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Hospice stepping in to help...

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Old 06-12-2010, 08:32 AM   #1
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Hospice stepping in to help...

My dad (83 yrs old) has alzheimers and parkinsons. My mom (age 80) is taking care of him at home.

I live across the street.

I'm a single mom with an 11 yr old son and I work full time. I do what I can to help but it isn't enough. I have brothers and sisters who help out also but none of it is enough.

I've tried to convince my mom to bring in help. She swears she can handle it and she promises she will bring in help when she needs it but for right now, she swears she is fine.

I worry. Alot.

My mom attends a support group for caregivers and she learned that hospice offers services. She's been screened and now a nurse will come to their home several times a week. A home health aid will come to help with bathing him and whatever else needs to be done. The hospice worker has suggested that she take dad off of his alzheimers medication because he's past the point of it working. Hospice will provide his other medications which will save my mom alot of money.

I'm so grateful that my mom sought out help and is actually going to accept it. I didn't know hospice offered this type of service. Are any of you familiar with them stepping in in a situation like this? I always thought they just came in during the final months of life...Who knows how long my dad will could be could be weeks...there's just non way of knowing but I do see that he is declining quickly.

I'm just thankful today that my mom will get some much-needed help. I'm praying that she will take advantage of each and every service they offer. I'm worried about her health. The stress of taking care of my dad is overwhelming. I sat with him for about 7 hours last night while she went to a neice's graduation and honestly, its just so hard. It takes so much patience. She's a saint. She really is.

Anywho...back to my original question...

Has anyone had experience with hospice stepping in in a situation like this?

Prayers for all of you who are also dealing with this hiddeous disease.


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Old 06-12-2010, 08:46 AM   #2
Martha H
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Re: Hospice stepping in to help...

Dear Mary,

In my Mom's case, Hospice came in when she was near death. I believe the criterion is 6 months or less left to live. Perhaps they stetched that rule so that they could give your Mom some much needed help. In our experience they were wonderful!



Last edited by Martha H; 06-12-2010 at 10:29 AM.

Old 06-12-2010, 08:57 AM   #3
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Re: Hospice stepping in to help...

Thanks Martha...

I'm grateful they are stepping in. I'm grateful for any help my mom can get and (more importantly) she will accept.

The decline in my dad has been so rapid over the last 8 months or so. He might very well be within 6 months of death. I actually pray sometimes that he is because this disease is just so horrible.

God bless hospice. I know they are a wonderful organization.

Old 06-12-2010, 09:07 AM   #4
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Re: Hospice stepping in to help...

I just re-read the stages and I'd say my dad is hovering between stages 6 and 7-

I think I'm starting to realize that the end could be near.
On one hand, it seems like a relief. But even more, I just feel really sad. So many conflicting emotions and thoughts race through my heart and mind...

I'll be happy to know the suffering is over. And yet, I'm really scared and so very sad at the thought of losing my dad.

Last edited by OutOnALimb; 06-12-2010 at 09:08 AM.

Old 06-12-2010, 06:35 PM   #5
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Re: Hospice stepping in to help...

My wife's table mate (for meals) had the combination of these conditions – loss of lucidity (AZ) and spastic involuntary muscle 'contractions.' Hospice was a great 'benefit' to him although interference by blood relatives to extend his deteriorating discomfort was not - denial???

Hospice services can last indefinitely - some even are taken off the service - and reinstated – different paths for differing patients.

There is no 'given' for the life expectancy of a terminal patient – hospice is there to help - comfort care for you and him. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Take care of your son and yourself now – a higher being will soon take care of your Dad and Mom – as he will with those who remain.

Old 06-12-2010, 11:02 PM   #6
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Re: Hospice stepping in to help...

Out, the hospice here will accept a patient with late stage dementia and another complicating condition even if they are not within the 6 month window. We have a friend at home that has kept her mother at home. For the last several years a hospice team has been assisting her just as they are your mom. Someone comes in a few times a week to bath her and she has nurses visiting. I do know some that have been on hospice and gone off the service with improvement. We only called hospice near the end because I didn't want Dad to have to go back to the ER. He was falling and going to the ER repeatedly. Hospice has nurses and doctor's on call 24/7 so instead of going to the ER we just called Hospice and they came to check him out. It saved several trips to the ER.

As for the medication, yes Hospice will provide what they need. I had the paper work in my hands but Dad only lived less than a month after Hospice was called. As for the dementia medication, that is designed for the early and possibly mid stages and not the later stages. Beyond that the effectiveness of the medication is only for a while. Mom is off all dementia medication now and has been for the last year... and Dad was taken off as well. In my experience there is no need to leave them on in the later stages.

My Mom was much like your Mom until she fell victim to ALZ. She could do it and didn't need any help. I think that is the stubborn determination and independence of that generation. I am so very glad that your Mom has not only decided to accept help but is going to the meetings. Kudos to you and your siblings for helping At least Mom is not alone trying to deal with this. You are doing good and a great daughter for being concerned and trying to help!!

Love, deb

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