Cheyne talks about what hospice care meant for his dad and family.
Colin, 78 years old was diagnosed with end stage lung disease. In his last 12 months of life, he was on continuous home oxygen and was able to mobilise only from room to room.
Breathlessness caused Colin great distress and he was fearful of what his last-days-of-life might bring, he was therefore adamant that he 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 his son’s exhaustion as sole caregiver.
Colin’s need for palliative care was recognised by his GP but at the time he was ineligible for care by specialist palliative care services, and community-based nursing providers lacked the specialist skill needed to meet his needs.
Colin died in a 4-bed room on a busy general medical ward.
Jane, 38 years was diagnosed with metastatic brain cancer. Her husband became the sole carer of their two young children and needed to work full time to support their family.
The burden was too great for Jane to be cared for at home, and the only option was for her to spend the last three months of her life in hospital.
Jane had a passion for gardening and adored her dog, Jasper. She and her family were devastated that her last months of life were spent away from her husband, kids, and Jasper, and instead spent mostly alone within the confines of a hospital room.