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My mom is on a morphine drip in a hospital. She is quite alert and eating and drinking some. The information given to me has been somewhat contradictory to what's happening to mom. She is not fading. Her vital signs look great and so does she and she is in no pain. I read a bit about how this small dose of morphine can extend her life. The hospital is talking about sending her to a nursing home on hospice which I don't want for her nor does she. There is a possibility to take her home on hospice. Any advice? I love my mom and she just doesn't look like she is passing.

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My mom was in an independent living facility when I brought in hospice. She had atrial fib and pulmonary fibrosis and was having more episodes of her heart issues where she would go semi-comatose for 30-40 minutes, then bounce back to appearing "normal". You don't say what landed your mom in the hospital - what was it?

When I brought in hospice, they gave me morphine for her (it was a liquid that went under her tongue). I thought morphine was only for pain and she wasn't having any. The hospice nurse said the morphine helped her brain not register that she was having some breathing issues because of her lung condition. I didn't use any for several days, until the nurse said it would help her.

She was up and down with her behavior. Several days she was semi-comatose and then she'd bounce back and say she was "back to normal". I'd walk in expecting her to be on her bed semi-comatose and she'd be up and eating and watching TV. She couldn't remember the issues she was having and thought she was fine. The up and down was kind of crazy-making for me.

I was lucky to have access to caregivers within the facility through a home health operation. Initially I had them looking in on her twice a day (which they had done when she got meds - I stopped her meds when I brought in hospice), then upped that to every 2 hours. After five days of this up and down, mom became semi-comatose for two days and died on May 23, one week after she started hospice. She died the way she wanted to die, in her own bed without 24-hour caregivers. I had one scheduled to start on the day she died, when the hospice nurse thought she was going to pass that day. So I was able to go and stay with her until she passed.

Jeanne's question is good - is there someone who can be with her if she goes home? After just a week with my mom (with outside help), I was mentally and physically fried. I spent two nights on her loveseat trying to sleep with people coming in every 2 hours, waking me up. In spite of that fact, I wouldn't change any of that, for us it was the ideal solution.

Tell us more about why mom is in the hospital and what her medical history is and you'll get better answers.
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There is a good article on the Canadian Virtual Hospice website - topics - "Considerations for a Home Death", which covers some of the things we need to take into consideration when making these decisions. I realize things are different in the USA with your Hospice providers, but many of the points made in the article would be worth thinking about.
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If Mom goes home, can someone be with her 24/7? (More than one someone -- so everyone gets some time to themselves.)

My mother was on hospice in a nursing home. My husband died on hospice in our bedroom. Both of these options work. Most people would prefer to be in their own homes, but the level of care they need sometimes makes that impossible.

If your mother is not really in the final stage of her life, hospice won't change that. And if she improves so much that she is not eligible for hospice anymore, they will dismiss her. (That happened to my mother.)

Mom cannot continue in the hospital since they aren't able to do things to improve her condition. Whether it is in a nursing home or her home, hospice is very appropriate at this time.
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