Healthcare Professionals
Make Referral Now

Donations Contact Us

Expect more from us. We do.

Crossroads University

Sign up to receive Gift of a Day emails

Ultimate Gifts

When hearing about hospice for the first time for a loved one, who would you prefer to hear it from?

View Results

September 2014

Why It’s OK for Your Loved One to Stop Eating and Drinking on Hospice

We associate food with comfort. Babies bond with their mothers while nursing or being fed a bottle. We give our loved one chicken soup when they are in bed with a cold.

Food is so important to our cultural celebrations and holidays. A colorfully decorated cake and ice cream on birthdays. Turkey and all the trimmings on Thanksgiving. Spiral ham, pecan pies and sugar cookies at Christmas. Sufganiyah and livivot on Hanukah. BBQ burgers, dogs and ice cold watermelon on the 4th of July. It goes on and on. For generations, this is how we have shown our family and friends that we care about them. As a 20 year hospice nurse, the common concern I hear from families of our hospice patients is: “I don’t want mom to starve,” or “I really want to get some fluids into dad.” I completely understand their concern on several levels.
  • Personal: Four years ago my mother died. She was admitted to a rural hospice service after a lengthy illness. She had gone five days without food or fluids. My siblings and I were at her bedside when she took her last breath. I have to admit, even knowing the clinical implications of forcing food or fluids at the time of death, I struggled to make the decision.

  • Emotional: It is difficult to think that we may be allowing our loved ones to feel hunger or thirst. Caregivers wonder: Am I going to feel guilty after it is all said and done?

  • Clinical: During a terminal illness, providing food or fluids late in the dying process can actually be worse for our loved one.

While all of those levels are important, it is the clinical level that is the most easily misunderstood. I want to explain how and why it is not always best to feed and hydrate dying patients.


Crafting with Dementia Patients: Cheerio Bird Feeders

Posted on September 20, 2014

Dementia is a devastating symptom that slowly makes a person fade away, little by little. Having a loved one with dementia is a difficult adjustment.

As a caregiver, you’re challenged with keeping a loved one with dementia stimulated, socially engaged and happy with life. A simple craft can grab your loved one’s attention and keep them engaged. Plus, studies have shown that cognitive stimulation can actually slow the decline of dementia in early stages.

Please complete the following form to access the requested document:


Thank you. Your information has been saved and you will no longer have to fill in this form to access this document. Please click the link below to access your requested document.