At some point in our lives, we will be faced with decisions about the end of our life. Whether you want to die surrounded by your loved ones or you hope to pass peacefully, without an audience, decisions about your end-of-life journey are deeply personal. While it can be hard to start the conversation, it is important to talk to your family and your hospice team about your wishes. Preplanning brings peace of mind to everyone involved.
Our Nurse, Amber, shares a story of honoring a man’s last wishes.
“I once had a patient who was on our services for a short time, but during that time we talked a lot about his wishes. He was a very straight forward guy and always spoke bluntly. As his health deteriorated and his disease progressed many of his distant family members had reached out to his wife and expressed that they would like to visit. He, quite to the point, told me and his wife that he didn’t want anyone visiting him now that he was dying. He stated that if they didn’t make time to see him when he was living he didn’t have the time for them now. Throughout his care, he made similar comments and I clarified with those with him. For example, how he wanted his room to be when he died. He was very clear that he didn’t want a bunch of people staring at him – watching him die.
When the time came and he was actively dying he had family who had traveled to be with him. I had to be his advocate when he could no longer speak for himself. I showed up the morning he passed and quite literally his bed was surrounded with family watching him die. I told them and his wife that he had made it very clear that this was exactly what he didn’t want. Our Care Navigator was there with me and we very politely moved people out of the room. Finally, it was just me, the Care Navigator, and his wife in the room. In less than two minutes of his room being cleared out, he took his last breath.
I put myself in the patient’s position and knew that what was going on was exactly what he didn’t want. It was difficult to ask his grieving family members to leave, but we hugged them and reinforced that this was about him and what he wanted. I’m so glad we followed through on his wishes so he was able to pass the way he wanted.”
At Heart ‘n Home, we understand that this is YOUR journey and we take the necessary steps to make sure your wishes are carried out. We help ensure that your wishes are honored not only while you are able to express them, but also when you can’t. To learn more about how our expert hospice team can help you and your loved ones during a life-limiting illness, contact us today.