Hospice?

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LittleMermaid

Senior Member
Dec 25, 2017
541
483
63
#1
Hey guys. So as some of ya'll know already my grandma has pancreatic cancer. In March she was diagnosed. The odd thing is that they told us 6-12 months back then. Then a couple of weeks ago she needed to be checked and they told us that the cancer has spread to her liver. So now she has about 4 months left. :(

I love my grandma. My dad wasn't around much and she helped raise my brother and I. She is like a parent to me. I have never lost anyone close to me...so I don't really know how to take it.

Lately she has been very sick. She rocks back and forth and we think she may be losing her mind slowly. Sometimes she says odd things like "I'm 15...take me to my parents house" or "Are the dogs going to school in the bus?" She lives with my aunt but she works during the day. Thank God that right now it's summer and my teen cousins can watch her during the day.

What is difficult is getting her pain meds. She is on morphine. It's hard to get it refilled. The doctors recommended we put her in hospice. But there are a few problems and questions that I have about hospice.

So about 2 years ago my grandmother's oldest sister was put in hospice by her daughter. Within a few weeks of being put in it...she passed away. So now my grandma thinks that hospice is only there to kill you. She thinks that it's cruel for any daughter/son to put their parent in hospice. She is very upset with her niece and doesn't talk to her. She literally told this niece that she killed her own mother (my grandma's sister). So now that the docs tell us to put her in hospice...she says "no way!" But it's getting harder for us to take care of her. We are lost. And we don't want her to find out if we do put her in it because she will hate us. And we don't want her to go hating us. :(

So my questions are...
What exactly is hospice?
If she gets sick with something like the flu, will they treat the flu if she's in hospice? We are under the impression that they do not treat anything but just give pain meds in hospice.
For those that have lost loved ones...what is that like? Is there anything I need to do before? Or anything I can do to prepare myself for this?
 

Angela53510

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
10,045
912
113
#2
Hospice is a safe place for people who are dying. They give pain meds, take care of all their physical needs. They do not kill people.

People do die in hospices. They die, because they were put there because they were dying of some disease or other. People are not killed, they die because they were extremely sick. Most hospices have a time frame of 6 months till they die. Rarely, people leave hospice. But that is the exception to the rule. They are there because they are dying. They would have died anywhere else, too.

I was a chaplain in long term care. We also did palliative care, rather than move people to a hospice. The goal was to keep them comfortable, and also give them spiritual care, in the place I worked.

So, rest assured, a hospice is a good place for people who are dying. However, if your grandmother is hysterical about the mere suggestion, it might be very hard to change her mind about the function of a hospice. Especially if she has dementua. You need to discuss this with her doctor, who would have to be the one to put her in. I’m not sure how you would reassure her initially, but it would be a good place for her.
 

Angela53510

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
10,045
912
113
#3
As for preparing yourself for her death, the Bible is clear we all die. If you are a Christian, read your Bible and pray. Death is always hard, but God will help you. Expect it to hurt for up to a year. But you will always have her in your memories!
 
Aug 2, 2009
21,415
1,282
113
#4
Hey guys. So as some of ya'll know already my grandma has pancreatic cancer. In March she was diagnosed. The odd thing is that they told us 6-12 months back then. Then a couple of weeks ago she needed to be checked and they told us that the cancer has spread to her liver. So now she has about 4 months left. :(

I love my grandma. My dad wasn't around much and she helped raise my brother and I. She is like a parent to me. I have never lost anyone close to me...so I don't really know how to take it.

Lately she has been very sick. She rocks back and forth and we think she may be losing her mind slowly. Sometimes she says odd things like "I'm 15...take me to my parents house" or "Are the dogs going to school in the bus?" She lives with my aunt but she works during the day. Thank God that right now it's summer and my teen cousins can watch her during the day.

What is difficult is getting her pain meds. She is on morphine. It's hard to get it refilled. The doctors recommended we put her in hospice. But there are a few problems and questions that I have about hospice.

