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connecting with hospice

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2009

My husband is in the end stages of nsclc. I think it is time to get hospice involved with his care. He is very reluctant to let this happen. We have actually had an interview with them and they won't admit him without his permission because he is still coherent. I feel that I need some help managing his problems without having to call the doctor every time something happens. Can anyone give me any ideas how to talk to him to get him to agree?

Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2009

As much as I don't want to admit it, my husband is also at the end stages of nsclc. He has been having excruciating pain and the pcp, who has been managing his pain meds, suggested hospice a few weeks ago. We had our initial consult and were signing papers the same evening. His pain is now under control after changing his meds 4 times within 3 weeks. If the pcp hadn't suggested hospice to help with pain relief I don't think my husband would have been so ready to sign on either. Afterall, as we understand it, once hospice is called in the end is near. I often wonder why the dr couldn't make the meds change without involving hospice since he has to authorize the scripts anyway.
Hospice nurses visit him 3X a week and they stay for about an hour each time. They take his B/P and pulse and spend the remainder of the time charting and asking questions. One of them asked last week if he needed anything else and he told her an anniversary card for his wife. Sure enough, she purchased one for him, somehow got it past me and he was thrilled to give it to me yesterday.
Let your husband know that they are available to help. I find that they will answer questions that I may not have thought of at the weekly dr visits. And, you can contact them anytime you need and it seems to me that they respond quicker that any dr has over the last 2+ years of my husbands treatment. My husband feels better just knowing someone is coming to visit for a while. It gives him a break in our daily routine and most days he looks forward to it. Some days of course he isn't feeling well and doesn't want anyone to visit.
I hope that my posting has helped you in some way.
God Bless you both.

soccerfreaks's picture
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

I would suggest looking into home hospice as an alternative that your husband will probably accept. A nurse will come to your home daily (or as needed) and take care of those things you are unprepared or unqualified to do. The nurse can also educate you about things that you CAN do.

In the meantime, your husband is at home, in an environment that he is familiar with and comfortable in. Friends and family are much more willing to visit this familiar and perhaps more accessible place, too. Everybody hates hospitals/hospice centers; it's a simple fact.

It is a win-win-win situation. Hope this helps.

Best wishes to the two of you.

Take care,


PS I didn't read Arnieswife's response before posting my own. I am clearly in agreement with her.

Posts: 318
Joined: Feb 2008

I took care of my husband until he went to the hospital and never returned home. While I took care of him at home it was exhausting. I wish I had got someone in there to help because I was just getting over chemo myself and had to have my sons help which one could not mentally handle it. When the Hospice is there too it is part of the burden lifted. MY friend works for them and I wish I had done that. Not that I wasn't glad I was there but it was not easy and you can be in a better mood as well and be fresh to help out on the time hospice isn't there. But yes they have home care and I think he would appreciate it. Both Arnieswife and Joe are right. Insist on the home care it will help you too. God bless and my prayers are with you
Prayers and Hugs

Posts: 16
Joined: May 2009

My dad was very reluctant to call Hospice in, just like your husband is. He also had nsclc. Dad said "No, they help you die". I told him not to look at it like that because they don't help you die. They help your pain. Once I convinced him to just talk to them about it, he ended up accepting their help. Once they got involved he his pain was way better. They not only help the patient, but they help the caregivers too. He will be able to stay home, and they come to him. Hospice was a godsend. I don't think you or your husband will be disappointed. If they can reduce his pain, he will have a better quality of life and the two of you can enjoy the time you have together. Please try to convince him. They do a heck of a lot more than the doctors do. Take care you will be in my thoughts.

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