Archive for Caregivers – Page 2

Hospice On A Bad Hair Day

Even the "rich" can have a bad hair day!

Even the “rich” can have a bad hair day!

I was not there.

What I write next is based on the flimsiest of accounts, of me being in the right place at the right time to “overhear” two doctors tell a story about a patient.

And hey, since I’m talking about two doctors and a patient, you might think this is the build-up to a swell (or dull) joke . . . right?

But it’s not a joke, and the “right place” where I heard this was also the place I’m obligated to be several times a week when my hospice holds its team meetings. I wasn’t eavesdropping on a private conversation between whispering physicians, but was one of many listeners in a room of nurses, chaplains, and social workers. Read More →

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The Evil Twins of Caregiving

The "evil twins" from the 1980's movie, "The Shining."

The “evil twins” from the 1980’s movie, “The Shining.” (Which wasn’t a bad movie.)

Like evil twins in a bad horror movie, fear and ignorance stalk caregivers.

This happened . . . A hospice nurse described one of her patients—let’s say this was a wife of over four decades with several adult children—who lay dying in a rented hospital bed in the living room. Most of the family had gathered at the home. They talked with the wife/mother or did chores like cleaning the bathroom or preparing meals. But one family member—let’s say it was the oldest daughter—never entered the living room after she arrived. She never offered to help. She surveyed the activity around the metal-framed rental bed from the entryway, and then disappeared down a hallway, away from her mother.

Was she afraid of death? Read More →

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Anger, Angrier, Angriest

According to the nurse, he was angry.

According to the chaplain, he was angry.

According to the social worker, he was angry.

From the 1957 film, "12 Angry Men."

From the 1957 film, “12 Angry Men.”

These three hospice staff separately visited the same patient and husband over the course of several days. While each met with the patient for different reasons—from the nurse determining the most appropriate medications for the patient’s needs to the social worker helping to complete forms for Medicare—they all experienced the wrath of a husband. Read More →

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