Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Losing hospice

I lost a major support system last week when hospice released my mother from their care. They say her condition has stabilized. Her weight is holding at 90 pounds, and they've seen no significant cognitive decline in recent months.
It was quite a blow. The CNAs, RNs, office staff and others had been a comfort to me for just over a year, as they helped me take care of my parents.
They fed Mama and Daddy, bathed them, dressed them, helped them with toileting, sat with them on the porch, took their temperature and blood pressure, monitored their bowel habits and emotional well-being, and one even painted Mama's fingernails on a regular basis.
On the morning Daddy died, a hospice nurse and social worker were at the door to take care of things. It was so nice for someone else to be in charge. To answer my questions. To help me answer Mama's questions.
Knowing the medical staff, especially, was keeping close, weekly tabs on both of them this past year was such a comfort for me. One less thing for me to do. I feel lost now. In the few days since she was released, I've noticed several changes in Mama that have worried me, but I can't call our nurse to discuss why Mama is suddenly unable to swallow at many meals. She just holds the food in her mouth and looks at you as if to say: "What do I do next?" She's done something like this before, but it's different this time, more frequent. She's also been more confused and restless. But I have no one to talk to about it.
And, as coincidence would have it, our hospice closed its doors for good on the same day they released Mama.
I'm very thankful for hospice and all they did for my family, emotional, medically and financially. I just hate they had to leave me.

1 comment:

  1. Lisa,are you familiar with the family caregiver support program run by the Area Agency on Aging(AAA)at the Council of Gov't downtown?The contact is Kim Emory, Family Caregiver Specialist (252) 234-5960. Give them a call they may be able to offer you some help.