PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Hospice Care

Gregory has a bad cough and cold again. It is the third in less than three months. His special care nurse called yesterday to let me know that she thought it was moving towards Pneumonia in his right lung.

This is often common in people with advanced dementia because they begin to forget how to swallow strongly at meal time and can aspirate (accidentally drawing material from the stomach or throat into the lungs) which can lead to Pneumonia. 

I will be meeting with the Hospice nurse at 4:00 this afternoon to activate Hospice Care for him. It is a pre-emptive move to make sure he will be comfortable should his illness get worse.

Hospice Care is not a death sentence and does not mean that the person will die soon, just that there is the possibility of needing specialized, more intense nursing care in case the illness does move towards death.

You have heard me talk about not wanting to inadvertently prolong Gregory's life, we both had talked about this when he was still able to do so, and therefore I have decided not to have his doctor administer antibiotics.

In the case of Pneumonia, this could lead to death. So my stand is that Gregory will decide (be able to get over) this latest round of illness by himself (as we keep him comfortable) or he will decide to (euphemistically) "go home."

Of course I will miss him and our daily, although narrow visits. I will be devastated by his death. But my decisions are made with love and only with Gregory's well being in mind and as I said we both agreed on these actions previously, not only for him but also if the decisions were being made for me about my health.

Of course I can intellectually discuss these issues here but with an emotionally heavy, sad heart. I'll keep you up to date as I know more.

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