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Palliative or Hospice care?

Posted by jannie (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 24, 13 at 9:08

My husband's Neurologist has been treating his MS since 1998. He suggested I look into Palliative care for hubby. He's declined/ disease has progressed a lot recently. He stays in bed all the time, gets up occasionally to use the commode. He's also depressed and has Alzheimers-like symptoms. Lately he's even having trouble chewing and swallowing. I have a CNA care aide who comes in three days a week to shower him. He's been getting angrier and angrier with her. He says he "hates" me because I'm "mean" to him. Yeah, I insist he change his adult diaper regularly. Has anyone dealt with Palliative care? Do you recommend it? Hubby says he won't see anyone, he's not going to die...

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Palliative or Hospice care?

Call Hospice and talk to them. They'll be full of information for you, no obligation. Your husband might not be a candidate for hospice care yet, but they are still a great source of information.

RE: Palliative or Hospice care?

I am late seeing this question, but in case anyone else is wondering: Palliative care, the focus is maintaining comfort, relieving symptoms, improving quality of life and is not just for terminal states. Sometimes these specialists can help with chronic illness that isn't terminal ( or won't be for some time yet). So I hope that you contacted them, Jannie, and were able to get some help.

It philosophically overlaps with hospice. Hospice also wants to maintain comfort, relieve symptoms, and improve quality of life -- geared more for people who are approaching death, though. Hospice doesn't necessarily mean no treatment, but it does recognize that the goal of treatments is not cure but comfort and preventing complications as much as possible. For example, my mother was in hospice care in the nursing home, which meant that she had an RN visit her weekly, an extra aide come to give her personal care, access to assistive devices, overall just more attention than she would have gotten. She was kept on her blood pressure medicines and given symptomatic treatment for colds, cough, etc; but we would not have taken her to the hospital or had resuscitation attempted (as I see some families of hospice patients do, asking to have "everything done" for a person who is going to die regardless)

Hope that helps a little.

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