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View Diary: My Dad and Cancer (88 comments)

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  •  A good hospice (10+ / 0-)

    Hi Bob,

    I've been watching the thread all day, so I thought I'd do a recap of my mom's hospice last year.   A mix of pretty good and not quite optimal.  We were pretty lucky.

    1. private spacious room with a view.   tall windows is a help, preferably not facing south.   As spacious as you can get.
    2. sufficient numbers of hospice staff.   We hired an extra set of hands beyond what the hospital program provided.
    3. Since my mom signed the contract, when the hospice staff is around, they are legally in charge.    If not, then family.   I sense your father's situation will be different.
    4. One person had to be kicked off the property.  
    5. Some doors are noisier than others.   We oiled doors but it quickly became apparent that one door was quieter than the others.
    6. All visitors except hospice staff had to park away from the house.  
    7. Dog barking can be a problem as visitors arrive.
    8. I wish I had known the difference between pain and anxiety attack, one night.
    9. Keep ahead of the constipation issue.    This will help on the sleep.
    10. There will be a hospice nurse on call 24 hours, we hope. They may have to call you back in 1-5 minutes instead of being right at the phone.  
    11. Some visitors can stay 5 minutes.  Some can stay more.  
    12. Make sure all visitors know the rules and guidelines.   They just cannot walk in.   At least one of my relatives thought they could do that and my mom complained later.  I ended up banning that relative for a few days.
    13. Lip moisturizer may be important.
    14. Sometimes it takes 2 people for some care.   Sometimes its good that hospice works alone.  Some hospice assistance helped me keep the kitchen clean.  With all the visitors or special food, not to mention me, it was a great help to know someone was with me most mornings.
    15. I made sure the commode was spotless after any use.  It was the least I could do.

    As for yourself, know that you are already doing the best you can.    I can feel it thru my keyboard.

    •  Not enough talk (7+ / 0-)

      We didn't have a lot of time to talk.   My mom went downhill pretty fast.  

      Her main concern was that someone would take care of her dog who is now asleep in a blue chair under a blanket.

      •  My sister too. She didn't want to talk about it. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fleet, Avilyn

        I finally pushed through the wall and one day, when she and I were alone and I was helping her get dressed, I just blurted out "I'll always take care of your kids".  She just looked at me and nodded.  That was her choice, but I had to say something. I wish she had been willing to talk, it all would have been so much easier, but that was how she chose to go.  In fact, two weeks before her death, she had a barbeque and about twenty five people at the house.  My husband's mother asked my "why are they doing that?  She should be quiet (and praying!)", which almost made me lol, but yes, it was strange with my sister laying on a lounge chair in the yard, and one by one, her family and friends took turns sitting next to her and just being with her.  She was so happy that day.  So, who is to say?  In hindsight, that was a better way to go out...smiling, happy, surrounded by friends and family, as opposed to shades drawn, people crying and praying over her bed.  BTW, my sister's dog was diagnosed with cancer before she died.  We never told her, and Bailey passed away about three weeks ago.  

    •  This list is very helpful and practical. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fleet, Avila, hazey, Avilyn

      It is amazing how much of it comes down to the most simple things, isn't it?

      So kind of you to share your hard-earned expertise.

      I'm seeking to organize DKos members in SE Michigan--roughly, from the Ohio line at Lake Erie NE to Port Huron, W to Flint and back S from there. If you'd like to join our new group, Motor City Kossacks (working title), please Kosmail me.

      by peregrine kate on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:23:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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