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Thread: End of life and Medicare

  1. #21
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    There was always a last stage of life, people dying of childhood disease and childbirth didn't mean some people didn't (let's say 50% didn't but it was probably more) and therefore lived about the same lifespan they do now, and therefore there was always people dealing with a last stage of life, life expectancy is irrelevant to that.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  2. #22
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Discounting childhood/maternal deaths, a lot of people lived well into old age in years past. The main threat was infections, as there were no antibiotics--you had to hope you had a robust immune system. Many of my ancestors lived into their seventies, eighties, even nineties.

    I agree with Catherine that--for the most part--modern interventions around death haven't improved things much. As others have mentioned, there are generally fewer family members available now to minister to the dying.

  3. #23
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    G, I ended up firing that hospice because I specialist told them not to prescribe one anti-psychotic because it gave her terrible side effects and they did anyways when we were on vacation. When I got back her neck was stuck down and at a weird angle. They tried to tell me that the doctor knew best and besides that didnít hurt. I knew otherwise from grad school. Glad to know Medicare and hospice doesnít require that.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
    G, I ended up firing that hospice because I specialist told them not to prescribe one anti-psychotic because it gave her terrible side effects and they did anyways when we were on vacation. When I got back her neck was stuck down and at a weird angle. They tried to tell me that the doctor knew best and besides that didn’t hurt. I knew otherwise from grad school. Glad to know Medicare and hospice doesn’t require that.
    I'm so sorry-that is awful!

    I believe in death with dignity and making the person as comfortable as they want to be. Dad chose pain, interestingly enough. He declined morphine until about 10d before he died. Mom asked for 1/2 Vicodin nightly along with Ambien so she would sleep deep.

    I don't like thinking that we were able to get what we needed when needed only because I'm an outspoken daughter/healthcare POA and RN? That would totally tick me off for everyone struggling with end-of-life issues.

  5. #25
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gardnr View Post
    I don't like thinking that we were able to get what we needed when needed only because I'm an outspoken daughter/healthcare POA and RN?
    In my experience ó and unfortunately ó that is how our system works. If you are not your own advocate or have someone knowledgeable to represent you, itís easy to end up on the short end.

  6. #26
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    When my mother was dying and entered hospice care they had her continue her maintainence meds for diabetes and high cholesterol but didn't provide any treatment for the cancer that was rapidly killing her. She initially started as home hospice care, but on the second day she was trying to check her blood sugar using a ball point pen and couldn't understand why it wasn't working. (the morphine was already making her loopy). The nurse came back to help with this and judged her a safety risk since she was still ambulatory and got her admitted to the inpatient hospice.

    I agree with Steve. People who don't have someone capable of being an effective advocate will get markedly worse care. There were several times in my father and my FIL's last 6 months and 2 years respectively where drastically different decisions were made by my SIL (dad's DIL) and my other SIL (FIL's daughter) who used their knowledge as RN's to question various treatments and suggest more appropriate ones.

  7. #27
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    Hospice is wonderful, but they can't read minds. I'm willing to bet the wife in this scenario hasn't told hospice what a hard time she's having taking care of husband. The wife, or a designated relative, needs to frankly ask hospice for what they need. And ask family and friends; we can't expect the government to stand in place of a family. Well, we can expect it, but it's not gonna happen.

  8. #28
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    Befree, that is pretty much what I wanted to say. My mother-in-law would never ever have questioned whatever a "professional" of any kind told her. She would have tried to take Dad home with an dangerous and inadequate bathroom and 3 stairs into both doors of the house. She would not have complained but would have worked herself to a breakdown. (and she would not have told us which is another problem).

    But, there is such absolute fear of ending up needing nursing care even if family can spend hours every day with the person.

  9. #29
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    My friend's stepdad died yesterday. He had been moved to an "assisted living facility" (not a hospice facility) but had aides and nurses checking in on him. So at least he did not linger and was able to pass in some dignity.

  10. #30
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, Lainey, though it sounds as though Stepdad had a decent death.
    Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington

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