Communion Of Dreams

Another try at Hospice.
August 27, 2007, 10:36 am
Filed under: Alzheimer's, Government, Health, Hospice, Sleep, Society

I’m tired.  No, make that I’m weary – not just from lack of sleep, but that deep weariness of being on a long campaign of any sort, in this case three & a half years as a full time care-giver.

I wrote a couple weeks ago about our previous experience with Hospice for my mother-in-law (MIL).  Well, as reflected in that post, we’d seen a downturn in her condition, notably the tendency to sleep a lot more.  Couple that with increasing comments from her following naps that she had been with her parents (who have been dead for decades) and that they “wanted her to come home”, and we sensed that perhaps she was entering into the end of life.  We contacted her doctor, discussed the matter with him last week.  He agreed with us, prescribed Hospice once again.

This morning we had a visit from the case manager (a nice woman named Jann) from a different health organization than the one we used previously.  We went over my MIL’s condition, expressed our concerns about what our experience had been last year, discussed options.  According to her, my MIL fits well into the guidelines for Hospice admittance under the ‘debility’ criteria, and there’s little chance that she would ‘graduate’ from Hospice care under those criteria.

So, we’re giving this another try.  My wife and I are good care-givers, and have done this job well for these past years.  But now having the resources of Hospice available is a comfort, so long as I feel that I can trust it.  Knowing that we have someone to call who can advise and assist as needed comes as something of a relief, and I find myself a little overwhelmed.

And for some odd reason, more weary than when I got up from being on call this morning.  Tension-release, I suspect.

Jim Downey

5 Comments so far
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Best of luck to you all. My Mother spent her last 3 years on Hospice, and with about 4 different people making about 12 to 15 visits to the house a week, they really did help us out, as a family, with relieving some of the burden of the 24/7 care she required. Not only that, but they were all genuinely interested in my Mom, her physical and mental well-being, and it lifted her spirits tremendously those last few years, having people other than family (she was basically bed-ridden the last 2 or more years) that she could chat with, rely on, and trust for friendship. I hope you have the opportunity to experience the same level of excellence that these caregivers exposed us to.

Comment by RAHRules

RAH – thanks for the encouragement and good wishes. As I’ve written previously, Hospice is a great program, and has been critically important in making the end of life more human and humane for their clients and families. I’m glad that your experience was exactly that.

Jim D

Comment by Communion of Dreams

Glad to see you will be getting some more support. Take good care of yourself and find a way to treat yourself when you can. The work that you do as a caregiver is much more than I could ever do as a doctor, and caregivers often get much less recognition than they deserve.

Comment by Christian Sinclair

Dr. Sinclair, thanks again. Yes, the day-to-day care providers are a critical component in this situation, but one of the biggest benefits of Hospice for me is having access to the medical pros who can help explain what is happening and what we should expect. My MIL’s primary doc has always been helpful, but this is not his field – there is a fundamental difference in the mindset.

Jim D

Comment by Communion of Dreams

[…] indications we’d seen (some of which I’ve mentioned), we decided the time was here to again seek Hospice. In the month since, my MIL has had several more T.I.A.s, about one a week. Each time, the […]

Pingback by Another day, another T.I.A. « Communion Of Dreams

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