Moving Mom to Hospice Is Not Giving Up
Mary says her mom’s Alzheimer’s disease has progressed. Mom doesn’t want to do much—even eat or drink. Mary tries to keep her active. An aide suggested hospice, but Mary’s afraid of giving up. What would you tell her?
Another Mary, registered nurse Mary C. Fridley, answers this question in her column Caregivers’ Corner. Her response: Moving your mom into hospice care isn’t giving up. It’s moving her to another care level. She writes:
Progressive dementias like Alzheimer’s are terminal diseases. When folks lose their abilities to function, stop eating and drinking, and sleep most of the time, their bodies are doing what every other person’s body does at the end of life — it shuts down. It is unkind to force a person to do what he or she is no longer able to accomplish.
Fridley also makes the point that so many experts make: Hospice is often called later than they could have been, so people miss out on weeks—perhaps months—of care.
You may also be interested in this previous OurParents post: “Hospice Not Cut-and-Dry for Dementia Patients: Questions to Ask.”
Leigh Ann Otte is a freelance writer who specializes in health and aging issues. She covers finding and paying for senior care for OurParents. If you have any questions about this post or need help finding senior care options for a loved one, call 1-866-483-4896 to speak with a care advisor in your area.