It’s nearly impossible to hear and retain information about hospice care when a loved one enters into his or her final stages of life. Whether there’s a years-long struggle with heart disease or a cancer diagnosis and weeks to live, most have never considered hospice’s options and limits.
Of course they haven’t! But then
they you have to . . .
And so, with honest conversations and tenderness, a family decides hospice is the best choice.
Or, staggered by panic and desperate to get a loved one out of the hospital, hospice seems like the awful but only possibility.
Regardless of how calm or frantic the decision-makers are, even the simplest explanations about hospice can seem like a foreign language. There will be assumptions and selective listening.
- Hospice said a nurse would be here all the time!
- I thought all the medications were free!
- Aren’t there pills to make the pain vanish?
- Hospice said Dad would sleep and not feel anything. But now he’s awake and agitated.
- Mom can handle the pain and wanted to be alert for the grandkids. But now she’s drowsy.
- My husband was told he could die at home. But now he can’t?
- My sister was told she would not die at home. But now she will?