Skip to main content

View Diary: Caveats for Caretakers (6) (25 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Hospice for years? (12+ / 0-)

     I made the decision for palliative care for my father after he had a heart attack.  He's had dementia for years and lives with me.  Hospice came for the time they were allowed, roughly 6 months and then they quit us.  They said my father wasn't terminal and his condition had "stabilized."  Medicare pays for hospice if a person is expected to live 6 months or less.  Medicare doesn't pay for palliative care.  People told us as well, that people stay on hospice for years, but we found out that's not really the case. We've been lucky to get some help through the VA and other private home care we pay for so Dad can still live with us in my home. He and my mother have medical powers of attorney, so I know their wishes.  When the time comes for them to pass, so long as I remained focused on them being comfortable through the process, I don't think guilt is something I'll feel.  I'm sorry you have had to go through the guilt you feel.  It seems to me you did the best you could do for your mother.    

    Shine like the humblest star.

    by ljm on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 09:29:28 PM PDT

    •  If it can be proven that the person is (9+ / 0-)

      still in decline, Medicare will continue to pay for hospice--they did for my Mom--although she died a week or so after she was re-certified. I had to fight her doctor who listened to her rather than me--she was very "up" and lucid when visiting him.  Thankfully the agency which provided Hospice (which wasn't much--3 hours a week)  sent its doctor over and allowed a friend who helped with Mom's care give testimony about how Mom had declined over the past 6 months.  Her "numbers" were good though--so it was a battle.  

      "The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them." ~Mark Twain

      by PoliSigh on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 10:48:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here in Oregon, a relative of mine recently spent (10+ / 0-)

      about 15 months on hospice before she died, and the family had no difficulty in keeping her in the program.  Perhaps there is some difference from place to place in how hospice agencies apply the rules.  Our experience with hospice was wonderful (and I don't hesitate to apply such a positive word).  Our relative was given a great deal of support to be able to spend her last days at home (which was her strong desire), and she and her family members received a lot of counseling to help with the process of letting go.

      So, I would like to stress that when it works properly, hospice care need not have any negative connotations.  Still, there is no way for us, as adult children, to make these kind of decisions without stress and second-guessing.  

      To Disinterested Spectator, your love and care for your mother shines through, and I would like to reassure you that she would thank you for helping her in her last days.  It feels strange to make decisions for our parents--isn't it supposed to be the other way around?  But to delay, or to prolong their suffering because we can't stand to take the responsibility, seems wrong as well.  I hope you can find peace with your decisions.

      •  Some times it is a matter of space (3+ / 0-)

        In the county I live in there are not enough hospice beds available for those who may live longer. At least that is what I keep getting told.

        "the government's role should be to uplift, enlighten, educate and ennoble the citizen, not oppress them with taxation and intrusive laws," Gatewood Galbraith, Historic Marijuana Advocate, aka "The Last Free Man In America," RIP 1-3-12

        by SmileySam on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 10:39:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site