Cheyne talks about what hospice care meant for his dad and family.
Ann, 88 years old was diagnosed with end stage lung disease.
In her last 12 months of life, she was on continuous home oxygen and was able to mobilise only from room to room.
Breathlessness caused Ann great distress and she was fearful of what her last-days-of-life might bring, she was therefore adamant that she did not want to die at home.
This fear prompted countless ambulance call outs and over 8 acute hospital admissions in a 6-month period. Some admissions were also prompted by her son’s exhaustion as sole caregiver.
Ann’s need for palliative care was recognised by her GP but at the time she was ineligible for care by specialist palliative care services, and community-based nursing providers lacked the specialist skill needed to meet her needs.
Ann died in a 4-bed room on a busy general medical ward.
David, 67 years old was diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer.
He was adamant that he did not want to die in hospital, however,
his wife was afraid for him to die at home.
His wife was worried that she would not know what to do during his final days and hours, and after David’s death. She was also concerned that she would have to continue to live in the place where her husband died.
Honouring his wishes, David’s wife cared for him at home. It came at a considerable emotional and physical cost to her, as she was also required to continue working during this time.
During his final days, David collapsed at home and his wife was unable to lift him and continue to care for him. An ambulance was called, and David died in hospital.