Dear Barbara, Last night my mom was up eating ice cream after having dinner. Tonight she is knocked out. She has wound care and does have some pain. She recently was in a rehab facility and then long-term care. They recommended coming home with hospice. On day 3 of hospice, they started on heavy-duty drugs that the skilled nursing facility did not give her, and didn’t think she needed. She has not been out of bed or eating because she is so drugged up. I am extremely angry right now. If they had felt like she was in that kind of pain at the skilled nursing facility, then I think they would have given her more than Tylenol 3.
About your concerns of your mom being over medicated. Right now, today, contact your hospice nurse. Have her come to the house today to talk with you about your concerns. Have her explain why she is giving your mom the medications she is.
I’m not saying there is a right or wrong to what is happening with the care of your mother BUT, I am saying, you need to know and understand the why’s of the care she is receiving. You need to do everything in your power to understand the WHY.
If you are not satisfied with the conversation, if you are not completely comfortable with the nurse’s explanations, then call her supervisor and explain what you are thinking and feeling. Continue to ask questions until you understand and believe your mom is receiving the best and most appropriate care available.
DO NOT just be unhappy and concerned BE proactive. The hospice works for you. Ask questions, get answers you are comfortable with. You also have the option of changing hospices. If you do change, ask your questions upfront to the new hospice, explain why you are leaving the previous hospice, and ask how the new hospice will care for your mother differently.
Too often we are uncomfortable with and/or lack understanding of a situation but rather than ask questions we give way to the “authority.”
Unfortunately, our inaction then haunts us forever and complicates our already heavy grief.
Something More... about Hospice Works For You- Ask Questions
Treating the dying with pain medication is completely different than treating a patient who will get better. It's a concept that can be confusing for families. We have a booklet to help understand the way hospice will control the pain of your loved one. You may get a copy here: PAIN AT END OF LIFE . It also comes in the End of Life Guideline Series bundle and the Family Support Bundle.