"Bad" Hospices

Some people have talked to me about “bad” hospice experiences so I want to address the subject.

Unfortunately, there are agencies calling themselves hospice that really don’t practice the philosophy. Have you heard the saying “A rose is a rose, is a rose?" Well “A hospice is a hospice, is not necessarily a hospice."

In my travels I have seen way too many agencies that do not provide what I consider good end of life care. Actually the reason I do the presentation I offer is to educate caregivers on knowledgeable and compassionate care.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are uncomfortable with the care your loved one is receiving the first thing to do is talk with the Clinical Supervisor. Express your concerns, see what happens. If there is no satisfaction from the visit then talk with the Director of the hospice, tell him or her your concerns. This may be when you say you want to change to another hospice.

Most cities have more than one hospice. If you are on the Medicare Hospice Benefit there are agency procedures to change care providers. Simply call another hospice, explain your situation, express your dissatisfaction with your current hospice and get their plan of care.

If you bought a new TV and it was not working correctly you would return it and buy a different one. Hospices, as well as doctors, work for you. If you are dissatisfied, get a different one that works for you.

All this said I am going to add a qualifier: Hospice is going to be honest and direct with you concerning your loved one’s illness, care and prognosis. You will hear advice and directions for care that talk about living and dying, words we really don’t want to hear. Don’t let your feelings about losing your loved one affect how you are viewing the hospice. Sometimes we displace our anger that our loved one is dying onto circumstances around us that we have more control over.

Entering Hospice care is a monumental decision. It says what none of us want to admit--someone we care about is dying soon.

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