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Has anyone ever used this for a loved one in a nursing home? They say the sooner the better results. How did it work out for you?

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Thanks everyone. So sorry it took so long to reply! I just never catch a break! Too much to go in to, I may have worded my question wrong, I totally don't know much about this stuff. We had a bad experience with my sister almost 2 years ago on hospice. So when her Dr. suggested Pallative Care, we were not too sure about it. She is in a nursing home, so was curious if anyone had ever experienced it. I appreciate all the answers, it sure is a lot to take in and research.
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Reply to katie30157
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I think that CountryMouse’s comment about withdrawing maintenance drugs is the answer. My MIL was kept alive for over five years in a NH, until she was 3 months short of 100, by carefully managed drugs for blood pressure etc. She did not want this to happen, which she had said and written clearly. Nursing homes frequently feel that they are legally obliged to ‘do all they can’, and in many cases palliative care is only available for people who have a terminal illness. It is very hard to say that it is ‘the will of God’ that people should be kept alive in this way, and it is a bad result for them, their families and the national budget (there are more positive ways to support ageing than this one).

Find out exactly what they are suggesting and make a decision about what your LO would want. If you start the process, you should still have a chance to stop if you think it’s the wrong thing to do.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Funny that this should catch the eye of all the foreigners on the forum -
I believe from reading here that palliative care is an actual program in some states but I'm uncertain if there would be any benefit for someone already in a nursing home
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/palliative-care-what-is-it-and-how-is-it-different-from-hospice-197744.htm
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Reply to cwillie
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When you say, "has anyone ever used this..." it makes me wonder what you mean by palliative care.

Strictly speaking, palliative care is not so much a process or a system or a plan; the distinction is between treatment that is aimed at curing or inhibiting disease, and treatment that is focused on the comfort and wellbeing of a patient. It also protects the patient from unpleasant and pointless investigations such as bone marrow biopsies, gastroscopies and the like.

So, for example, say you had a patient with chronic heart disease who had opted for palliative care, it would be appropriate to give the patient diuretics to relieve the unpleasant symptoms of fluid overload, but not appropriate to subject the patient to surgery, or implant a pacemaker; and once diuretics had ceased to be effective you would discontinue them. You would also withdraw prescriptions for maintenance drugs unless they were demonstrably improving the patient's quality of life.

The thing is. If a person has many years to live, or a good enough chance of full recovery, then it is worth it to him to put up with even quite serious downsides of drugs and other therapies. But once a person is approaching the end of his life, the trade-off doesn't work any more. If a drug gives you headaches or makes you feel sick or stops you enjoying a glass of wine with your dinner, and it isn't going to do much for you, what's the point of taking it? If you're in your sixties and you start losing weight or become anaemic, a colonoscopy is a reasonable investigation; but if you're ninety five and frail, it probably isn't - it's strenuous and uncomfortable and the information to be got from it is of no realistic use to you.

At its starkest, I suppose you could say that standard medicine aims to stave off death for as long as possible, at all costs. Palliative medicine recognises when "the cure is worse than the disease," and aims instead to make the patient's remaining life, and then end of life, as comfortable as possible.

Talk to the medical and nursing team at your loved one's NH and ask them to explain what they're recommending - they may use the term Palliative Care to describe a more clearly defined, formal process. Is your loved one currently receiving active treatment for any specific conditions? Has there recently been a review of his/her prescriptions?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Dear Katie, 'hospice' in the USA seems to be similar to 'palliative care' where I am in Australia, where 'hospice' also has a different meaning. Many many posters have used hospice in a nursing home, and you can see more about it on this site. Click on 'care topics' on the right hand side of the screen. An alphabetic list will come up, and scroll down to 'hospice'. Perhaps because hospice is usually involved when end of life is not too far away, some people on the site blame hospice for expecting and then bringing on the end. But most posters have very positive experiences with hospice support. Both hospice and palliative care are about providing comfort support but not continuing to treat a condition (eg terminal cancer) that cannot be cured.
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Anyone?
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