Dementia-Hospice-Education

Mom Couldn’t Be Ready For Hospice, Could She?

“My mother’s memory has been fading and she’s had a few falls, but I don’t think she’s ready for hospice yet.”

“We know she has dementia, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s ready for hospice. Or is she?”

“I wish there was someone who could help us figure out what to do.”

As our parents age, there may be times when we have questions about how to care for them. At Heart ‘n Home, we know it can be difficult and we want to help.

Knowing when a person is eligible for hospice is not always easy for family members. If we could look into the future it would be easy, but we don’t have a crystal ball to show us how long a person will live. Even for doctors, it can be difficult sometimes. But at Heart ‘n Home, we have tools and training to help determine if a person is approaching the end of their life. Our Doctors and Nurses have had special training and have eligibility prognosis tools that help them determine if a person is hospice appropriate. The following is a case study from our Nurse Theresa A, RN., involving three dementia patients.

Case Study:

Within the last three months, two ladies and one gentleman were referred to hospice.  Two of the referrals came from a family member and the other referral came from a physician’s office.  All three hospice prospects were in their 80s and all three had a dementia-related disease process.  At the CARE (Connecting Appropriate Resources and Education) visit, a member from each family stated they had concerns that it was too early for hospice for their wife, mother, or husband. The family members did not believe the prospects were close enough to death to need hospice.

After the CARE Visit, each family decided hospice could help them manage their loved ones in the home. And from the education provided at the CARE Visit … the families learned hospice is about helping people focus on living.  Each family signed paperwork to start the process to evaluate and admit to hospice.

At the time of admission, all three patients had a Palliative Performance Scale (PPS) score of 40% or lower. The PPS is one of the tools that is used by our Doctors and Nurses to determine whether or not a person is eligible for hospice. A patient who has a PPS score of 50% or lower is not expected to survive for more than 6 months. Because their scores were 40% or lower. It meant these three prospects were not only ready for hospice, but they had been for a little while even though it didn’t appear so to the families.

All three individuals were admitted to hospice; however, Heart ‘n Home only had three months to serve these patients and help them live their lives to the fullest.  All three patients passed away three to four months after hospice started.

Now is the time to learn more!

If you have a loved one who has memory loss, but you’re not sure if they are ready for hospice, Heart ‘n Home can offer help. Click here to Contact Heart ‘n Home today for information about our CARE Visit and to schedule a time for Heart ‘n Home to help you determine if your loved one is ready for hospice. Even if they are still seeking curative treatments or they feel they are not quite ready for hospice, Heart ‘n Home is able to provide resources and assistance.

The CARE visit is free and provides assistance with the following:

  • Determining your needs and what is most important to you.
    • Connection to community resources, services, or helpful programs.
    • Education about your illness and what comes next.
    • Continuous follow up to monitor your changing needs and offer referrals to appropriate resources.
    • Advance care planning.

Don’t wait!  Contact us today.

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