Friday, July 24, 2009

Good-Bye Hospice

Mike's hospice nurse came by tonight and advised us that they will be "discharging" Mike from hospice in two weeks. Yes, you heard me. Even though I was told that some Alzheimer patients have been on hospice for years, our nurse said that their doctor is a "stickler about Medicare rules and they don't feel that Mike is in the end stage and should no longer require hospice services. And so, my fight begins.............

Alzheimer's Disease is unpredictable. It doesn't follow the "normal" path of other terminal illnesses. One day a patient can be fine, the next not so good. I know, because I have lived with Mike these last 8 years and have seen it first hand. Trust me, I am THRILLED that Mike has been "status quo" for so long, but to say that he is no longer "end stage" or in need of hospice services, I'm dumbfounded. I guess they expect me to take Mike to the Dr. for check ups if he gets a fever or bed sore? I'm not going to get too upset at this point, because I was never particularly fond of Hospice Care Network. Mike's nurse has been helpful, but the overall attention has not been there. This may just mean we may have to find another hospice to take him on. It bothers me because I feel like I've had my security blanket taken away.

I've found another battle to fight. The nurse said Medicare has strict guidlines for hospice patients. Apparently, no one at Medicare has ever had to deal with a LO with Alzheimer's. This disease is like no other. Other illnesses may be just as sad, but the amount of care needed for Azheimer patients should automatically qualify patients for matter what stage they are in.

No comments: