Friday, March 16, 2012

Hospice, Long-Term Care, and Dementia Quiz

Hospice, Long-Term Care, and Dementia Quiz

What's your response to these statements?

By Frances Shani Parker, Author
1)   Death is a terrible thing.

Fact: Death is a natural part of life that everyone will experience. Accept, discuss, and prepare for becoming dead in your future.

2)   It’s always better to die at home.

Fact: “Home” can be the presence of love and comfort wherever a terminally ill patient may be. Most people die in institutions.

3)   Hospice speeds up death.

Fact: If two similar people had the same terminal illness, the one receiving hospice care would probably live longer.

4)   Pain is a natural part of aging and dying. Under-treated pain slows down the death process.

Fact: Pain medication is available to offer appropriate relief to patients. Under-treated pain worsens the process unnecessarily.

5)   Patients with dementia don’t miss visits from relatives and friends they don’t recognize.

Fact: Patients with dementia are often aware of their surroundings on some level. Loved ones should focus on patients’ current abilities and make every effort to spend quality time with them.

6)   Patients with dementia are always suffering.

Fact: Patients with dementia have varied days like everyone else. Happy memories and enriching activities can slow-dance into their realities and fill them with joy.

7)   Caregivers must only focus on their patients.

Fact: Caregivers must focus on their own care as well. They should seek supportive resources and monitor their sleep habits, irritability, and general health, always with a willingness to seek help when needed.

8)   Caregivers should not question decisions of healthcare professionals who are the experts.

Fact: Caregivers should be proactive as patient advocates. They should stay informed about patients’ symptoms, diseases, treatment purposes, and side effects.

9)   Long-term care facilities are not good places for children to visit.

Fact: Intergenerational experiences help children understand life’s passages. Children should experience opportunities that encourage them to become nurturing people, eliminate ageism stereotypes, and expose them to possible career choices.

10) Hospice work is mostly depressing.

Fact: Millions of hospice workers view their involvement with patients as privileged occasions for mutual growth and fulfillment.

© Frances Shani Parker

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback at many booksellers and in e-book form at Amazon and Barnes and Noble booksellers.


  1. These points are really effective and knowledge full. I like it.

  2. Great questions and answers!!! Thank you!


    P.S. Would you consider eliminating the "word verification" on your "comment settings"? It makes it hard to leave a comment. :-)

  3. Doris, thank you for your response about the post and "word verification." I didn't realize the verification was on. I do know how frustrating it can be copying the letters and numbers. I have eliminated it, and I'll see how that goes.


    P.S. Nice picture.

  4. I liked the questions, and I liked the answers, too. Where I work, I find the volunteers and facility staff seem to have a good rapport, which it helpful to me. I heard something this past weekend that stopped me in my tracks. A friend asked, "How can you stand to be around those people?" I'm thinking of writing a blog entry about it. "Those people," of course, are all of us.

  5. Doris, I had to put the "word verification" back. I started getting too much spam.

  6. PJ, Minnesota, regarding that comment about "those people," it's amazing the things people say and do with total insensitivity to others' needs. It's like the adult I heard say, "I don't visit my mother in the nursing home. She has dementia and doesn't know who I am and that I'm not coming."

  7. PJ, MinnesotaMarch 20, 2012

    Shani, it's hard to believe people say those things, but I have heard a lot of comments like that. Another woman said "I don't visit him (a father with dementia) because that's NOT my dad." Yikes. But we all have to live with the choices we make, and I suppose we end up regretting a lot of them. (I hope so, in some cases.)