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Old 04-05-2013, 10:42 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2003
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I need opinions please

I am currently my MIL's primary health care provider with lots of family and friends. Although she has the diagnosis of small cell lung cancer and is fading very quickly, she still insists that she finish her radiation--three more sessions and then the one month wait until the CT scan. She is 88 and refused chemo, accepting radiation only because the cough might diminish . I have been a nurse for 25 years and want her on hospice because of the ease of care. Her daughter--also a nurse and I want to know what will happen if Wednesday after her last treatment we just tell that doctor that we're putting her on hospice since I have power of attorney. As it it, MIL is sleeping 20 hours a day, but is alert and oriented x 3 most of the time.We are so new at this........
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:33 AM   #2
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Why not talk to the doctor about your MIL and how to make her comfortable? I guess that is what I'm reading that you just want her comfortable? I could be way off base though. You may need a doctor "prescription" to utilize hospice and have insurance pay for it.

I cannot say enough good things about hospice. Hospice can be a great help and not just for end of life stage but can help for several other stages in life. Talk with the hospice coordinator to see how they can help your family. YOur Area Agency on Aging can also be a great resource on how to help your MIL.

I'm sorry your family is going through this. It is never easy but wonderful that you and your family at least are talking and trying to come up with some solution. I will send a prayer for your family.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:42 AM   #3
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Although it sounds as though this is what you are already doing...have you considered placing her on palliative care? She will then have home care (a little) and typically the same team/service can transition you to hospice. It makes people or families that are not ready for the jump straight to hospice time to digest the situation. Unfortunately, i am very familiar with this situation in both my every day work setting and the "medical person" in the family.
Good luck
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Old 04-06-2013, 12:27 PM   #4
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I agree with the PP about palliative care. I am a nurse also and my MIL transitioned my FIL from HH into hospice using the same agency. He really liked the HH nurse and luckily she could also take him on as a hospice patient. He was very private and this made it much easier for him. If you need the support definitely talk to her physician about it. It sounds like she may be ready but does not realize it like you do--as her caregiver, take that first step and let the doctor know.

Sending you prayers and I love my MIL like that, too.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:28 PM   #5
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I am so sorry you are going through this. I have been there with my MIL 12 years ago.

I am not familiar with the US way of things, but it seems you have received some good advice on the situation.

Thoughts and prayers.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:03 AM   #6
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You cannot force your MIL into palliative care if she is mentally sound. She has the right to fight for her life and make her own decisions. Power of attorney does not give you power to dictate a mentally sound and reasonable persons therapy. She can revoke it at anytime aswell.
You may however convince your mother to decide to go to the hospice
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