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Old 05-09-2007, 07:11 AM   #1
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lzing2 HB User
Advice on Father Please

I hope you can provide some needed advice....

I will start by outlining our situation:

My father who has terminal cancer(started as colon and well years later it just started appearing everywhere and now his bones) and if that were not enough he is diabetic. Through his own choice he never managed his diabetes well (now both of his legs are fully plugged and he nows uses a wheelchair to get around, plus the bone pain he is currently suffering)

To deal with his cancer has become a alcoholic. We choose again not to judge him as his children since who knows if we were given such a DG how we might deal with such pain etc....

His choice years ago; when we was not given long to live (now its 6years after that DX) was to die in his home with my Stepmother by his side. We accepted that as a family and respected his wishes. Part of the decision was evident, it was his alcohol dependancy, which if he was in hospital we would go without.

We arranged as a family for my father to recieve private in home palative care, nursing three times a day;seven days a week; as he has a morphine pump and other needs due to colon surgery years ago. They also have a house keeper who comes daily to releave my Stepmother of duties as she has had a heart attack recently.

This past weekend my father fell during the early morning hours trying to go into the washroom, he forgot to lock his wheelchair, in the dark missed the grab pole we installed for him and fell.... a mess was made, not going into details, and my stepmother could not lift him up...so she called 911....when the ambulance attendents came, they apparently were very rude and said to my father why are you not in a home, this is ridiculous....

Well! needless to say I have spent my week with calls from my father who is angry, hurt and frustrated....I guess my question for help is this....are we doing the right thing as a family? He wants to die at home, not an institution.
Is pallative care at home enough? Are we failing my father?

I guess now the ambulance attendant is making me question are choices...Please help.

 
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Old 05-09-2007, 08:30 AM   #2
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stcmom2 HB User
Re: Advice on Father Please

It was NOT the driver's place to say anything. It was his job to transport, take care of your father, and SHUT HIS MOUTH. In fact, he should be reported to his supervisor for being unprofessional. If anything, he should be more compassionate as one day HE may be in the same situation and who would want to spend significant amounts of time, and possibly die somewhere that is not their own home, away from family and familiar surroundings? Of course you are doing the right thing, and you should continue doing so.
As for night, or when he is up moving around, he may need someone standing by when he is walking around. If your stepmother isn't able to help him up, then you may need to look into more advanced care for him, or perhaps a catheter or other options. A visiting nurse will be able to come to the house, be like a case worker, assess the situation, make recommendations, and keep reassessing things as they change. I've worked in healthcare a lot of years and by far people are happier when they are able to remain in their home and surrounded be familiar surroundings. Wouldn't you be?

 
Old 05-09-2007, 08:44 AM   #3
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lzing2 HB User
Re: Advice on Father Please

stcmom:

Thank you, your right as I would want the same as my father....to die at home where I am comfortable. My brother did take the time to report the incident; however he said not much came from the complaint...sorry that was the experience; that was about all we got!

We have discussed this week hiring a full time nurse for my father, but it is hard to find someone for that position. I am in process of discussing with the health care provider now what further can be done to keep him comfortable.

It's funny how something like this can make you question yourself and actions, one rude person. Up to this point I thought we were doing all that was possible for him, providing all he needed. We outfitted his house to make it easy for him to moblize,rails, grab bars,ramps, special tub and shower,brought in a hospital bed, staff, nursing,arranged homecare to do shopping etc...and we get some unprofessional attendant at 5am who felt his job was to critize instead of help....as my brother stated maybe my father intrupted his early morning nap on a quiet night...

Thanks again.....you helped alot!

 
Old 05-10-2007, 04:51 AM   #4
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Mike In NY HB User
Re: Advice on Father Please

Your father belongs in a facility that can provide the level of care that he needs 24 hours a day. Lot of seniors in Nursing Homes that would rather be at home but they wouldn't get the care they need. Your family especially your Stepmother who has a heart condition is under enormous stress as a result of honoring his wishes. It's not working. The ambulance attendent was correct in his assessment. Parents wishes can't always be honored especially if they're unreasonable. One of the reasons he wants to remain at home is the Alcohol which he won't get in a Nursing Home or a Hospice. Everyone's life shouldn't be in chaos because of an unreasonable alcoholic parent. Since when should an alcoholic be making decisions that effect others. Consider your Stepmother and others including yourself. Again, the attendant was correct and said what no one else had the courage to say.

