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Negative Hospice Opinions

Updated on August 19, 2011
courtesy of fotosearch   Royalty Free
courtesy of fotosearch Royalty Free

The Negative Opinion I use To Have About Hospice

 I alway's had negative feeling's about someone putting there loved one on Hospice. I felt it was a horrible thing to do and I looked at Hospice as if they were people killers by administering medications like Morphine, Haldol, Lorazepam etc.

I eventually started working in Assisted Living Facility's and eventually started working with individuals with Alzheimers and Dementia and I became a certified caregiver as well as a Med Tech. I also started to work with hospice on a daily basis due to the fact some of the individuals were Hospice Patients. While working with Hospice I realized just how wrong my attitude and outlook towards them was wrong. My whole attitude towards hospice has changed and here's what I realized about them.

First I realized and understood the hospice concept and this is what I got out of it: The Hospice concept is that there a model for quality and compassionate care at the end of life. Hospice care emphasizes pain and symptom management for an individual a long with psychological and spiritual support. Hospice is a team of professionals and volunteers who address the physical,emotional and the spiritual needs of the patient and there family members.

Hospice Employee's that I've dealt with have had so much compassion and understanding for an individual nearing death and there family members and even with the caregivers in the facility. Hospice will answer any questions that someone has for them. They also explain to the family the stages the body goes through when nearing death and they tell you what to expect. I also learned that Morphine, Haldol, Lorazepam, etc. is given not to make death quicker but it's given to make the individual comfortable so there not in pain and so they don't become aggitated during the process. It's called comfort medicine and it really does work.

There's a lot more to Hospice than what people actually realize and I wish I never had a negative attitude towards them but I did and I'm so glad that I got the opportunity to work with Hospice employee's, they have taught me a lot through the years and I'll still continue to learn..


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    • GlstngRosePetals profile image

      GlstngRosePetals 6 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

      Happyboomernurse: Thankyou for your comment, I think it's great that you got to see first hand the start of Hospice. It definitely has come along way's.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      This was a very compassionate, informative article about Hospice Care. When I first started working in home care many years ago as a publich health nurse there was no hospice in our community. When it did become available I often helped families transition their loved ones onto the hospice service because they had more services than we did- in particular spiritual and emotional support and standard procedures for comfort measures and pain relief. Also, patients who required hospitalization for acute problems remained under hospice service which offered extended visiting hours and support for family members.

      I'm retired now, but live in a community that has a state of the art Hospice Center which offers in-house treatment for hospice patients experiencing acute problems. They are often able to go back home after the acute problem is addressed, or if needed, they can spend their last few days or week of life in the Hospice Center.

      Voted up and useful.

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      Jessica King 6 years ago

      Hospice does NOT kill people with the drugs given. They BETTER their lives by giving it to them. These people do not deserve to suffer. Many times you cannot communicate with these people (as in my case) and you have NO idea what is going on, but you should know they are in pain just by the look in their eyes.

      Hospice is a true blessing to all who receive. These people care more about the quality of their patients lives, not the quantity. This is the most important aspect to them, as well as it should be for you as a family member.

      It is never easy watching someone you love pass. It is however awesome to know that with hospice you have a supporting, loving, caring staff to help you spiritually and emotionally.

      GOD BLESS all who offer these amazing services. You words are perfect and help all with unanswered prayers. When we are unable to understand, you are, and you helped to explain the process of death to me and my family. We will forever be grateful for the outpour of love and care we received during the time of our loss.

      HOSPICE is and act of God, you are all truly amazing and wonderful people.

      THANK YOU!

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      Mark Venture 6 years ago

      Thank you, 'Rose', your comments have helped me more than you may realize. Thank you and may peace alwaays be upon you.

    • GlstngRosePetals profile image

      GlstngRosePetals 6 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

      Mark Venture:

      I'm sorry for your loss of your grandmother and what you had to deal with. Hospice is for individuals that have 6 months or less to live. A lot of people on hospice care usually sign a DNR and hospice is for comfort care. Why someone didn't come out to evaluate your grandma I'm unsure of that answer. Cancer is a very ugly disease and a very painfull disease that people have to go through that have it. I know it seems like the hospital had stronger medications in which more than likely they do but also a hospital can administer medications through an IV which goes directly to the blood line and takes effect quicker than oral medications. As to your suspicion of your grandma purposely falling on the floor it could be possible and for the reasons your saying but it also could be maybe she felt like her illness was a burden to the family as well. I work with the elderly and have seen a lot that felt that way and they try to get up to do something on there own and they fall and when ask why didn't you call and they tell me I didn't want to burden you or bother you and I have to explain that that's what I'm there for is to help them. I really don't think your grandma wants your thoughts to drift that way and to beat yourself up from it. I'm sorry for your horrible experience from hospice and also the loss of your grandma...

