My grandfather has lung cancer and has about 3-6 months to live. He's 89 and has been in great shape almost all his life until now...His request is to die at home. Has anyone ever been through this home hospice care? My only concern is that my sister and her two boys ages 6 and 7 are living there and I'm concerned about the boys witnessing this. I know they offer counseling and all...Dying of cancer is not a pretty sight and I'm just worried.. I guess I just need reassurance is all.
Thanks everyone and I hope someday they beat this damn disease!
Hi Karic, I have not been through hospice but I hear they are a God-send when it comes to that point. They are very good at handling the physical and emotional/mental needs of the moment. Please keep coming here, as sometimes those that have already walked this path come by and offer their strength and knowledge. Take care and know that we are praying for you.
My father-in-law had hospice in August/Sept of 2001 and they were wonderful. My mother-in-law had a hard time with them and gave them resistance but later saw they were there to help. My oldest son was going going into 7th grade at the time and my youngest was starting kindergarten and they were both there when he died. We spent the entire summer either at the hospital or at their home caring for my father-in-law so the boys got use to their grandfather being sick and seeing him die. I spoke to Hospice about my youngest being there when he died and they felt it was up to me. I also spoke to my sons doctor and get her opinion and she thought since he had seen everything so far that it might be good for him to be there. So to say the least...he was. I had a lot of people say I was wrong but I think it depends on the child and how you feel about it. He was very close to his grandfather too and we thought he might need the closure. I did not allow him to go to the viewing though because I thought that might be too confusing to see him laying there. I am actually glad I did let him see that since now his dad has cancer and he sorta knows what will happen. I know it will be a lot for a 9 year old to go thru but we have no choice since it is his dad now...I think my 16 year old is having a harder time right now than my 9 year old but think that will be reversed if my husband cannot beat this terrible disease. My 9 year old spends all his time with his dad and he will have a big void. I hope your sister's kids can handle it and just know hospice is great based on our experience. (I know each person has their own opinion) Death is just not easy at any age....My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and grandfather...
When my 2 aunts died of cancer, ( ovarian and pancreatic) they both had hospice as did my mom's neighbor and and they were a godsend to the families.I think it would be difficult to get through a home death without their guidence.
As for the kids, I can see the concern but I think kids tend to be much better at dealing with death then we think. My 3 cousins were all young when their dad died of lung cancer and they all dealt with it and went on to have normal lives and be strong adults. Over the years I have seen many children at the bedside as death claimed a loved one.Very seldom have I seen a child upset by all the life support the loved one is on. I also remain haunted for the past 20-21 years as to a case where a young single mother had lymphoma and ended up in our ICU on a ventilator and was dieing . She had a 7 year old son that wanted to come in to see her and she refused to allow him too as she did not want his last memory of her to be her on a ventilator dieing. His Grandparents would bring him to the hospital but not take him in to see her ( thou the grandma wanted too but honored her daughters wishes).We would see him at the door to ICU crying and begging to go in and see his mom. I felt so sorry for the child as all he wanted to do was see his mom and say good bye to his mom.
Growing up we had a wonderful dog that suddenly got real sick so my parents took her to the vet and came home with out her and explained the vet had to put her to sleep. Being about 7, I had a hard time believing that so told myself it was a lie that the vet had stolen our dog for his own kids. ( he had always commented on what a nice dog she was!). Everytime we drove by his place which was a home type vet office I would look to see if my dog was out in his yard. I think had I been allowed to be a part of her death yes it would have hurt but my imagination would not have made up the tale it did and I would have gotten over the loss faster. I always wonder about that boy and his mom, did he really understand what had happened to her or did he too make up a story he told himself? Children have such strong imaginations that I think the tales they come up with to explain a loss that they were not allowed to be a part of can be more of a nightmare then being a part of the death process would have been.
I am sure the hospice nurse can help your sister decide how involved the kids should be and has probably dealt with it many times in the past. My prayers go out to your family. JanMarie
Hello Karic - Hospice is a must-have in every end-of-life situation in my opinion. Having just completed about ten months of getting my father through his final stages of life (lung cancer), I can tell you that we wouldn't have been able to survive w/out Hospice at-home care - they also enabled my dad to live out the remainder of his life the way he wanted. When I expressed concern to my 9-year-old daughter about seeing her Grampa Tom ill, she said, "Mom, he's my grampa!" I felt like an idiot!!! At any rate, Hospice certainly provided the medical necessities at the drop of a hat, but also provided the much-needed spiritual support we all need in times of crisis. I was so grateful to our local Hospice and will now begin the volunteer training course in my local area - the rewards of being able to help my dad in any way were so profound that I feel I must continue the journey. This is my first post, and I signed up because I felt compelled to answer your concerns and wish you the best of luck.