Monday, August 21, 2017

Hospice Dementia Live Discharge Impacts Caregiver Grief (Research, Video 2:23)

Live discharges from hospice include patients deciding to resume curative care, improved patient conditions beyond hospice guidelines, or hospices inappropriately using live discharge to avoid costly hospitalizations. In terms of patients discharged who have dementia, another layer of concerns can be added for caregivers. Caregiving a hospice patient who has dementia includes a series of transitions in their roles. When the patient no longer meets eligibility criteria, it can be very difficult for caregivers who have been anticipating an end to understand the discharge in the context of their grief process.  

Research on hospice discharge of patients with dementia explains the unique grief experience of these caregivers. They struggled to understand the patient’s terminal prognosis as temporary. In addition, caregivers were left to resume caregiving responsibilities or assume a new caregiving role after experiencing a loss of hospice services. Hospice social workers are particularly needed to offer emotional and other concrete support to caregivers who experience a live discharge of patients who have dementia.

This video indicates the symptoms and behaviors commonly seen during the final stage of dementia progression.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.


  1. It is really helpful. This issue has to be considered at the time of discharge.

    1. Yes, these caregivers need that support.