My thoughts today are not only for patients and their caregivers, but also (at least a little) for those who aren’t “hospice appropriate.”
But first, I’ll focus on the dying. Several months ago one of our physicians at a hospice team meeting warned about . . . overstimulating patients.
Sometimes a patient seems oddly agitated and unsettled. Maybe their usual calm demeanor has been replaced by caustic comments or awkward silences. If they usually spend much of their time resting, why are they so wide-awake? Or have other unsettling actions or attitudes been observed?
Is a particular medicine the problem?
Has the dying process accelerated?
Has the pain from their terminal illness abruptly increased?
Those questions (and more) are possible and should be evaluated.
But it could be overstimulation.
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