So about 2 years ago my grandmother's oldest sister was put in hospice by her daughter. Within a few weeks of being put in it...she passed away. So now my grandma thinks that hospice is only there to kill you. She thinks that it's cruel for any daughter/son to put their parent in hospice. She is very upset with her niece and doesn't talk to her. She literally told this niece that she killed her own mother (my grandma's sister). So now that the docs tell us to put her in hospice...she says "no way!" But it's getting harder for us to take care of her. We are lost. And we don't want her to find out if we do put her in it because she will hate us. And we don't want her to go hating us. :(

So my questions are...
What exactly is hospice?
If she gets sick with something like the flu, will they treat the flu if she's in hospice? We are under the impression that they do not treat anything but just give pain meds in hospice.
For those that have lost loved ones...what is that like? Is there anything I need to do before? Or anything I can do to prepare myself for this?
Hospice is about 1) the patient's comfort, and 2) maintaining the patient's sense of dignity. I have personal experience with this. What they will do is administer treatment and provide equipment needed to keep the patient comfortable and they also will bathe, dress and help the patient do menial tasks like brushing their teeth.

I'm sorry about your grandma. I know how difficult it is to take care of someone who's ill. I have to mention too that when the liver isn't functioning well it affects the mind because the body's ammonia level will start to rise and it affects the brain. I'm so sorry you and your family have to deal with that. Just know that its not really your grandma talking. If they had a way of reducing her ammonia levels she would go right back to normal. I've seen it happen.

About the flu - Yes, you can't have the flu without experiencing discomfort so they will treat her for it. When they say no more medical treatment they are talking about trying to stop the cancer.

I don't know what else to say except that I pray that God gives you and your family a lot of comfort and peace through this difficult time.
 
Aug 2, 2009
21,415
1,282
113
#5
EDIT: you should really check with the hospice about whether they will treat for the flu. I was just going by my own logic.
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
24,157
2,618
113
63
Florida
#6
Hey guys. So as some of ya'll know already my grandma has pancreatic cancer. In March she was diagnosed. The odd thing is that they told us 6-12 months back then. Then a couple of weeks ago she needed to be checked and they told us that the cancer has spread to her liver. So now she has about 4 months left. :(

I love my grandma. My dad wasn't around much and she helped raise my brother and I. She is like a parent to me. I have never lost anyone close to me...so I don't really know how to take it.

Lately she has been very sick. She rocks back and forth and we think she may be losing her mind slowly. Sometimes she says odd things like "I'm 15...take me to my parents house" or "Are the dogs going to school in the bus?" She lives with my aunt but she works during the day. Thank God that right now it's summer and my teen cousins can watch her during the day.

What is difficult is getting her pain meds. She is on morphine. It's hard to get it refilled. The doctors recommended we put her in hospice. But there are a few problems and questions that I have about hospice.

So about 2 years ago my grandmother's oldest sister was put in hospice by her daughter. Within a few weeks of being put in it...she passed away. So now my grandma thinks that hospice is only there to kill you. She thinks that it's cruel for any daughter/son to put their parent in hospice. She is very upset with her niece and doesn't talk to her. She literally told this niece that she killed her own mother (my grandma's sister). So now that the docs tell us to put her in hospice...she says "no way!" But it's getting harder for us to take care of her. We are lost. And we don't want her to find out if we do put her in it because she will hate us. And we don't want her to go hating us. :(

So my questions are...
What exactly is hospice?
If she gets sick with something like the flu, will they treat the flu if she's in hospice? We are under the impression that they do not treat anything but just give pain meds in hospice.
For those that have lost loved ones...what is that like? Is there anything I need to do before? Or anything I can do to prepare myself for this?
In a hospice only ordinary care is given such as feeding and bathing, and it such cases, administration of pain and anxiety medication but nothing much beyond that. It's where some of the sick go as the family no longer has the ability to take care of them in their last few days. You die with a certain measure of dignity that remains intact.
 

Demi777

Senior Member
Oct 13, 2014
5,748
569
113
Germany
#7
A hospice is pretty much a place to die. They can give pain meds etc but only take care of people who will die.
 

oldethennew

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2016
7,975
795
113
#8
when my husband's Mother had a severe stroke/cancer, we took her home with us
and cared for her until she died - at the end, we called hospice as she needed
a stronger pain reliever - two of the most precious and sympathetic women
came to our home to help make her as comfortable as they could, and while
they were here, she passed away in hub's and mine arms...the two angels
showed and told us just what we needed to do and every detail was
attended to and all worked out to the Glory of God...

we pray that others will have the same experience with their loved ones,
if they are caring for them in their homes...
 

hornetguy

Senior Member
Jan 18, 2016
5,074
477
83
#9
I don't have any experience with hospice, but both my dad and mom were under palliative care at the end of their lives. Both of them had signed a DNR (do not resuscitate), which means that if they go into cardiac arrest, there will be no "shocking them back", or no CPR.

