They were a big Samoan family who supported their mother’s decision to not undergo dialysis for her kidneys. She had no appetite for her favourite foods and the level of care was entering into an unknown realm. In the distant past the caregiver had done some volunteer work for Hospice and thought this might be the answer to the problem.
A family meeting was called and Hospice intervention was discussed. The siblings were unanimous in their decision. No Hospice, they viewed it as a betrayal and a failure on their part that their mother would be under the care of strangers instead of within her own family. The siblings were having difficulty accepting the stage that their mother was at.
Christmas came and she was very ill, she tried to make an effort to enjoy the day for her children. Her grandchildren carried her outside into the Marquee for Christmas dinner.
She didn’t want to spoil the day for her children. They took her back to bed after a couple of hours. She was too exhausted to sit up any longer.
Two days later she was in hospital, unable to communicate. She sat and stared into space. In the morning she woke up and pleaded to go home.
Without consulting anyone her caregiver made the decision to request palliative care through Hospice. By the time the discharge from hospital was completed, the hospital bed had already been delivered to her home. Pain relief had been organised to ensure there was no breakthrough pain.
The family had been standing alone with care of their mother and initially viewed Hospice as a “us or them” situation. The siblings quickly realised it was more of a “we are on the same team” situation with a wonderful wrap around service.
The experienced nurses provided kind compassionate loving care. The family wanted the best care for their mother and thanks to Hospice they got it.