Does entering Hospice care mean death is near?
My grandfather is 98 years old and we recently were told that he has cancer. Actually, the doctor said he has "a mass that is nearly blocking the entrance to his colon", a polyp on his kidney and liver and he keeps getting fluid in his lungs. Because of his age, and the fact that my grandfather didn't want this procedure... they did not take a biopsy which I suppose would tell them 100% if it was cancer? But they're saying 98% sure? Anyway there's nothing being done. Theyr'e going to begin sending Hospice over to the house. Does this mean that he's going to die real soon? He's not in any pain. His ankles get very swollen and he's wheezing a little louder. I'm confused....help me to understand.
Your grandfather's doctor has based his diagnosis on various tests and signs and symptoms that have presented during his course of treatment. From your description, there are many things going on that involve different systems of the body, such as the lungs, kidneys, liver and colon. Cancer is a disease that has a primary site, but can spread to other parts of the body; we call this metastasis. Sometimes, people don't even know they have cancer until it shows up in "another site".
When people have many disease processes going on, and cure is no longer an option, the best course is referring to hospice services. Hospice tries to concentrate on quality of life when quantity is no longer an option. We are about hope and support: hope to have pain and symptoms controlled, hope to deal with "unresolved issues", and hope to have some control over one's life. Your grandfather did not want any further procedures. This is his right to refuse such treatments and to die with as much dignity and respect as possible. It is our duty to respect that right, difficult as it can be for families. We are here to support your grandfather and you through this process.
Hospice care does not mean a person is going to die soon. However, people need to have a life expectancy of 6 months or less from a terminal condition, to qualify for our services. Hospice can help manage his symptoms"”such as the swelling in his ankles, and breathing concerns. At this point you can be glad he does not experience pain; and, you can embrace his desire to have a peaceful life closure, on "his terms".
Hi Bella Baby,
I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather but it's great that he's in no pain. Calling in Hospice generally means that the person is expected to die within six months. It can be shorter than that and sometimes longer.
We called in Hospice for my dad because he became frail enough (he was 92) that he needed to go to a skilled nursing facility to help me move around. He had Hospice for about a month and a half before he passed away. He had no pain (like your grandfather) and passed away very quickly one evening.
Hospice is wonderful for everyone. They help you and your granddad deal with the physical, spiritual/religious (if you want it), and medical.
So it could be days to months with your granddad. Just enjoy the time you have with him and let him know how much you love him. And listen to him if he wants to talk about things. Good luck and let us know how things go.
HEY BELLA BABY, READING YOUR STORY , JUST REMINDED ME ABOUT MYSELF. I WENT THREW THE SAME THING. I AM AN ADULT, AND THE DAY MY SISTERS TOLD ME MY DAD WAS GOING INTO HOSPICE I WAS IN DENIEL. I KNEW WHAT IT MEANT, I JUST DIDNT WANT TO BELIEVE IT. I HAVE TO SAY MY DAD HAD NO PAIN, YOUR GRANDPA HAS NO PAIN . THATS THE GREAT THING ABOUT HOSPICE. OUR LOVE ONES DO NOT SUFFER. WOULD YOU RATHER BE SEEING HIM SUFFER IN THE HOSPITAL , WHERE THEY WAKE HIM EVERY FEW HOURS TO STCK NEEDLES ,PRICKING HIM AT THE END OF A LONG BEAUTIFUL LIFE . HE SHOWED HIS FAMILY LOVE FOR MANY YEARS , HE IS TIRED. I KNOW ITS HARD TO EXCEPT, BUT SPEND ALL THE DAYS HE HAS LEFT TELLING HIM HOW GREAT HE WAS , HOW MUCH YOU LOVE HIM. EVEN IF HES NAPPING , HE CAN HEAR YOU . TELL HIM YOUR GOING TO BE OK .REPEAT AS MUCH AS YOU WANT.. AND SWEET HEART REMEMBER HE IS COMFORTABLE AND AT PEACE . HE IS HOME WITH ALL HIS LOVE ONES WHAT A BETTER PLACE TO BE .. MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO YOU HUGS N KISSES TOO . AND REMEMBER HE IS TIRED LIVE A VERY LONG TIME. HOPE WE ALL CAN!! GIVE HIM PLENTY OF KISSES..THINKING OF YOU AND WILL BE IN ALL MY PRAYERS. I WILL BE THINKING OF YOU BOTH..
You know my grandfather was a veteran of the armed forces and Korean war, he wound up having cancer of the spine among many other problems and spending much of the final months of his life in the va before they transferred him to a hospice and he passed away 11-6-12, all while I was locked away so I couldn't even see his funeral so take every moment for granted because you never know when it might be your last, I cryed for nights to sleep in a jail cell.
my sister is 40 years old and has liver damage and hospice is going to start comeing to her home..does this mean she is dieing