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At what point did you consider hospice for a loved one?

Tubbs
Posts: 51
Joined: Jul 2009

I had a brief talk with the social services rep at my wife's hospital. She said that 'hospice' doesn't necessarily mean a rapid end of life scenario, but basically means making the patient more comfortable as they've come to terms with their prognosis.

I am not sure how long my wife has. Depending on the results of her most recent radiation treatments, it could be months or it could be up to a year or so. Very unpredictable which makes it even harder to 'plan.'

She informed that hospice can help arrange to have a patient stay near the beach, go to Europe or whatever they want to do, while having their meds and family near.

I've always thought of hospice as where my grandmother was: a room in a quiet home where she was taken care of round the clock as she faded quickly into passing.

Can anyone throw in their two cents who has experience with what hospice means exactly? How did you loved one handle the conversation? What should I be prepared for? Thank you.

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1597
Joined: Aug 2009

I tend to think that it is better to bring in hospice as soon as possible. They are very helpful and can now happen in various settings including home, hospital, or hospice houses. The thing I liked the best was the 24/7 phone number I could call with questions. Our hospice didn't offer any bucket list help. We did go to Yosemite on our own. Larger hospices may have greater access to such things. I left the decision up to my husband. It was his life and I felt he had the right to choose. We did discuss it as a possibility early in his battle. We discussed his memorial service early as well. Anyway, when the doctor said there was nothing more he could do, hospice was the next obvious step. I asked him if he was ready for that step, and he chose to do so.

Hospice provides services for the whole family. They deal with doctors, pain management, medical equipment like oxygen, and documents like do not resuscitate forms. We never saw a bill from them either. They bill insurance and accepted that as full payment.

My thoughts are with you as you move to this even more difficult time. Take care, Fay

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