“No one needs to die in pain.”
That is what the social worker told me as I signed the papers that would put my father on hospice care. That is the mantra of hospice providers. As a family caregiver entering the new and scary realm of end-of-life care, it became my mantra, too. I had no choice but to believe these words since my dad had already suffered so much, especially in the weeks leading up to this decision.
Each time I walked into Dad’s room in the nursing home, he would be rigid in bed, propped up on one elbow and slamming his other fist against his upturned palm. Pow! Pow! Pow! Over and over, he pounded fist against hand. I would try to get him to relax and lie back down, but he couldn’t comprehend my pleas. Pow! Pow! Pow! He was trying to knock out the pain.
Dad had resided in this nursing home since a botched brain surgery that was supposed to correct the results of a brain injury he’d sustained in World War II. He went into this surgery...
Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. “I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.” ...Craig William Dayton, Film Composer
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