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Taking Care of Mom and Dad: Hospice Care Introduction

There's nothing harder than watching your mom or dad die a long, excruciating death. My dad's cancer had him in and out of treatment so much that I didn't know when the madness would stop or when either the cancer -- or treatment -- would take him. When we decided to stop chemo and radiation, it was time for hospice. I couldn't take care of him myself, the rest of the family lived far away...and the hospital would no longer admit him. I needed to find a place for him to peacefully endure what life he had left; he needed constant attention, continual meds and a good place to die. So he wouldn't be alone.

It's hard to face reality when a parent has an illness you know may be his or her final one. Caring for a terminal illness is not something most laypeople are prepared to do; and it's even harder when the dying person is your parent.

Hospice care can help you and your parents deal with this difficult process. In this chapter, we'll outline how hospice care works and how you can make it work for your family during an often difficult time. When one or both of your parents are in their final stages of their lives, you'll want them to be in the most comfortable environment possible -- a place where they can live out the rest of their lives with minimal pain. This is what hospice care provides.

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