Other than that, all of their needs were met, especially for the pain medication, and the "comfort". The nurses in both instances were absolutely wonderful, caring people, who truly wanted my dad and mom to be in no pain whatsoever. I highly recommend it, if you can get her to agree to it. And, while the death of a parent, or grandparent is difficult, we have assurance that they have stepped into the best part of life... and that we will see them again.

Prayers for you and your loved ones....
 

CandieM

Senior Member
Apr 10, 2018
354
183
43
27
#10
Do you know whether or not there is a home care service that is capable of providing in-home hospice care? Maybe that can make the situation a little easier for everyone, if it is applicable.

My mother's mother is in a similar situation. She has the symptoms ─ she refuses to see a doctor ─ of Huntington's Disease. She refuses to see a doctor to get a diagnosis, possibly for fear that she will be taken against her will and placed in some sort of hospital. My mother is up-in-arms about this, and so is my step-father. My step-grandfather of my mother's mother is also so old that he likely needs to be in a nursing home. Whether or not he will go is another story.

From my perspective, I can understand the emotions of both my grandmother and my parents. My grandmother doesn't want to be taken from her home, but my parents don't want her to suffer from a lack of care, since she is incapable of caring for herself. It's because of this that the idea of in-home hospice care seems more palatable to everyone. It's not likely that my grandmother will consider even this idea, but I wonder if the idea is put on the table so that my grandmother at least has a choice instead of someone making all the decisions for her, maybe it will help everyone out in the long run.

It's indeed a very difficult situation for everyone involved.
 

CS1

Moderator
Staff member
May 23, 2012
2,999
445
83
#11
Hey guys. So as some of ya'll know already my grandma has pancreatic cancer. In March she was diagnosed. The odd thing is that they told us 6-12 months back then. Then a couple of weeks ago she needed to be checked and they told us that the cancer has spread to her liver. So now she has about 4 months left. :(

I love my grandma. My dad wasn't around much and she helped raise my brother and I. She is like a parent to me. I have never lost anyone close to me...so I don't really know how to take it.

Lately she has been very sick. She rocks back and forth and we think she may be losing her mind slowly. Sometimes she says odd things like "I'm 15...take me to my parents house" or "Are the dogs going to school in the bus?" She lives with my aunt but she works during the day. Thank God that right now it's summer and my teen cousins can watch her during the day.

What is difficult is getting her pain meds. She is on morphine. It's hard to get it refilled. The doctors recommended we put her in hospice. But there are a few problems and questions that I have about hospice.

So about 2 years ago my grandmother's oldest sister was put in hospice by her daughter. Within a few weeks of being put in it...she passed away. So now my grandma thinks that hospice is only there to kill you. She thinks that it's cruel for any daughter/son to put their parent in hospice. She is very upset with her niece and doesn't talk to her. She literally told this niece that she killed her own mother (my grandma's sister). So now that the docs tell us to put her in hospice...she says "no way!" But it's getting harder for us to take care of her. We are lost. And we don't want her to find out if we do put her in it because she will hate us. And we don't want her to go hating us. :(

So my questions are...
What exactly is hospice?
If she gets sick with something like the flu, will they treat the flu if she's in hospice? We are under the impression that they do not treat anything but just give pain meds in hospice.
For those that have lost loved ones...what is that like? Is there anything I need to do before? Or anything I can do to prepare myself for this?
I am so sorry for your situtation .

I had to deal with this with my family just 6 months ago. My mother -in-law. Hospice is an " end of life care" program. What has to happen is the wishes of your grandmother have to be made very clear. And if she has placed someone in charge of carrying out her wish. Like a DNR. I do not know how old you are but you do need help. Please context your local Pastor and other family members.
 

blue_ladybug

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2014
64,606
2,977
113
#12
Ariel, your grandma has dementia, which means she is unfit to articulate exactly what she does or doesn't want. That being said, if she'd rather die at home in her own surroundings, then by all means that wish should be granted. However, hospice can take care of her physical needs as far as dressing, eating, walking, giving meds, etc.. Does she have a DNR (do not resuscitate) order? If not, then she needs to get her wishes down on paper and witnessed.
 

