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If he has Medicare, hospice will be free.
I can’t see why you wouldn’t do it. It will probably make him more comfortable, help the nursing home staff which helps them with other patients and I am sure it will help you since they will provide updates and let you know what to expect when it becomes time for your lo to pass on.
They are there specifically for your loved one so I do not see why you wouldn’t do it if it is free.
There is probably a lot of time in the beginning where they figure out your lo and your wishes on things and stopping meds, but after that, I imagine it is just updates and maybe a question here and there that you will need to answer.
Why do you think you are resistant to the idea?
If the NH provides all the care your LO needs and your LO is comfortable, then I agree, why do it, but most NH are understaffed and the extra help, extra baths, maybe they even provide diapers and wipes, then it might be worthwhile to have them as part of the team. My mother is at home so hospice has been very helpful.
Our bath aide told me that once hospice comes into our local NHs, the staff takes advantage of them and don't do baths anymore! Do the family get a reduction in the cost-no! If you get hospice in for your LO, be very certain that the care your LO receives from the NH is in no way diminished because hospice has come in. Hospice services should be on top/or extra-not replacing NH care.
The services and care hospice provides when a LO is actively dying is very helpful and usually quite excellent. No harm in talking to them. You can use them when you think it is the right time, if ever.
Our bath aide told me that once hospice comes into our local NHs, the staff takes advantage of them and don't do baths anymore!
My mom is in a skilled nursing home, and she is also on hospice. Her nursing home is a good one, and hospice would not be necessary but here is why I like having hospice onboard:
1) I get regular objective reports from the hospice nurse who visits her. I can get information from the nursing home too, but they see her every day (as I do) and so sometimes don't notice sutile changes that the hospice nurse picks up on as she sees her 1 to 2 times per week.
2) The only other family we have here is my daughter who tries to visit my mom once a week, but her job often requires her to be out of town plus she has young children. My mom did not grow up here, so she doesn't have a base of friends nearby plus at 88 not many of her friends are around anymore anyway. So having visits from the hospice nurse, aide, social worker, chaplain, and volunteer gives her more attention than just me alone.
3) If I think something needs to be changed or done, I can always get in touch with the hospice nurse who can initiate any needed change quickly. The nursing home staff has to be first directed by the DON or the physician in charge of many patients where my mom's hospice team is only in charge of her.
4) It just makes me "feel better." Knowing that I am providing my mom with every single thing that can possibly be done.
My experience has been that hospice is easy to work with, very responsive, and the interview is very simple.
Hi Eric L,
I am a little confused. You mentioned your MIL is at home but still gets care from a hospice? Is that possible?
In addition to all of the thorough answers above-- we did not want LO to ever have to go to the ER or be admitted to hospital ever again. But the situation changed drastically two weeks ago, and all medical&family believed that the surgery and associated hospital were the only option if we wanted to se a pain-free end of life. You go off hospice to be in the hospital, and we came right back on hospice the minute she returned to her MC room. The same thing happened wit MIL. A couple of hospital visits for unrelated causes, and right back on hospice when home.
This approach (no more hospital) is the right one for us, because Mom's living will directions make it clear what she did and didn't want at end-of-life. With the surgery, we are not artificially prolonging life; in fact, due to the anaesthesia and stress we may have shortened it, but she is healing very nicely, so appears aimed towards a non-bedridden short term future. Time enough for the bed in awhile. So LO's previously stated wishes were important to us when calling in hospice.
Medicare pays for Hospice, but they don't pay any of the charges associated with room and board, no matter where the person is. That said, I would get hospice involved as soon as the LO qualifies. They are really helpful in more ways than can be counted. And their frequency of visits is tailored to the family and patient's needs. Just my 2 cents.
Hospice care has many benefits when your LO is in a facility. One of the biggest is relieving burdens on you, the family member, and having extra people to oversee your LO.
If your LO needs a special mattress, wheelchair, hospital bed - hospice brings it in.
No more trips to the ER unless the hospice nurse authorizes it.
Hospice will pay for and supply diapers and Chux (I had to buy these when my Mom was in MC. Maybe NH supply these.) That can be a big help.
Hospice meds (for comfort care) are provided with no copayment.
They have counselors and chaplains and social workers to help you at every turn.
Hospice is comfortable with End of Life issues and will be able to help you see when the end is coming. My own experience - maybe not yours - is that facilities focus on keeping folks alive, not necessarily on helping them to a good death.
But - you have to believe and accept the hospice philosophy. There will be no more treatment except that which is focused on keeping the patient comfortable.