Hospice Questions

Ghoti Ichthus

Pray so they do not serve alone. Ephesians 6:10-20
We're in the process of picking a hospice care provider for Mom. We have a list of providers that work with the home where Mom is. Hospice care would be in Mom's room at the nursing home and supplement what the staff at the home provide. What kinds of questions should we be asking when picking one? Are there any services anyone found especially helpful or not helpful for stroke and dementia patients? Any services that are especially tiring? Any red flags? Anything that's especially good to look for? Social Worker said any/all these types of services would be paid for by the coverage Mom has, so not worried about costs.

Thank you.
 

Leigh

Well-Known Member
I can't provide any answers, but I hope everything works out well for you and your Mom.
Same - I know of so many families who have used hospice, but don't have personal experience with it. I guess you've already talked to the staff at your mother's nursing home? I would think they would be able to answer all your questions.
 

Jonathan

Well-Known Member
We're in the process of picking a hospice care provider for Mom. We have a list of providers that work with the home where Mom is. Hospice care would be in Mom's room at the nursing home and supplement what the staff at the home provide. What kinds of questions should we be asking when picking one? Are there any services anyone found especially helpful or not helpful for stroke and dementia patients? Any services that are especially tiring? Any red flags? Anything that's especially good to look for? Social Worker said any/all these types of services would be paid for by the coverage Mom has, so not worried about costs.

Thank you.
While everyone's experience varies, what I would do (after living through eight to nine ears of my dad's Alzheimer's) would be the following:

1) Check out the place. Sit around. Observe for yourself. If they don't allow non family members into the hospice area, that isn't necessarily a bad sign, but I would still prefer to see the scene for myself. This might strike you as unethical, but I would observe and mentally make note of any code used to access their hospice area when they are giving you the tour. (it is usually a very simple 4 digit code, the kind of code President Scroob has on his luggage. And the code rarely if ever changes. Yo)u can easily see this; and whoever is entering the code will almost never see what your rare doing. 30 Minutes later, go in and just make yourself at home near one of the residents so you don't stick out like a sore thumb. Do NOT do this if you even remotely suspect you have COVID, by the way.

I totally admit that #1 is shady, but I rather be shady and know that my mom is in good hands. And this is coming from me, a guy who is almost always a "follow the rules type."

Also, sometimes it is simpler to just wait by the door until someone comes through and as they are walking away, quickly grab it before it is closed and locked up. Actually, that is the best plan of action in that, you have total plausible deniability... "I just followed that person. I didn't even know this door had a lock!"

Again, it's Shady, but knowing what I didn't know back then would have saved a lot of heartache, energy, and the ability to sleep.

But, Shady aside, the following is the best option as long as you can do it:

2) Talk to as MANY family members who have loved ones residing there as possible. Seriously, as many as possible. Most people want to stick their head in the sand when it comes to things like this (the way even mentally healthy people who need serious medical treatment will CLING to the doctor they have, no matter how bad the doctor is, by refusing any idea that their doctor (or Hospice) isn't the best, and might be worse. Any doctor worth his salt will ALWAYS tell you to get a second or third opinion if you are unsure of things.

But there are also a lot of people who would he more than happy to tell you the truth about how things are there at the Hospice. You just have to find them. If you can snag one contact, you are basically snagging them all and you can network with them to learn an enormous amount of information. Trust me. People who have (or had) loved oness in Hospice are MORE than willing to share everything they can. If they have been involved long enough, they can also tell you what the best hospice in town is.



With my dad, when were finally fed up with the care he was receiving, we moved him to a different home and it was SOOOOOO much better. We never would considered the idea, let alone know where to transfer him to, were it not for the feedback and recommendations from people who were part of that community. We didn't know that "better than this" existed. And, the monthly cost for the new, far better place, as the exact same as the only crappy place.

To answer one of your questions:

In terms of Red Flags, if one the RNA's/attendants becomes OVERLY excited and enthusiastic in visibly taking care of your loved one, their is a decent chance that they are trying to prove something to you, and by that, I mean, over compensate for their own neglect.

