Can I demand that Dad receive home hospice if Mom says no?

2 answers | Last updated: Oct 28, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My mother feels that my father should be in hospice at a hospital. I am his daughter who has moved to be with him three months ago and want him to have hospice at their home. He asks me daily to let him come home. He is very depressed. My mom is relieved due to the strain of caregiving up until three months ago. I live in CA, they live in LA. My sister lives in Cape Cod and cannot come out to help. Is there anything I can do?


Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a Caring.com senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

As you know all too well, you and your family members are in a delicate position, which may have no easy or ideal solution.

The first step may be for all those involved"”your father, mother, and you"”to take a hard and honest look at your needs and abilities. If it's not clear, find out exactly what kind of care your father needs now and may need in the future. And you and your mother might also draw up straightforward lists of the pros and cons of receiving that care at home and in a facility, which may provide some revealing truths.

It sounds as if the current care may not be the best fit"”and assessing it alongside reality may help underscore whether there is a need and a possibility for change.

Bearing in mind that there is a range of different types and styles of hospice care, consider other possible options. There are a number of additional people and organizations that may be helpful in making this assessment.

First of all, one or perhaps two doctors likely certified your dad's need for hospice care, and if you believe one of the medical personnel involved"”a doctor, or perhaps a discharge planner"”might provide a knowing and good counsel, contact him or her at once.

You can also get advice and counsel from a number of organizations that have staff on hand to help wade through the available hospice options.

They include: --The National Hospice Foundation at nhpco.org --The Alliance for Care at the End of Life at www.afceaol.org, and --Caring Connections: www.caringinfo.org.


Community Answers

June42 answered...

It's exhausting taking care of a person on hospice,and it's not the same even if you're just visiting every day. It's probably too much work for your mom to handle even with some help. You also have no right to demand your dad be taken care of at home unless you're willing to move in with them.