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What Iíve learned so far about Hospice

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  • People usually wait too long to take advantage of this wonderful service.
  • Their focus is totally and completely focused on comfort care.
  • A morphine side effect is to improve breathing.
  • They give you morphine and show you how to use it to do so. And how to use it for pain relief.
  • All comfort medications are free... those for comfort. They are delivered to your door same day.
  • You arenít supposed to go to the ER. Youíre free to go, of course, but the ride and treatment is on you.
  • You can sign in and out of hospice as often as youíd like.
  • They donít pay for inhalers, but do pay for nebulizer treatment which is actually better.
  • Keep your Medicare Part D to pay for meds hospice doesnít cover. High blood pressure meds are a good example as are more convenient inhalers for those who are out and about.
  • Keep your Medicare Supplement, if you break a hip as an example, it will not be treated by Hospice, but you can sign out of Hospice and then Medicare and your supplement will take over. (Even though they donít treat it, you will be kept comfortabl by Hospice.)
  • You can ask them to pull your oxygen and sedate you any time, even if you need supplemental oxygen to live. Your HCPOA can order the same thing.
  • Make sure Hospice meets your HCPOA and his or her backup.
  • They will honestly and without judgement answer every question you ask.
  • They are compassionate people with a calling. Angels without wings,
  • Massages are free. Music therapy is free. They send a musician to your home who will play most any practical instrument you choose. Art therapy is free. Many interesting options. Chaplain visits or the denomination of your choice. They can send someone to help you with personal hygiene.
  • They will make sure you are not in pain.
  • Most people do not involve hospice with a close family member until the very last days. This often causes unnecessary suffering.
  • Involve Hospice very early if a loved one has been diagnosed as terminal. You just need a doctor referral.

I canít help but think that one of the reasons Iím still around is to share information about my journey with others. Thus this post. Signing into hospice is not giving up. Itís your best friend.
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  1. worksforpigs's Avatar
    Hey sister,

    Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you.
  2. Hawkeye10's Avatar
    Sending wishes of peace your way, Sister!

  3. longview's Avatar
    You are truly an inspiration!
  4. Common Sense 1's Avatar
    Wonderful post! The true meaning of Hospice. So many think of hospice in the final few days but
    their true mission is to help a person be as comfortable and content as the situation will allow.

    Hospice folks are very special people who help so many make the transition when it's time. They also do
    wonders for family and friends. Yes they are angles on earth. God Bless you MaggieD.
  5. MaggieD's Avatar
    Thank you all for your kind and supportive comments. They mean more than you know.

    And, yes, CommonSense, far too many people think Hospice is a death watch that one should keep away as long as possible. And in addition to your wise statement of their mission, I would also add that their goal is to take away one’s fears AND, being engaged early enough, to help their charges live as full a life as possible for as LONG as possible.

    What a wonderful organization...
  6. <alt>doxygen's Avatar
    Maggie, my father in law spent the last 2 weeks in Hospice, but they had a nurse (maybe several) that provided in-home care prior to his move there. He was on morphine and Oxy way before that, though. I credit those drugs with giving him at least 6 extra months of comfortable times with his wife, kids, family and friends.

    Bless you, and thanks for staying in touch and providing these informative updates.
  7. Trippy Trekker's Avatar

    For you Maggie -
  8. MaggieD's Avatar
    Beautiful, Trippy. Thank you.
  9. grip's Avatar
    You love life don't you? I think it loves you back.

  10. MaggieD's Avatar
    You’ve done it again, is sooo powerful.
  11. zimmer's Avatar
    All the Best Maggie.
    Will miss you.


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