Jan 21, 2011

Hospice Care and Dotty

Is Dotty eligible for Hospice care? ... We would welcome Hospice into our home with open arms...

By Bob DeMarco Alzheimer's Reading Room

Let me thank each of you, one by one, for the wonderful comments you wrote earlier today under the article -- The Dotty Dilemma, What to do with my Alzheimer's Patient?

When it comes to caregiving, and Alzheimer's caregiving, I must be one of the most fortunate persons in the World. I won't even bother thinking about what it would be like without all of you.

Instead, I'll use your kind words in the positive spirit in which they are offered.

Sue Wilson wrote:

Might it be time to consider hospice care as an option? I suggest this delicately but with reason. I have been a hospice nurse for 20 years and have seen its value professionally.

Now I am living its value personally. My mother, who has Alzheimer's, is receiving hospice care in her home. Though I have practiced and advocated for this philosophy of care for years I never truly understood (at the deep "I'm living it" level) the comfort hospice brings into one's life physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I have been spending a different kind of quality time with my mother.

Hospice has allowed me to be less of an overwhelmed, slightly stressed out caregiver and more of a daughter at her mom's knee still learning from her, loving her, and spending quality time with her. I don't know if it is time for Dotty to be in hopsice program or even if that is something you want to consider, Bob.

But I put it out there for you to think about because I have seen the benefits of hospice from both "worlds", now. You will make the right decision. I am on your side.

Thank you for a website that has guided me through some very painful moments as a caregiver always bringing me to the other side a little richer for the experience.

All the best to you and Dotty.

Sue, thank you.

Your words "the comfort hospice brings into one's life physically, emotionally, and spiritually", are familiar to me.

As it turns out I am familiar with Hospice care. Hospice by the Sea helped us when my father, Frank, was terminally ill with cancer. My father asked me more than a decade before he died to make sure they didn't put him in a home due to illness. My father had some ugly memories from his younger years of what it was like to be put in a home.

My father had a simple wish -- to die at home. Along with substantial help from Hospice, Dotty and I were able to grant his wish.

I wrote about this a month ago -- Now I'll Tell You About Franny, and Hospice Care Increasing for Nursing Home Patients with Dementia.

This might have been a tip-off to some of you that I was already thinking about Hospice care for Dotty.

I wrote previously, I have a simple straight forward goal -- to keep Dotty at home until the end. Some of you might believe this is overly ambitious. This won't stop me from trying. At the end of the day, I will do what is best for Dotty. Not what is best for me. I know Dotty wants to die at home.

You can read my previous article if you want my insight about our experience. I do want to say this here. We had a Hospice nurse that was like an angel on earth. In fact, I thing she was.

Our Hospice nurse had a calmness and serenity about her that would be hard to describe in words. In addition to her wonderful manner, she gave me an excellent education on what to expect. This allowed me to do what I needed to do, to get mentally prepared well in advance.

She answered all my questions without hesitation and shared her experience with me. This was something I could not get from the oncologist. Enough said.

Sue, I am not sure if we are eligible for Hospice care at this point. We will find out.

We would welcome Hospice into our home with open arms.

No one is a bigger fan of Hospice than I am. I speak from first hand experience.

I have never heard anyone that had first hand experience with Hospice say a negative word. In fact is it quite the opposite -- they glow when they speak about Hospice care.

I don't know how Hospice finds their hospice nurses. Maybe Hospice is a magnet.

I do know this, I would like to know more hospice nurses -- personally. I like to be around people that glow.

Note: I am not saying I have made any firm decision. I am saying I will investigate our options.

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Alzheimer's Disease -- Advice and Insight

Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 2,255 articles with more than 272,100 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

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