Marbear87

New member
Jun 17, 2018
13
20
3
#13
Hey guys. So as some of ya'll know already my grandma has pancreatic cancer. In March she was diagnosed. The odd thing is that they told us 6-12 months back then. Then a couple of weeks ago she needed to be checked and they told us that the cancer has spread to her liver. So now she has about 4 months left. :(

I love my grandma. My dad wasn't around much and she helped raise my brother and I. She is like a parent to me. I have never lost anyone close to me...so I don't really know how to take it.

Lately she has been very sick. She rocks back and forth and we think she may be losing her mind slowly. Sometimes she says odd things like "I'm 15...take me to my parents house" or "Are the dogs going to school in the bus?" She lives with my aunt but she works during the day. Thank God that right now it's summer and my teen cousins can watch her during the day.

What is difficult is getting her pain meds. She is on morphine. It's hard to get it refilled. The doctors recommended we put her in hospice. But there are a few problems and questions that I have about hospice.

So about 2 years ago my grandmother's oldest sister was put in hospice by her daughter. Within a few weeks of being put in it...she passed away. So now my grandma thinks that hospice is only there to kill you. She thinks that it's cruel for any daughter/son to put their parent in hospice. She is very upset with her niece and doesn't talk to her. She literally told this niece that she killed her own mother (my grandma's sister). So now that the docs tell us to put her in hospice...she says "no way!" But it's getting harder for us to take care of her. We are lost. And we don't want her to find out if we do put her in it because she will hate us. And we don't want her to go hating us. :(

So my questions are...
What exactly is hospice?
If she gets sick with something like the flu, will they treat the flu if she's in hospice? We are under the impression that they do not treat anything but just give pain meds in hospice.
For those that have lost loved ones...what is that like? Is there anything I need to do before? Or anything I can do to prepare myself for this?
 

Marbear87

New member
Jun 17, 2018
13
20
3
#14
I'm so sorry you are going through this. I lost my mom a year ago to the same thing. While I can't tell you much about hospice, I will say to meet with them and get it going asap. I wish we would have sooner. They provided allthe medical equipment and morphine. They were there as little or as muchas we wanted. It will be a blessing to you, I promise.
 

OstrichSmiling

Well-known member
Jun 17, 2018
1,027
396
83
#15
Hey guys. So as some of ya'll know already my grandma has pancreatic cancer. In March she was diagnosed. The odd thing is that they told us 6-12 months back then. Then a couple of weeks ago she needed to be checked and they told us that the cancer has spread to her liver. So now she has about 4 months left. :(

I love my grandma. My dad wasn't around much and she helped raise my brother and I. She is like a parent to me. I have never lost anyone close to me...so I don't really know how to take it.

Lately she has been very sick. She rocks back and forth and we think she may be losing her mind slowly. Sometimes she says odd things like "I'm 15...take me to my parents house" or "Are the dogs going to school in the bus?" She lives with my aunt but she works during the day. Thank God that right now it's summer and my teen cousins can watch her during the day.

What is difficult is getting her pain meds. She is on morphine. It's hard to get it refilled. The doctors recommended we put her in hospice. But there are a few problems and questions that I have about hospice.

So about 2 years ago my grandmother's oldest sister was put in hospice by her daughter. Within a few weeks of being put in it...she passed away. So now my grandma thinks that hospice is only there to kill you. She thinks that it's cruel for any daughter/son to put their parent in hospice. She is very upset with her niece and doesn't talk to her. She literally told this niece that she killed her own mother (my grandma's sister). So now that the docs tell us to put her in hospice...she says "no way!" But it's getting harder for us to take care of her. We are lost. And we don't want her to find out if we do put her in it because she will hate us. And we don't want her to go hating us. :(

So my questions are...
What exactly is hospice?
If she gets sick with something like the flu, will they treat the flu if she's in hospice? We are under the impression that they do not treat anything but just give pain meds in hospice.
For those that have lost loved ones...what is that like? Is there anything I need to do before? Or anything I can do to prepare myself for this?
What is Hospice Care
You are also able to find Hospice Care using those two search terms on any search engine. Just add your city and state and various links will show.

I have family that I attended when they were in Hospice. Hospice is palliative care. Meaning giving relief to someones pain and terminal discomfort.
My family member was moved to liquid morphine near the end because narcotic painkillers were ineffective in relieving the suffering.