 
Old 05-10-2007, 06:12 AM   #5
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Re: Advice on Father Please

Mike:
I take your words into consideration and respect them. Again we have hired private nursing care, which as of last night will now be round the clock 24hrs/daily. We provided my father with staff as well to attend to all the house duties and anything my stepmother requires. My father is only in his late 60's and putting him in a home is quality of life will be less then what he can have with the attention of private nurses at his side at least in our health care system, which is not great, which is why we spend the money on private care.
His is terminal, and not sure dying in an institution alone is a wish any of us can live with...my stepmother would be devistated if that happened more so than being there for him. I remember the care my grandmother received as she passed with a care facility..one that was suppose to be top notch, well the care she received; what there was; discussed us. Thank god she was in a comma and not aware. Perhaps in the USA nursing homes are better staffed, here in Canada even the best ones leave something to be desired.

We has a family have talked about this for hours in the last few days, and have decided that we are making the right decision. We have the money to spend on this for my father, he also does, so we will provide him whatever care he needs till he passes in the place where he feels most comfortable.

I also talked with the local administrator for the Paramedic dispatchment and he concluded what took place was not called for, and he would attend and take action against the paramed in question.

Thank you both for input that I needed through this difficult time.
Lzing

 
Old 05-10-2007, 09:17 AM   #6
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juststressed HB User
Re: Advice on Father Please

First of all the paramedics were RUDE!!! They had no business to speak that way. The only thing I could suggest is that as a family you have to follow your heart. Nobody can tell you what the right thing to do is!! I have experienced the something very similiar and let me tell you til this day I regret the decision I made. I did put my loved one in a nursing home and she did not receive the proper care and that is where she died. The decision you have to make is not an easy one so please take the time to think it through. You and your family are in my prayers!

 
Old 05-12-2007, 12:52 PM   #7
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mary09 HB Usermary09 HB Usermary09 HB User
Re: Advice on Father Please

Hi Lzing,
I am so very sorry for your situation. My uncle cares for my 94 year old grandmother who is in late stage dementia. Not cancer, but a 24/7 caregiving situation. He is at his wits end. Some of my aunts and uncles want my grandmother to be in a home, but she is terrified and when she has lucid moments she begs him not to take her there.
It is an excruciatingly painful decision. And sadly alot of these parents end up in a home, because either their families dont want the stress and cant be bothered, or they've had to do so because it's got to the point where there's no choice. Either way, the ones that end up there, we can not guarantee what kind of care they'll receive.
I believe that paramedic had no right to say that to you. It takes a ridiculous amount of strength to care for a loved one at these stages, and, that should be respected. He has just seen one incident, and is making assumptions.
Does that mean if my 3 year old son has an accident at home, and we call the ambulance we are going to be accused of not watching him properly. Should he be taken away from me? Of course not, no matter who we care for, children or parents, we can not watch them every second. And dont tell me that in a nursing home, they are being watched 24/7, because I dont believe that for one second.
I'm not saying they are all bad, or that it is a bad idea, if it is a "good" nursing home, and you know that for sure....and your loved one is okay with being there, they can be a blessing. But let's not kid ourselves that they are "spas"...anything but!
My heart breaks for your father and for him to have terminal cancer at his age, I would never judge him for turning to alcohol. It is a horrible illness, and unless his drinking is "abusive" to his family, then I would probably say, if the man has a short time to live, then he should have it as painless as possible.
By no means is he an "unreasonable alcoholic"....Sorry Mike, but this poster obviously is in pain with this decision and really loves his father. To refer to his father as this, was insensitive...the man is dying.....and wants to die at home, that is something to be pitied, and not to be compared with someone who drinks for the hell of it and is a burden to his family. Sorry, but I just had to voice my opinion on that!

Lzing, I wish you all the best with this.....if you and your family together as a support system can support your FATHER AND YOURSELVES at home with the help of nurses....and you feel as strongly as he does about staying home, then this is what you should do. I'm sorry you are dealing with this...it is just so terribly heartbreaking.

My thoughts are with you!!

Carsam

 
Old 05-14-2007, 10:55 AM   #8
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lzing2 HB User
Re: Advice on Father Please

Thank you all so much, glad to report action was taken against the ambulance driver in question. I guess it it worth the effort to lodge a complaint. If there is a lesson in all of this, I guess that is the one.

After the weekend all seems ok, the new staff and the nurse seem great and my father likes everyone as well...which for my father is not an easy task...lol.

I do think in the end respecting his wishes to remain in his home with care was and is the right choice. I went to see him Sunday and he seemed comfortable and peaceful. As his daughter that is all I can ask for.

Lzing

 
Old 05-14-2007, 03:43 PM   #9
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mary09 HB Usermary09 HB Usermary09 HB User
Re: Advice on Father Please

That's great Lzing.....sometimes you follow your heart and you will come to the right decision.
Also glad to hear that paramedic is going to be put in his place.

Hope your and your father continue to cope well under such difficult circumstances, I know it's really hard.

Blessings to you all,
Carsam

 
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