I recently read an interesting article concerning Hospice Care, courtesy of Sick Momma, written by Kevin M.D. that voices his opinion on Hospice . My Family recently experienced a long illness and hospitalization of our Mother, that eventually ended in taking her home with Hospice Care.
Dr Kevin says: “The main key to getting it right for the patients with incurable, chronic, progressive disease is to have a conversation, call it counseling, with their physician, about how to handle the end of their lives”
In our case with our Mother, this statement is absolutely true. Her original physician treated her with pain medications and little else. Adding one medication on top of another, on top of another, only left her dazed and unable to understand how sick she really was. In a lucid moment she agreed to change doctors. The new PCP jumped in and things changed quickly and dramatically. The new PCP changed her entire pain management plan, and with 24 hours my Mother was able to communicate. She told her doctor that she wanted to go home. (She had CHF, an enlarged heart due to a congenital heart defect which affected her breathing, an enlarged liver and spleen. She had surgery to repair a broken leg, and never fully recovered) And yes, she had a DNR.
All she needed was a doctor who would talk to her and understand her wishes. Her previous physician had never talked to my Mom about how she wanted to handle the end of her life.
Hospice was a wonderful service that helped my Mom and the whole family get through a trying and difficult event. Without their help, and caring knowledgable counseling, my Mom would have probably died in the hospital. Instead, she was in her own home and surrounded by her loving Family.
As Dr. Kevin advises…every patient needs a doctor that will listen, and know what that patient’s final wishes are. A Doctor that does not, or will not talk about Hospice care, is a doctor you need to fire. We fired such a doctor, and will never regret it.