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  1. Thank you for sharing these words. Hospice social workers do very important work with and for the dying and their families. Your heart is clearly open and I am sure your clients are deeply grateful for what you do for them.

    January 27, 2012
  2. rosedeam #

    does hospice help the person die by giving them meds to put them to death and why can a person be talking and 10 min later died.

    May 22, 2012
    • We are very sorry to learn of your loss and the difficulties that you and your children are experiencing during your time of grief. No, hospice does not give people medications that cause death. This common misconception refers to the practice of euthanasia and is illegal in the United States. This practice also conflicts with the philosophy of hospice, which is to help people live each day as fully and comfortably as possible. Medications used in hospice care bring comfort and relief of pain and other symptoms, not an early death. Your husband’s physician likely recommended or certified the need for hospice care because of the serious nature of his illness. Ensuring his comfort and providing you and your family with additional support was a priority.

      Even when someone is on hospice care, it is not uncommon to be shocked by the seeming suddenness of their death. Changes and signs of slow decline are often missed when we care for someone on a daily basis. While many people who receive hospice services experience a slow, predictable decline before death, there are many illnesses and circumstances that do cause a sudden death. During our vast experiences caring for many people facing end of life, we have seen some people die suddenly from a heart attack, stroke, blot clot, or some other natural medical event that is a consequence of an illness. Others experience a long and protracted process of decline that can also bring distress for family members who fear their loved one is suffering.

      Loss is hard, and having more questions than answers can make the process more challenging. You may find the blog post Dispelling hospice myths or our Useful Tools section helpful. We will also continue to address the important questions that you raise in future blog posts. Additionally, you may want to contact your hospice program, discuss your concerns, and seek support from the bereavement program.

      Thank you for following Caring with Confidence and for sharing your story. It is a validation for others that may be experiencing the same fears or worries.

      Terre and Val

      May 25, 2012

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