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are they different in Virginia than other states? does all medical support and hospitalization end. Sister in law has brain cancer, the home health nurses have suggested hospice to "help" her husband, does this mean the nurse thinks they're going to do everyday things? But once hospice is in can he take her to hospital or seek medical help? They told my uncle no more medical help once they were there. Please advise where I can find info or does he need to call the local hospice in his area and meet with them? Do they all operate differently?

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Hospice care is generally the same wherever you are. They are notified once it's been determined that the person has about 6 months left to live (although I've heard of hospice coming in sooner). And yes, once hospice steps in that means that there are no more life-prolonging measures taken. Hospice is about giving comfort to the patient and the family and ensuring that the person is not in any pain or distress. Since you have home health nurses they can probably refer you to a hospice company. Hospice workers cover pretty much everything you will need from bathing to nursing care. Whatever your needs, you will go through hospice. If your SIL is having trouble breathing hospice will supply oxygen (oxygen is considered a 'comfort measure'). If you've determined that you want your SIL to stay at home hospice will provide a hospital bed. They take care of everything and it's all done in a very timely manner (like within a day). But once you sign the papers for hospice you can't take your SIL to the hospital or arrange for any medical procedures.

Hospice is an enormous help not only to the patient but to the family as well. Because hospice does everything for your loved one all the family has to do is enjoy the time they have left with that person. The burden of care is no longer on the family. Hospice also offers visits from a chaplain if that's something you would like, they have special workers with special skills. My dad was on hospice, was a veteran, and our hospice had an elderly gentleman who was also a veteran (he volunteered his time with this hospice) and he would come and visit my dad and they'd talk about their time in the military. I can't say enough good things about hospice.

Once we signed up for hospice for my dad everything changed. We were no longer at the mercy of the nursing home. All we had to do is call hospice and they'd take care of everything. They came into the nursing home and sat with my dad so we could get a break, they'd bathe him, shave him....It lightened our load considerably. The idiot nurses at the nursing home refused (yes, REFUSED) to give my dad pain and anxiety medication so a hospice nurse would visit my dad every 4 hours to administer these meds. They just did everything. I wish we had signed up with them sooner than we did.

I strongly recommend hospice. It's as much for the family as it is for the loved one who's sick.
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