We Are Considering Bringing Mom Home With Help From Hospice, Any Suggestions?

Kinglear asked...

My 92 y Mother, after choking, went into cardiac pulmonary arrest, was revived, on ventilator and then due to failing the "swolling study" put on a feeding tube. She has been in a nursing home for 3 months and all therapy including speech therapy has been discontinued. She can have nothing by mouth (even ice chips). She is also on a catheter and oxygen as well as incontinent. We are considering bringing her home with the help of hospice. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Expert Answer

Audrey Wuerl, RN, BSN, PHN, is education coordinator for Hospice of San Joaquin in California. She is also a geriatric trainer for the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC), which promotes education in geriatric nursing and end-of-life care.

Hospice is truly about providing a peaceful life closure, usually in the home setting. It sounds like your mother has been through quite a lot. And, often times the hospital will send a patient to a nursing home after an acute admission for various therapies. If you feel you can now care for your mother in your home, then definitely consider hospice.

Hospice is about supportive care"”for your mother and for you. The benefit provides a hospital bed, and other equipment deemed necessary, as determined by the nurse who will assess her in your home. You will also receive necessary medications for pain and symptom management as well as her oxygen. You will all be trained to care for her in the home by the hospice staff. They may also be able to send a hospice aide to help with bathing, etc.

Hospice staff are truly experts in end-of-life care. By addressing all the "parts" all of us are"”physical, psychological, social, and spiritual"”we can help provide for a respectful and dignified life closure for your mother.