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Hospice/Palliative Care Question


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Old 03-16-2014, 06:56 PM   #1
DannyTX
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Hospice/Palliative Care Question

My dad is in his final stages and is in a nursing home. He is receiving excellent care. The home has a doctor, not his previous primary care physician, that is also overseeing his care, as well as most of the other patients in this facility. We are comfortable with the home’s doctor.

We have decided based on my Dad’s medical directive, as well as considering his deteriorated condition, to stop all medications except for palliative care medicines. It has been recommended to us to by his previous primary care physician to look into hospice care.

I don’t understand what hospice could or would do that the home won’t be doing if he is about to be only receiving palliative care. What is the difference? Also, the home seems to be carefully and tactfully steering us away from the hospice idea. Why would they care?

Last edited by DannyTX; 03-16-2014 at 06:57 PM.

 
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Old 03-16-2014, 08:45 PM   #2
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Re: Hospice/Palliative Care Question

Danny, I did opt for Hospice care for both my parents as they neared the end of life. They were not in a nursing home but a special dementia care unit in Assisted Living. Therefore they had limited in house medical care and one reason why I opted for Hospice care. I can not say enough positive about our Hospice team!

As for your Dad. First, if your Dad's care is paid for by Medicare/Medicaid, you need to find out if Medicare/Medicaid will pay for both Nursing Home and Hospice care. There are duplicate services and in some states Hospice does not service Nursing Homes for this reason. If your Dad is a private pay patient, then many of the services that the nursing home is providing would be provided by Hospice and covered by Medicare. Each state is different so you need to talk to those in your state.

I would talk to Dad's previous doctor and ask him why he recommended Hospice. He may have a very good reason that you can understand. I would also ask that the referral be made to Hospice. Let them come talk to you. They can give you information regarding what they can offer and if the situation is right for them to be there. Even if your Dad qualifies for Hospice you do not have to accept their offer of help if you decide to do something different. The third people I would talk to is the Nursing Home administration. I would ask them why they do not want Hospice care in their facility. Perhaps with all three sides you can make a good decision for your Dad.

What I do know from my experience with Hospice is that they were wonderful. Since their only focus is end of life comfort care they are the experts. We also eliminated all medication except comfort care medication and Hospice provided the comfort care medications. They also provided incontinence products. Mom had a doctor that visited at least once a month and otherwise as needed. She also had a nurse who visited as often as warranted, a CNA as needed, and a weekly visit from a social worker. I received a weekly phone call from the social worker and calls as needed from the nurse. It was another layer of care beyond the overworked nurse at that Assisted Living. My situation was a bit different.

SO check with the three parties involved (previous GP, Hospice, & Nursing Home). See what they all have to say. Then make a good decision for you and your dad

Love, deb

 
Old 03-16-2014, 09:44 PM   #3
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Re: Hospice/Palliative Care Question

Get Hospice!!! They can help in many ways that nursing homes can't. They will help your dad die peacefully. We had to decide about my dad too and many people said to and we did and glad we did. It is a personal decision though. Take care.

 
Old 03-17-2014, 08:04 AM   #4
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Re: Hospice/Palliative Care Question

I appreciate the feedback. I suppose we just need to learn more about our hospice program, the effect on our insurance coverage, etc.

 
Old 03-17-2014, 09:08 AM   #5
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Re: Hospice/Palliative Care Question

Danny, Do talk to all three parties involved and see what the situation is with your Dad in your state. If possible to use Hospice I do highly recommend their services. It is a wonderful organization and provides you with an additional layer of services to help care for your Dad. The more the better I say Good luck and know my thoughts are with you at this time. I have been in your situation twice and it is not easy... but can be made better with the right assistance and care for Dad

Love, deb

 
Old 03-17-2014, 12:08 PM   #6
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Re: Hospice/Palliative Care Question

In same places, Palliative Care is about the same as Hospice. Be sure to check and find out what each entails.

 
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