I am a pre-nursing student but my question applies to some personal experiences of mine.
My father passed away a little over a year ago from lung cancer. He came to live with me three months prior to his passing after being recommended to hospice care. Although most of the his care fell on my shoulders, the hospice staff, including nurses, counselors, secretaries, etc. were some of the most selfless and caring individuals I have ever come across.
So many times when mentioning that my father was in hospice care, people would turn their noses up, as if to say "oh I would never". I don't get it. I mean I have to admit even convincing my father that hospice was a good thing was a challenge. Luckily, he finally agreed and they not only provided support to him but to my entire family as well.
Now my grandmother (my father's mom) is now in end stage COPD and the hospital has made it clear there is nothing that is going to help her get any better. They keep bringing up hospice/comfort care to my Aunt, who has the final decision and AGAIN, all I hear is I WOULD NEVER! Never what? Provide your loved one with the compassion and dignity that they deserve
at the end of their life? Guarantee that their passing will be as peaceful and painless as possible?
Well, I think I finally have her talked into what would be best for my grandmother and that is to provide her with comfort care and to stop forcing medical intervention when it has absolutely no impact. No more vents, no more poking and proding. Now the chaplin and my Aunt bring it up to my grandmother and she REFUSES to have anything to do with hospice. She says send me to a nursing home but leave hospice out of it.
I am so sorry for such a long post but I just get so frustrated. My father and I had such a good experience with all the angels of hospice and I hate that so many others who truly need them refuse to accept their care.
I realize that it is a very difficult time when hospice is recommended for anyone but the outcome will inevitably be the same. Why not try to ensure that everything that can be done, is done at that most difficult time.
My thanks goes out to all hospice employees who choose to make a difference when it truly matters most.