make it through that many procedures without being physically and mentally exhausted? Does she recover well between each occurrence?

I can’t help but to think your mother may be tired of it all. I don’t know what procedures she has had but that is a lot of trips to the hospital and poking and prodding for an elderly woman. I hope she tolerates all those stressors.

However, I would have a heart to heart & a come to Jesus discussion with her PCP, or whichever provider knows her best. Talk about your mother’s prognosis and quality of life going forward and when exactly you are willing to let her go. It sounds like you are having a problem with your mother’s decline. If one of the nurses broached Hospice for your mother, her providers have probably discussed this amongst themselves already.

Chronic gastritis and all her GI inflammation from mechanical procedures increases risk for a GI bleed. The family should talk about what to do if this happens as the treatment will cause more harm than good and could be futile.

Wishing you the best outcome.
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Reply to Shane1124
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My mthr was on hospice for close to 2 years after her colon cancer surgery. Then she graduated because she had stopped declining and no longer qualified. The weekly nursing visit caught small things before they became larger and kept get out if the hospital. Yes, it sounds horrible because it's for those nearing death. But really the question for the doc is, would you be surprised if this person died in the next six months? It's not a death sentence, but a way to make a person at the end of life more comfortable. I personally hate going to the hospital just as a patient family member. It would be much worse to be the patient! Hospice services are under used and are for at least the last six months. We miss our nurse and the benefits of the extra attention. Mthr has services in her memory care and that helps staff too. I'd jump at the chance when mthr is again eligible once she begins to decline again.
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Reply to surprise
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7 hospital admissions and 6 blockages in 4 months is a lot more than chronic colitis and is the reason for the hospice recommendation. We need to eat to live and unfortunately your mother's digestive system is failing, and it sounds like the hospital has told you there is nothing more that can be done to prevent the blockages from recurring. In my experience the doctors you meet in the hospital are most often generalists whose focus is on patching up an acute illness and then passing you along for further specialized care, I think you need to speak with her specialist, who can detail her options and the likely progression of her bowel dysfunction.
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Reply to cwillie
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You could talk to her doctor about when hospice may be appropriate. Tell him mom's facility wanted you to check into it.

Hospice is usually used when there are six months or fewer to live. I agree, it does not sound like your mom is to that point yet. Some are on hospice for years prior to death. Some will no longer need hospice and will be better until they are accepted again.

Hospice does offer additional services that mom's facility may think would benefit her. Maybe that is what they are after, hospice services are paid for by Medicare and their services also helpful to the facility.
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Reply to gladimhere
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