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      Mark Venture 6 years ago

      Here is what I thought "Hospice" was, as summed up by my Grandmother's oncologist: highly trained nurses who come to an ailing family member's home to provide care, comfort and pain management. Here is what we got: highly trained nurses who come to her home to provide care, comfort and pain management. However, what we didn't know was that once a family member is in "hospice", he or she cannot be easily admitted into a hospital. The assumption is that the hospital can no longer do anything for your relative and therefore everything is handled by the hospice agency; any health issues, the above mentioned care and pain issues and they also help with clergy and funeral arrangements.

      This all sounds very nice but what they also don't tell you is that IF, your family member has an "episode", such as difficulty breathing or chest pains when a nurse isn't there--guess who handles things? YOU DO! No one comes to your house, you are given a "kit" with various syringes and things like morphine, lorazepam and suppositories but they talk you through it over the phone! Qh, they'll send someone out if you REALLY need them to but be prepared for a brow-beating when they arrive! And get this, if your family member has government assisted health insurance like my grandmother did, you can't call or send her to the hospital. If you do and Masshealth and\or Medicaid determines that the emergency was due to the illness for which he or she was admitted into hospice, guess who pays the bills? Yup, Y-O-U once again! So,to prevent this kind of thing, it's best to ask "permission" from the hospice answering service as to whether or not you should call an ambulance. Never mind that your relative is not quite at death's door yet, but if he or she has an "episode" that may not be related to the main sickness, it's best to waste time on going through the process of elimination first anyway! Oh, did I mention that the "skilled nurse" only comes once a week?

      My grandmother had terminal cancer which is why she was in hospice but she also suffered from Diabetes and Heart Disease for most of her life. She was having difficulty breathinng and chest pains and none of the hospice tools worked nor her nitroglycerin. She begged me to

      "Call someone" but as her symptoms were similar to those from a previous episode which the "skilled nurse" said could have been related to the cancer, I held off a little before I called to make sure the nurse was coming later that morning. The hospice "hotline" assured me he was and all seemed calm until about 15 minutes later. My grandmother fell out of her bed, her head struck the concrete floor of her apartment and she was bleeding badly. I called the "hotline" and the weary (annoyed?) person said they couldn't call an ambulance and that I had to.

      Goody-Gumdrops, I had permission!

      At the hospital We found out that what had happened is that somehow a clot had developed, maybe in my grandmother's leg or elsewhere and had made its way to her lungs and had enlarged! This was UNRELATED to the cancer and it was the reason why she was having chestpains and trouble breathing for the last couple of weeks! It was problematic to treat them at that point because the cancer itself was in its final stage. We elected to do nothing but give her painkillers until the Lord called her home. The problem for me is that if she had been examined and treated at a HOSPITAL weeks ago, could they have found these clots and treated them sooner? Also, the painkillers they had at the hospital appeared

      to be much stronger than what was in that hospice kit, and there is a nagging suspicion that my grandmother may have taken matters into her own hands and thrown herself out of her bed to force me to take her to the hospital--it chills my soul whenever I let my thoughts drift down this path! To me, the long and the short of it is that hospice failed us badly when it came to providing "care and comfort"!


      I can only comment on our experience with the hospice we used so others may be better, but if I had to do it again, I would have asked specifically why the hospice is needed at all and why don't hospitals have divisions on their grounds for this growing issue--if they don't have them, they should build them--cancer isn't going away any time soon and the current "powers-that-be" are too busy arguing over "taxes and spending" to do anything about a little thing like finding a cure for this lethal disease!

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      David B. 6 years ago

      I too have had awful experience with hospice. When you begin to tell them what you want, they push back and tell you what they are going to do. There is no dignity - arrogance is par for the course. I asked for an alternative for my father for pain management (they were administering too much morphine, he was hallucinating), and they started a fight accusing me in front of my dying father, saying that I wanted to withdrawal comfort for my father (not withdrawal, I asked for replacement). This was one of several such incidences throughout this horrible ordeal - this hospice exploited us.

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      cajunie 6 years ago

      We have discuss last night how my cousin die after two days in care of hospice at funeral.... my uncle said she is going to die within six weeks anyhow... I point out to them.. if the hospice did something against God's Will is MURDER..i have mission to help them ready to meet God and explain and comfort their family i have patient who refuse hospice's medication four years ago.. he have 10 percent of lung breathing and he is still living...

    • GlstngRosePetals profile image

      GlstngRosePetals 7 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

      smcopywrite Thank you for your comment and i to believe in hospice as an unselfish act of love for your loved ones.Loss is never easy thank you

    • smcopywrite profile image

      smcopywrite 7 years ago from all over the web

      hospice is one of the advancements in medical care that has made me a believer that there still may be some hope for the profession. the idea does meet the expectations. these are beautiful and wonderful people that are caregivers for your loved ones.

      putting a loved one in hospice is not a decision made lightly and with agony many people have to choose this route. taking care of a loved one at the end of their life is something you may want to do, but many times are unable to provide the care that your loved one needs. saying that hospice can is really an unselfish act of love.

