Archive for Refusing Help – Page 2

The Second R: Hospice Respite*

restI’m not practicing what I’m about to preach on respite* in hospice.

But I have good excuses! (Doesn’t everyone?)

In hospice, a family should consider Medicare’s respite benefit when the patient—when your loved one—has been receiving care for an extended period of time.

Respite is rest. Respite is taking a break from the intensive and extensive support of a beloved family member or friend who is dying. Respite, based on the guidelines of the Medicare hospice benefit, can be for up to five days.

But taking a break is the proverbial easy to say and hard to do.

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Let me give you a trivial personal example of the need we can have for respite. Read More →

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Bed Wars

hospitalbedNo one wants one.

No one likes them.

Some have cranks and levers, wobbly wheels, and are cumbersome to move or adjust.

Newer ones are more complex, have silent electric motors, links for computer cables, and (though pricey) lightweight metal alloy frames.

But who wants to lie in a hospital bed of any kind? Not for overnight, and certainly not for the rest of your life.

I view the hospital bed as one of the intimidating symbols of hospice care. Of course, it’s more than a symbol once it arrives at your home.

Whenever the hospice clinical staff discusses current patients, it’s nearly inevitable that at least one patient has balked at shifting to a hospital bed.

Wouldn’t you refuse? Read More →

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I’m Fine

I'm FineYou visit your mother and she mentions a little ache in her lower back. In her seventies, she still rises early to stretch. The brisk walk with Cosmo the dog comes next, and then a sensible breakfast for both of them. But there is that ache. She’s taking more Advil, and has less energy in the afternoons. Because of that “little” pain, not even naps seem to give her enough rest.

And you ask, since you love her, “Is everything okay? Should you see your doctor?”

“Oh, I’m fine!” she says.

Nearing your golden wedding anniversary, your husband often appears short of breath. He’s never been into exercise regimes, and has one of those metabolisms everyone hates. At seventy-two, he can put on the tuxedo worn when you celebrated 25 years of marriage. Now, while doing yard work, his breathing is occasionally labored. You notice he wakes at night more frequently for bathroom trips . . . but he (and his prostate) are getting older. However, on several occasions he didn’t immediately return to bed, but sat on the chair by the closet.

In the dark of the bedroom, you ask, “Are you okay?” Read More →

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