I just got back from visiting mom at the hospice. She is able to talk and carry her conversation which means you better know her life story. She still thinks he is living in Spain but I could not put down the decade. She did tell some stories about a bad man with a rifle, but I suspect thee are early memories from her childhood, possibly the Spanish Civil war. Once a loud Spanish mom, she speaks with a whisper now and I am barely catching most of what she says. But weak, she is.
I like the hospice. Personnel is friendly, mom seems to be cared for and she has said so. They asked us to bring a few items for her feel less in a strange place and even some usual bed garments that would make her relax with their familiarity. The TV is tuned to some channel that is nothing but relaxation music and pretty pictures of beaches, forests and jungle and she enjoys it.
A Catholic priest came by ( I was asked yesterday if she would like it and I gave the go ahead), prayed with mom and gave her Last Rights (Don’t freak, she does not to have one leg on the other side for that) and there were volunteers going door to door singing Christmas Carols.
I left after the wife cam in to pinch hit and stay with her. My wife and mom adore each other so I feel less guilty for leaving.
And that is something I am learning to deal with: The guilt. No matter what decision you make, you will get this “pang” of guilt not knowing if you are doing ot for the right reasons or selfishness or whatever your mind decide to use to screw with you .
She is loved, comfortable, clean, without physical pain… that is all I can do.
16 thoughts on “Hospice News”
That is great new , that she like it and has good staff workers and a visit from the priest. BTW – that TV channel with the constant soft music and pictures- THAT is what got me through when I was in hospital with my heart attack, it was SO nice, instead of all the talky talky blah blah TV stuff, just to relax, doze, and find an oasis of peace that was always there for me. And of course you did the right thing – caring for a loved one with the challenges that your Mom has, is too hard and too demanding for just a man and wife team to handle. But there, she has people available around the clock, and rapid access to medical needs. So drop the guilt and second thoughts, Just pray for her, and for your dear wife and yourself. I will be.
I haven’t had your experience personally. But some years ago, a friend/neighbor’s teenage daughter got bone cancer. She beat that but a few years later it hit again, in the form of leukemia, and that she could not beat. She spent some time (a few months, perhaps, I no longer remember) in a local hospice. The parents spoke very highly of it. And the way we look at it is that it takes a special level of nurse to be able to do that work, above and beyond the already special ability any nurse needs. That hospice is still one of the charities to which we give extra support.
I’ll second what Jay said. It appears you’re giving her the best you can — guilt is not appropriate nor good for anyone.
Rules: 1. Everything you will do, will be wrong. And some tool will tell you so.
2. You can only do, so much.
3 See your duty, do your duty.
4 encourage the tools to worship at the altar of the patron saint of Fertility.
5. You ARE doing good things. Own that.
And she has a son who loves her well.
God bless you all, Sir.
You ARE a good son. Remember that.
Been there, done that with multiple family members. You ARE doing the right thing.
‘She is loved, comfortable, clean, without physical pain… that is all I can do.’
Miguel, thank you for sharing. At times like this, it would be easy to let a few people you only know through their comments slip to the wayside.
It is really good news to find out about your Mom’s care. That will make this time easier for everyone.
If I were to give one piece of advice, it would be this: Cherish this time. Celebrate it. When my Dad went into hospice care, no one in my family was able to appreciate the few remaining good times.
Now, when we get together, about 20-25% of the stories we tell about Dad are from his last weeks. We did not laugh enough with Dad in those final days, and we should have. He was the one with the diminished mental capacity, not us, and instead of being flexible and finding ways to make it fun, we instead tried to be adult and make him remember, or act like Dad.
If your Mom thinks she is in Spain, go with it, and enjoy the stories.
God bless you, your family, and especially your Mom. She raised a good son, and she will be missed.
Oh… and get recipes.
“Oh… and get recipes.”
The wisdom of old age: She had me with her all this year making the favorite staples and repeating over and over “Pay attention!”
And my wife can still make a much better Spanish omelet than I can. It is embarrassing!
Remember you and your wife need to rest and care for yourselves too. If you are exhausted and distracted, even in her diminished state, your Mother will notice it and be worrying about you. Put her at ease by being bright, chipper, and fully there when you can, but understand that you cannot be there all the time. Rest, take care of your own lives; and be reassured she has good care when you are not there for her.
Like they said above, go with the flow about memories. Encourage her to talk about the good times and even relive them; and explain the bad times are long ago and far away. Do not be surprised if she does not recognize you, it isn’t personal, it is the dementia stealing her memory, hopefully only temporarily.
We will understand if you ignore us these next few months. Take care of your priorities first.
No guilt. She’s comfortable, she’s happy, her soul is clear, and she’s around a loving family. It really doesn’t get any better than that.
All is as G-d wills it. Hospice is peaceful and humane. Been there with my late father.
To go along with other people, I’ve seen hospice teams with my dad, my mom, and father in law. They’ve all been remarkable people. Kind, soft hearted, and astonishingly good at what they do. They remind us that the most important part in the word “healthcare” is care by making it obvious they do care.
Nothing I can think to say comes out without sounding like dumb platitudes. Take care of yourselves, and shower your mom with love. The job really is too big for a husband and wife team, and you’ve got a good team to do the hard stuff.
Rights are in the Constitution.
Mom got Last Rites.
Glad it’s going well for her. A lot of hospice outfits walk around with a stopwatch telling you when the one in question will expire. Not the way it should be.
As Joe Stilwell said, “I can only do my beast and the Hell with it”. Sounds like you did.
Yeah, those 🙂
My dad was never in a hospice, but folks from the hospice came by several times a week to his home. (My sister and I traded off staying with him, so he was never alone.)
They were great. The social worker and the chaplain would come by and chat with him. And with me – it was a hard time. And the hospice you are dealing with probably has some similar services. Ask. It is one of the hardest times of your life. You don’t have to do it alone.
As for the guilt, well, it isn’t your fault this is happening. And you can’t be there 100% of the time. Took me a while to figure that out, and I nearly drove myself crazy over it.
I’ve gone thru this with both parents and both in-laws. Simply accept the fact that you can’t be there 24/7, and you can’t know when it will happen. It may be quick, but you have to treat it like a marathon. Pace yourself, and accept that you may not be there when she dies. You’ve fought the good fight. You’ve done your best. You’ve ensured that she’s well cared for. That’s what matters.
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