    • GlstngRosePetals profile image

      GlstngRosePetals 7 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

      Julie A: Thankyou for your insight. I totally agree with you and hospice is for people that have 6 months or less to live. Being in the nursing field you see the stages of death and you learn a lot about death. I feel if people see death as much as a person in the nursing field then they would have a better understanding of it and then they wouldn't be so judgemental. Thankyou for your comment.

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      Julie A 7 years ago

      It is very difficult to let go of a loved one. It is easier for them to let go of you.

      I have now nursed three family members together with Hospice and I can guarantee you that to withhold the end of life drugs is an inhuman act to force upon your loved ones. We all want to think they are going to get better, or not THAT bad off or somehow being deprived of end of life communication. Doctors never suggest Hospice to patient who going to recover.

      When your doctor offers you the gift of Hospice give that gift of pain free death to your loved one with a warm hand and a warm heart. It is KIND, RESPECTFUL, and the most beautiful SELFLESS act to can ever give. The drugs will not hasten death. but will provide the quietude to accept grief in a loving setting. I hope I can touch your heart so you can pass it on.

    • GlstngRosePetals profile image

      GlstngRosePetals 7 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

      Judowolf: I agree we all need to realize that there's one guarantee in life and that's that were all going to die. I use to have the negative opinion but being in the nursing field and seeing the pain some go through with passing I rather have comfort meds and something to some what sedate me so I don't feel any pain when I go. Thankyou for your comment.

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      Judowolf 7 years ago


      I worked as a hospice social worker for eight years and it was nice to read this post, but more importantly your new perspective on hospice. Our society is still obsessed with living not realizing we are born to die. Hospice grasped this concept and many have died pain because of this with family and friends no longer fearful of the Grim Reaper. Thank You, Wayne

    • GlstngRosePetals profile image

      GlstngRosePetals 7 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

      Melanie Thank you verry much. I write how i see things inperspective to my life's experiances. If you have time i have other articles you may like as well Glstngrosepetals

    • profile image

      Melanie 7 years ago

      Wow Chris,

      I am a home caregiver for elderly. I think I can feel your pain in your writing. The disease killed, not you, you loved.

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      Chris Kotsakis 7 years ago

      my mom dies on hospice on october 6th they were wonderful

      However she didn't want to go

      she had primary biliary cirrhosis at advanced stage, sever ascites, muscle wasting and finally encephalopathy

      had fallen a few times and had very bad bed sores

      and her pain was started to be uncontrollable

      we took her form home hospice of only 3 days to in house hospice

      she would scream if anyone tried to touch her

      i believe it was a combo of pain and fear

      my heart was breaking

      she died 3 days later peacefully with her family around her

      i know she is at peace, at times i feel did i accelerate her death?, i cant wrap my head around it still it went so fast

      i was so very close with her and miss her so much, my wife and i had been doing fertltility the past 2 years to have a child and she was holding on

      it just wasn't meant to be

      i cry every time just thinking of it

      i just feel guilty at time that i actually killed her

      i know its crazy but i do

      i was her caregiver , from diagnosis to ten months later she declined fast

      all the specialsits said she could lived for years and she was too healthy for a transplant

      its was to say the east a very traumatic time and i still hear her screaming in my sleep

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      Dawn 7 years ago

      Someone please help me understand. My Granny just diagnosed w/ Lung and Liver cancer. We have her at in facility hospice, but they keep giving her morphine. It is totally sedating her and I feel she can have some quality and BALANCE w/ pain meds. She has lots of brain function......but this this drugs, she is so lathargic.....that is not what I call quality of life...She's just sleeping all the time. I say back up on the MEDs Dr and dont speed up the process of death, but make her comfortable w/ quality. I'm seriously thinking about ending this whold Hospice concept! Help me please.........

    • GlstngRosePetals profile image

      GlstngRosePetals 8 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

      ralwus: Thank you for commenting and glad you had a good experience.

      susan: I am sorry to hear about your loss and I think they only wanted to make anyone who is in there comfortable.

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      susan 8 years ago

      My husband died in a hospice facility two weeks ago. And yes, I have very negative opinions about hospice. He was in the hospital for more than 4 weeks before he went to the hospice, and the nurses there were caring and professional.

      The staff at the hospice, known as one of the best in the state, all have the belief that everyone who is dying is agitated and anguished who need to be snowed out with drugs such as Lorazipam and that the family members are emotional basketcases who need the help of social workers.

      WE had to tell them to back off.

      I had my family promise that they would never put me in a hospice after this God-awful experience.

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      ralwus 8 years ago

      My god. Empty of comments. I'm so glad I found this. yes, Hospice is great. My Mom was dying of cancer and my eldest sister took her in. The Doctor advised them to get Hospice. So did I. The whole family was against it and thought I was awful for she was not going to die and Hospice is for the dying, right? Well, she finally relented towards the end and Mom's final days were done with dignity and the finest of people caring for her. The family all came 'round with a new opinion and right one of Hospice. great hub. peace, CC