Hospice or home

  • Posts: 1
    07/03/2018  18:27

    My father has end stage heart failure and copd; he's 95 and I am looking after him at home; but although he had said he wanted to stay at home, I am worried that as his condition deteriorates he would be more comfortable in the hospice where emergency medication can be administered quickly.  We have a Right Care in place with emergency medication here, but I am so worried that if we needed it there would be a period of time when Dad was suffering before anyone could get here.  Ringing 111 seems to be a long-winded process.  He is very poorly now, and sleeping a lot, but getting the weight off his bottom is becoming increasingly difficult because he prefers to sleep in his reclining chair.  He is barely eating, and finds taking fluids difficult, but I understand it is so important to keep him drinking.  His edema has become increasingly worse, and his legs and middle are very swollen.  

    He is so stoic, but I am desperate that he doesn't suffer towards the end.  If anybody has any advice please do share it with me.  Hospice at Home are going to be involved with Dad's care, and we have a district nurse and heart failure nurse closely involved.  I don't want to move him now, but I don't want to compromise his care if he would be better in the hospice.  I just hope that Dad passes in his sleep, without having to go through the end stage, or suffer more than he is now - it's awful to witness and I feel helpless that I can't relieve his conditions.  

      

  • Posts: 225
    08/03/2018  17:37

    Dear Freya,

     

    I'm sorry to hear about your dad. Caring for a loved one who is reaching the final stages of their illness can bring with it many different emotions. As your dad’s carer you are close to everything he is experiencing, it’s understandable that witnessing this is distressing at times and that you want to ensure he can be as comfortable as possible


    It can be a difficult decision and you clearly want to get dads care right for him. With specialist nurse input such as the hospice at home nurses that you mention they may reassure you where dad would be most comfortable. In some areas there is a specific rapid response service for palliative care patients. Their role is to respond to the changing clinical condition of a patient and provide urgent care such as symptom management at short notice. The heath care professionals currently supporting you and your dad can tell you if this type of support is available where you live. You might also find our information on caring for a family member helpful, https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/help/support/being-there/end-of-life-preparation/home

     

    You mention that your dad is finding it more difficult to take fluids now. As well as seeking advice from his nurses you may find the suggestions we have here useful - https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/help/support/being-there/end-of-life-preparation/changes

     

    If you would like to talk about things in more detail please call our Freephone Support Line on 0800 090 2309, or drop us a line via Web Chat: 

    https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/help/support/marie-curie-support-line


    Best Wishes


    Clare


    Marie Curie Support Line

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