Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Illinois 2 hours south of Chicago
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My husband's grandmother passed away at the end of June and was in Hospice care via a hospice nurse. She was 86 years old and one day collapsed at home, was hospitalized and found to have liver cancer and tumors in her stomach, no real surprise she smoked like a chimney and only weighed about 80 pounds. I think they usually refer you to hospice if you have 3 months or less or maybe it is 6 or so... Anyway she was given 3-4 months, she only lasted 3 weeks. They set her up at home (someone was always there) and the hospice nurse is your contact. This one was absolutely fabulous. I have also worked with some hospice nurses in the past and they do have hearts of gold. I think generally speaking there is a really high turnover rate, as it is difficult, emotionally draining work. I took a Death and Dying class several years ago to be a Hospice volunteer too. Maybe if you local hospital has something like that, you could do that too. There is such a need. Some people just linger and linger. With hospice it does not matter how much pain medication you need, if you need it, you get it. I don't think this rattling on was too informative but your work will be challenging and rewarding to say the least.