In honor of my father, today is the anniversary of his death
, I've been volunteering at a very small hospice) just sitting with two patients when I can, one in particular. This gentleman is a ward of the state, lost his wife to cancer 12 years ago, and has two sons that rarely visit. He sleeps most of the time, can not vocally speak (But communicates very well with me through nods, lip movement). I feed in mashed food, and or liquids. He also gives me beautiful smiles, winks and blows me kisses! His eyes are rarely open, but he'll open them for me for short moments in time. They are a bit glossy though he can see well enough and they get filmy. His thought process seems very clear. With Hippa I do not know what he is hospice for. He is diabetic and doesn't ever seem to complain of pain. I was dismayed the other day as the staff told me he wasn't eating or drinking much, and for a moment he made those loud gurgly breaths. Gratefully, they went away very quickly AND he ate a large bowl of mashed eggs and an entire carnation protein drink for me.
I am just a volunteer that provides company. He's been watching the ceiling lately, but I don't think he sees anything special.
I'd really like advice/tips on anything that could make my visits helpful.
For instance: Should I encourage him to eat if he's willing when I'm there (or is he likely just eating for me?)
Should I offer to pray with/for him? whatever his religion?
Does the film on eyes mean anything?
should I ask him about what he sees?
Because he peps up with my visits, they encourage me to wake him, is that useful?
Just looking for ways to make his last days better than worse. Also, any tips on preparing myself for the worst. I'm not sure if I can manage to sit with him when I see the worst of the signs my dad displayed, but I will try.
I was blessed to have the last week in hospice to stay at my dad's bedside and hold his hand. He did not talk and was in a lot of pain, and slept much due to the morphine, cancer. So this is a bit different.