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When is it time for Hospice? 
Started by J.D.
05 Dec 2012, 4:24 AM

My Mom is feeling quite at home at a retirement lodge.  However her health finds her in the hospital every three weeks and it will get worse.  It is a great ordeal to get an ambulance and have her sit in the emergency ward of a hospital in order to get the blood transfusions that cant be provided in her retirement lodge.  Her kidneys are failing, she has internal bleeding and has diabetes, but she still is able to transfer from bed to chair by herself (with difficulty) and is still eating well.  Would my Mom qualify to enter a hospice facility?

Take care to all who are making difficult decisions each day.
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Reply by moderator | modératrice
06 Dec 2012, 4:19 AM

Hi JD,

Welcome to Virtual Hospice. I'm so sorry to hear about your Mom. It is obviously stressful for both you and her.

Your question was partially answered in our Asked & Answered section here:

"Decisions about admission to a hospice depend on the care a person needs and the specific hospice setting. For example, someone may enter a hospice when care can’t be provided at home or when other options have been ruled out. The admission criterion varies among areas and among individual hospices. Palliative care providers or programs in your area may help you determine the best timing for admission to a hospice."

I know it's frustrating to hear it "depends", but there are many factors to conside. Our team of experts may be able to give more specific details if you share your Mom's location with them. You can submit a confidential question to them on the Ask a Professional page. 

in this discussion hospice started-what do I expect? members share their stories and experiences about hospice.

Have you asked your Mom's doctor about palliative care and hospice? How are you doing?
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Reply by J.D.
06 Dec 2012, 8:04 PM

Thank you so much.  The virtual hospice is a great resource for me since I live far away from my mother.  I will discuss what palliative care options are open to my mother with my sister and brother who are taking on most of the burden.

That was very touching that you asked how I am.  The answer is that I am doing much better than my sister who is jumping through a lot of hoops to get our mother the care she needs, these days.

Thanks again.
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Reply by moderator | modératrice
07 Dec 2012, 2:49 PM

Hi JD,

I appreciate importance of the role that your sister and brother have accepted, as well as the stress that comes with caring for your mother. But one should not underestimate the challenges and pressures of long distance caregiving. Have you seen this thread between NatR and SherriT?
I'm sure there are ways you can help your mom by helping your siblings. Are they willing to accept your help from afar? I'm always careful not be the daughter who comes swooping in to "fix" everything without really understanding the "on the ground" situation. But it can be tough. Have you encountered that? 
 
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Reply by J.D.
08 Dec 2012, 1:59 PM

Hello,
Thank you for the thread to NatR and Sherri.  I have also read a lot of the resource material that I was referred to when I "asked a professional".  This virtual hospice is really helpful.  My sister is a nurse so she is much more familiar with health issues.  I'm sure that some of my suggestions show my lack of knowledge but she seems to be patient with me.  I will keep trying to support her as best I can.
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Reply by NatR
15 Dec 2012, 12:46 AM

Hello J.D.,

I am sorry to hear about your mom and her failing health.  I also can identify with your being at a distance.  That adds to your stress I am sure - but if you have two siblings close to mom - that will help - your mom has support and their presence.

i assume that the sister living close to mom is also the nurse?
She will be able to make the decision as your mom's needs and her health changes.

it isn't easy, but I am glad you have found the forum helpful already.
perha
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Reply by NatR
15 Dec 2012, 12:49 AM

Oops 
accidentally pressed enter by mistake. Sorry

i am hoping that your sister and the nursing staff taking care of mom will be able to decide when the time is right for your mom to be moved to a different level of care and comfort

Let us know how things are going and if you need support we are here,
Best wishes,
NatR 
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Reply by J.D.
16 Dec 2012, 1:37 PM

Thank you for your kind words.  I do feel blessed to have a sister that is so dedicated to our Mom.  It has been an emotional roller coaster for her as my Mom's needs change daily.  It was good to be able to forward my sister the advice I received from Virtual Hospice as she needed reassurance that she is doing the best that she can for our Mom.
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Reply by moderator | modératrice
13 Jan 2013, 1:20 PM

Hi JD,

We haven't heard from you in a while. How are you? How is you Mom doing? Did you visit over the holidays?

I thought you might be interested in connecting with AdoptedSon on this conversation thread:
While your situations aren't exactly the same, I'm sure he'd like to share with another son who loves and cares about his aging mother.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Colleen
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Reply by J.D.
13 Jan 2013, 2:27 PM

Hello,
Thank you for connecting me with AdoptedSon.  I will chat with him. 

My mother made it through Christmas and just celebrated her 89th birthday.  Her hemoglobin is at 73.  She had a beautiful birthday lunch and seemed very pleased but as soon as she got back to her room she had forgotten what just happened. 

The doctors at emergency departments have rebuked my sister for bringing my mom for blood transfusions.  Hemotologists dont want to take her case.  Geriatric physicians say she does not require an assessment.  Outpatient clinics wont allow blood transfusions.  So the system does not cover my mother's situation.  We now have a letter from a hemotologist that encourages the emergency doctors to treat her when we bring her in.

Thanks for listening!

Paulette
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