When is the time near????When to call hospice

My mom has had a long journey since Feb. and has put up more fight than I think I could of. Right from the get go she has refused chemo but did 39 radiation tx to upper right lobe. But within the last 2 weeks has had increased difficulty breathing, pain in her chest and is getting weaker. Took her to her pulmonary dr last wed. and he treated her for possible infection with antibotics and steroids. He did a chest xray on fri. and showed me her lungs, not being familiar with how they are suppose to look he explained to me that they should be black but her right one is almost completly white and her left one has just a small amount of black. He said that all the white is cancer. When I asked what that means he said she probably had a couple months to go. I said what happens if she cant breath should I take her to the Er. His response was no. He suggested hospice. He told her the cancer has spread but she refuses to give up. In fact Im getting ready right now to take her to the casino her favorite thing to do. Im scared as hell to take her but I must. Please wish me luck with her today and I dont mean winning luck just the kind of luck that she has a great time.

Back to my original question......when is it time to call hospice, Im afraid if I do she will give up all hope.

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Hi--I am not sure what hospice services your area provides. Ours, south central WI, has home based services and a beautiful "go to" facility that can be used for respite or for longer term. Your dr. has recommended hospice and that means he/she will write an order for it. Once that is done, you can get the names from the clinic of the services and then look them over. Our experience with hospice has been wonderful and I would highly recommend it.

The general rule of thumb for admission to services is that the person's prognosis is less than a year and that comfort care (as opposed to active treatment) is what the patient desires. (And don't mention mom going to the casino in your intake--the services are generally considered for the homebound, tho occasional outings are not unheard of.) Be aware too that the one year prognosis business is not written in stone. Many people live comfortably beyond the one year mark and are not "thrown out."

Hope sharing our experience(s) help.


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This was very helpful to me in determining when to call hospice. When she enters what they call the preactive dying, that would be a good time to call although you should call earlier if pain becomes a big issue because hospice can manage pain in an immediate way and while she is still at home.


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Talk to your Mom first.... It took me about a week or so to convince my mom she needed hospice. What really did it for her was when we went out last Wednesday.... I told her that she needed hospice for comfort and mobility. I told her she could get a transport chair so she could go out more. (My oldest brother wanted me to buy one and I knew we could get one and besides the week before he was begging for hospice for mom and then turned around last week and said she did not need it!) We now have hospice in our home.

No restrictions on how much your mom can go out while on hospice. In fact, our hospice encourages the person to go out when they can! That was a huge relief to my mom... She did not want to be confined to the house.

The biggest piece of mind for me?? I have someone I can contact if there are problems.... I told Mom that I will call hospice when there are problems... Will not allow others to dictate. I am here all the time with my mom.


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Forgot to add... Our hospice nurse told us that hospice does not mean giving up at all! Hospice is about maintaining quality of life.


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Thank you all for you input, it is extremely helpful. Nancy

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My prayers are with you Nancy.

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That is wonderful she wants to go to the casino! My mom has stage IV lung cancer that has spread to her brain and she has lost most mobility in her right side. She came from a hospice center we admitted her to right out of the hospital. They evaluated her there to get her meds straight and give me time to get my house ready with the hospital bed and all the things she would need for me to take care of her in my home. I found there is so much to do so I would suggest hospice now because there is a process where you interview the different companies, see if the insurance will cover it and so on. We have social workers that come out and she has an aid that helps sponge bathe her. They are great about having her medicines delivered and anything else she needs. The hospital's social worker was the one that gave me all the information I needed to start with hospice. You and your family are in my prayers!

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