I could go on and on, so let me know if would like more info. My mom knows the whole topic a lot better than I, and I am sure she could add a lot of very useful information.

Good luck and God Bless.
Jonathan
 
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Ghoti Ichthus

Pray so they do not serve alone. Ephesians 6:10-20
:thankyou @Jonathan :thankyou

In this case, the family-selected third-party hospice agency/organization/company comes into the home to provide the hospice services for the resident in the resident's room in the nursing home plus other facilities in the nursing home as needed for specific services (therapy, etc.). Hospice there isn't a separate unit in the nursing home or a separate hospice facility. The nursing home Mom is in is wonderful and she's getting excellent care., so she won't be moving into another facility. The good thing is if we're not there, the staff for the home is there as more eyes watching what hospice is doing :smile The staff continues to provide the "regular" (excellent) nursing home care :smile

Where Mom is isn't locked except late at night, and that's just the exterior doors, not the doors to the individual units. But they do have an alert receptionist at the front door 24/7 that lets people, deliveries, etc. in. And on-site security. The front door is never left unattended, even for bathroom breaks. Each time Dad or I arrive, we're always greeted by name and they know who we're going to see by name, floor, unit, and room number. The Social Worker, Nurse Case Manager, therapists, Dietitian, nurses, assistants, techs, and custodians for Mom's unit also know and greet us by name. Standard wuhan virus checks and fiercely enforced hand hygiene and masks. Right now, if visitors and resident are vaccinated, we can take masks off in private rooms, eat, drink, hug, hold hands, etc. Visitation is anytime, day or night, and unless special precautions and restrictions are in place for wuhan virus, flu, etc., no appointment or call-ahead needed. Even when restrictions were in place, the only reason for appointments was the limited spaces/times for window and outdoor visits versus the number of residents, so everyone got a chance for visitors. We can take Mom out for a walk/wheelchair/cart ride on the nursing home grounds (wooded acreage with paved walkways, benches, picnic tables, bird houses, and a lake) just by letting the nurse station on the unit and the front door receptionist know so accountability for the resident's whereabouts and so medication, etc. can be brought to the resident, immediate assistance provided, or the resident quickly returned to the room if necessary. If we want to take Mom off-grounds, that's allowed, but there's more to it because of liability and making sure of adequate care while off-site. Plus current (wuhan virus) quarantine requirements upon return. Mom enjoys getting outside on the grounds sometimes :smile but since Dad and I can't provide adequate care, and quarantined residents can't have visitors, we don't take her off-site.

Right now, we need to pick the third-party hospice agency off the list provided by the home to come in and do the hospice part. Since online reviews and state licensing/inspection reports are only part of the story, the trick will be finding people that have experience with various hospice agencies/organizations. Or even one. Unfortunately, other than providing a vetted list of providers they allow into their facility, the nursing home doesn't provide recommendations. However, it's really good that some providers have been eliminated simply by not being on the list :smile
 
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GotGrace

Well-Known Member
We're in the process of picking a hospice care provider for Mom. We have a list of providers that work with the home where Mom is. Hospice care would be in Mom's room at the nursing home and supplement what the staff at the home provide. What kinds of questions should we be asking when picking one? Are there any services anyone found especially helpful or not helpful for stroke and dementia patients? Any services that are especially tiring? Any red flags? Anything that's especially good to look for? Social Worker said any/all these types of services would be paid for by the coverage Mom has, so not worried about costs.

Thank you.
Bless you for wanting the best for your Momma.
 

kathymendel

Well-Known Member
I wish I could help you. My mom was in a care facility for about two months before she passed. Eventually hospice was called in to help.
They came in one day and introduced themselves to her, checked her out, and then sat and discussed everything with my dh and me. So
caring and I felt such relief that they were to be involved. But, mom died that evening, mere hours after our meeting.

Several years later, during the last two weeks of my husband's life, hospice came in every day to care for him. We had round the clock hospice nurses
on duty, so my dd and I could get some sleep at night...........we were more than exhausted. They were angels, and I don't know what we would have done
without them.
 
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