|dying patients deserve to be in hospital|
their families have earned this right
Palliative patients need small amounts of food, if any, they need to wear an incontinent pad, have their catheter bags emptied, the colostomy bag needs careful cleaning. Some, in a coma, need to be turned regularly. Many palliative patients get this type of care. Others are abused by staff, and a system that fails to comprehend what a good death should look like.
One client: at end-of-life, with end-stage COPD, oxygen tube for comfort, catheter, colostomy bag from a 3-year previous cancer, is taken to hospital since there isn't enough support for a spouse to cope.
Palliative Care roomSpouse takes the patient, clearly waking and sleeping, drifting in and out of consciousness, into
|Sandra Winspear, ED Hospice Muskoka|
Dedicates a palliative care bed in hospital
Staff are rude to these families. They tell the spouse the patient has to be removed and sent to long-term care. There isn't a place. They tell the spouse the patient is turning the corner, improving, and moves her to a room down the hall. The oxygen tube falls off the patient's face and it's up to the spouse to replace it.
'Here she is dyin' on you, and they move her to another room.'
There should be a PPS test done on a regular basis by staff. This doesn't seem to happen. She's at 30% when I visited her last at home, no better (20%) when I visited two weeks later in hospital.
Developed by the Victoria Hospice Society
A good death
- Physical (pain control, breathing, fatigue, bedsores),
- Spiritual (accepting death, doing a life review, seeing meaning on one's life, finding peace),
- Social (being conscious; communicating with family/friends, careworkers; communicating needs, wishes; sharing thoughts, feelings; having closure; saying farewell; a quiet, private atmosphere) and
- Emotional/psychological needs (accepting help; not being a burden; being peaceful; having self-esteem; enjoying simple pleasure by releasing hope by gaining peace; making choices).