Hospice provides nursing care, and medication for free. My family found it to be a great blessing because there was no cure available. Just worsening suffering and excruciating pain and loss of dignity as the faculties would go as the body deteriorated to the cancer.

At the end everyone who loved them were there at the bedside. Weeping and singing the favorite songs to comfort the transition. The best thing. To be there when they leave this life. Not constrained by hospital visiting hours so as to then get a call in the middle of the night that they were gone. And there was then no chance to pray with them, or say what comes to mind as those very last loving words they'll ever hear. Regret lives on in situations like that.
My dad lost his parents that way. He visited them each in the hospital as they were dying. Passing one year apart from one another. Visiting hours limited his time and for both his mother and dad he got that dreaded phone call in the wee hours of the morning telling him they'd left without seeing his face there with them so as to say goodbye.
It broke his heart for the rest of his own life.

Holding you all in my prayers. My deepest sympathies to your heartbreak.
 

LittleMermaid

Senior Member
Dec 25, 2017
541
483
63
#16
Thank you all so much for all the great information. My aunts and mother decided to go ahead and put her in hospice. She has been in that for about a week. She is going down quick. We think these are her final days. :( Please continue to pray for my family and I as we go through the most difficult time of our lives. God bless you all.
 

blue_ladybug

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2014
64,606
2,977
113
#17
Thank you all so much for all the great information. My aunts and mother decided to go ahead and put her in hospice. She has been in that for about a week. She is going down quick. We think these are her final days. :( Please continue to pray for my family and I as we go through the most difficult time of our lives. God bless you all.

These may be her final days on this fallen earth, but she's going on to an awesome new world. :) One with no illness, no pain..

Hugs to you, Molly.. :)
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
24,157
2,618
113
63
Florida
#19
Hey guys. So as some of ya'll know already my grandma has pancreatic cancer. In March she was diagnosed. The odd thing is that they told us 6-12 months back then. Then a couple of weeks ago she needed to be checked and they told us that the cancer has spread to her liver. So now she has about 4 months left. :(

I love my grandma. My dad wasn't around much and she helped raise my brother and I. She is like a parent to me. I have never lost anyone close to me...so I don't really know how to take it.

Lately she has been very sick. She rocks back and forth and we think she may be losing her mind slowly. Sometimes she says odd things like "I'm 15...take me to my parents house" or "Are the dogs going to school in the bus?" She lives with my aunt but she works during the day. Thank God that right now it's summer and my teen cousins can watch her during the day.

What is difficult is getting her pain meds. She is on morphine. It's hard to get it refilled. The doctors recommended we put her in hospice. But there are a few problems and questions that I have about hospice.

So about 2 years ago my grandmother's oldest sister was put in hospice by her daughter. Within a few weeks of being put in it...she passed away. So now my grandma thinks that hospice is only there to kill you. She thinks that it's cruel for any daughter/son to put their parent in hospice. She is very upset with her niece and doesn't talk to her. She literally told this niece that she killed her own mother (my grandma's sister). So now that the docs tell us to put her in hospice...she says "no way!" But it's getting harder for us to take care of her. We are lost. And we don't want her to find out if we do put her in it because she will hate us. And we don't want her to go hating us. :(

So my questions are...
What exactly is hospice?
If she gets sick with something like the flu, will they treat the flu if she's in hospice? We are under the impression that they do not treat anything but just give pain meds in hospice.
For those that have lost loved ones...what is that like? Is there anything I need to do before? Or anything I can do to prepare myself for this?
A hospice is a place for the terminally ill that provides basic routine care that is hard or even impossible for a family member to do on a 24 hour basis. Pain medication is available as well as anti-anxiety medication. Not much else in the way of medical treatment is provided because it is the nature of the place to treat those that will no longer benefit from medical procedures except those that allow the patient to remain comfortable. All patients are treated with dignity and respect from an experienced and caring staff. My dad died in a hospice and his care was excellent the short time that he was there. From what you have described I believe this is a wise course of action to consider. Of course, all patients are allowed to have visitors 24 hours a day. It is not a cruel thing at all to place a loved one in this type of care. You reach a point where you can only do so much as the amount of care that is need can become overwhelming. If possible, I would ask someone who put a loved one in hospice on the quality of care that was provided that far exceeded what they could reasonably attempt an accomplish. Rathe than being cruel it is really an act of love.
 

oldethennew

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2016
7,975
795
113
#20
we respect your 'take',
but, we know what our Father would want us to do...