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SonofSmitty that hospice worker who said that to you should be fired. Talk about insensitive! Don't give it a second thought. As a fellow christian I can tell you with assurance that God does not want you to grieve that experience any more. Just picture your Father in the better place that he is in now. Peace and Hugs to you.
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My Father died after suffering about a week from cancer. While I was away foe awhile and then returned, I returned just a few minutes before my Father died. I kissed him and whispered into his ear that he was loved. Then he died a few minutes later. Unfortunately, I asked the Hospice worker who had been caring for him the last week if my Father had suffered much while I was away on a military mission. She said, "OH yes! He suffered horribly the last few days!". I was devastated! How can a Hospice helper say such a cruel thing to a family member? I would have preferred that she lied to me than hear that! It still grieves me and haunts me to this day over 25 years later when I think about it. So, be CAREFUL what questions you ask from Hospice (Or anyone else caring for your dying Family member or friend) because you may not like it and it may haunt you as it has me the rest of your life! Even as a Christian I still grieve that experience and would never tell someone surviving a person's death such irresponsible words even if they were true.
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My mum died in hospital following a stroke which left her paralyzed down one side It was sudden and unexpected and she developed pneumonia rapidly.Myself and my 2 sisters were with her, and it was explained to us that she had little chance of making a recovery. She had an oxygen mask and could not talk, but was able to communicate via the squeeze of a hand if we asked the right questions. Intravenous drugs were administered to fight the infection, but by mid afternoon there was no improvement. My sisters left to make arrangements for their children, families and pets and I stayed with Mum. I asked her if she was in pain (she had been agitated for a while) - squeeze. I asked her if she wanted me to do something about it - squeeze. The Consultant arrived and I asked her to help Mum with pain control and to relieve the agitation (We had previously had a discussion - privately - about Mums fear of dying and an even bigger fear of the living death of being incapacitated in a care home. We had talked about this - my sisters, I and Mum.). She explained that in order to do this, they must stop the antibiotic, as it would clash with the other drugs. I asked if was it appropriate to do this, and she said it was and they could always go back to the original treatment if Mum improved.So we went ahead with a syringe driver containing a cocktail of drugs to relieve pain and make Mum calm. My sisters returned and I shared the information. Mum appeared so much better, but became increasingly unresponsive - to the degree that only her open eyes moved - and they roamed endlessly, seeming to see something that we could not. We stayed with her - touching, chatting, kissing until she passed away in the early hours of the morning. This is my experience, and I will always wonder if I made the right choice for Mum. Some days I feel as though I hastened her death and it hurts so much. Really, I know that I did what was best for Mum and that the medical staff were all in agreement, my sisters also. Still a bitter pill to swallow. I hope this experience may help others
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Number One: Correct him....but do it gently with respect.
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More and more Dad is forgetting names of things. Should I correct him or just realize that he called the President of the US, "Osama bin Laden" instead of "Obama" ? Or a handicapped sticker, "emergency". ?
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My friend has stage IV colon cancer and just had a port put in to remove fluid. She is moved to the state of Washington to be with her daughter and I am in Iowa. Her husband just passed away 3 years ago with brain cancer. She has been through alot! I talk to her frequently on the phone... I don't want to say the wrong thing so I just make small talk and talk about her dog and what's been going on in town.
When she told me the cancer was back and she had 6 months to live the only thing she cared about was her 2 schnauzers. I took one and my girlfriend took the other one. That made her happy but she misses them terribly. Any advice on what I could say to comfort her. She was given 6 months to live in February 2012. The fluid is building up more and more and she is sick to her stomach and vomiting. I would love to see her again and just be there for her even for a couple of days. I don't want to intrude with her family.Any advice?
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Be there. Let them talk. Listen to their stories. Be kind. Be cheerful. Be attentive. Read magazines together or by themselves. Make sure they see the outside, especially now in the warmer weather. If you don't have a porch, then take them outside. ( not the mall). keep music playing. Keep the food delicious and plentiful. Ask them about their thoughts. I could go on and on. I did these things before my husband passed.
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I would be first and foremost yourself and as supportive as you can be in such a trying time. Man you all have me crying now! Be strong be brave and have heart!
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As a hospice nurse I have learned it is not the nursing training that is most helpful, it the calm reassuring presence of having someone there that cares and is non-judgemental. These people place enough judgement and blame on themselves, most of time they feel it is their fault and that they are hruting their loved ones by it, just be there and be open to do or talk about whatever they want to. Let them lead in the decision making as long as possible. Thanks for being there and caring, it's not easy and takes a special person to do it.
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Just be there. the sound of your voice, you could also bring a book and read or some soft music. i was with my mom, when she passed away last year, she did not know anyone at the time only me. I held on to her and sang and just talk. She died in my own arms holding a statue of the blessed mother. She went in peace.her battler was over .
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BE THERE! I can't tell you enough that this is the most important part of dying. The day that my husband died, he motioned to me at home to come and sit by his side. He put my hand on his heart. He wanted me to "feel" the CHF and wanted me there. He knew he had only a short time left....days, maybe a week , maybe a few hours. That was at 10:15 a.m. and he was pronounced at 1:55 p.m. in the ER that same day.
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Great advice given by all. It is truly hard watching someone die. I was at my mom's bedside when she took her last breath. We also had Hospice's help and they are wonderful.
Without knowing a whole lot, it is hard to advise. Touches are important, not only hugs and kisses but just holding their hand, Soft music playing can be comforting, singing songs together can be fun, we sang old hymns with mom as that's what she liked. I took my grand kids there as much as I could, kids can be good for the elderly. Talk openly but don't dwell on it. And the most important thing, share Jesus with them. If in doubt if they know our Lord and Savior ask! Don't let them die without the saving grace of Jesus. An eternity of Heaven or Hell is big.
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Naheaton - Beautiful story of spending time with your dying friend. That's the type of ending we should all hope for -- laughing at our frailties, playing games, watching American Idol, and searching for the perfect pink peignoir!

Alice
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I agree with the other posts -- the best thing is your presence as often as you can. Even if the person sleeps most of your visits -- it is worth it for the comfort it brings to the dying and to you.
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I think being open and able to hear what the dying person wants is the best thing you can do. Too often we try to change the subject or "guess" how they feel. We can't know. Listen as best you can and be as open in your response as you can.
And bless you for keeping them company!
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Tess: If this be the case...I would call in Hospice..They are wonderful people to deal with...Not only will they give comfort to the ill person who is dying, they will give support to you and your family as well. To bring Hospice into the picture-I believe that such a request has to go thru a doctor, not sure. I used a loclal Hospice agency for my Mom-and thinking back, I do not know how I would have managed without them....their help and guidance was with me thru the difficult time.

I do hope you check into this.

Hap
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I sat with my neighbor/friend every Wednesday for 2 months while she was dying of ovarian cancer. Her husband was the leader of a small group Bible study, so I relieved him during that time. I sat with her and we watched American Idol, played Yahtzee, read, whatever she wanted to do that day. Some days were better than others, but I am so glad I did it. We would laugh as it looked like we were dancing trying to get her on her porta potty thing. I was a fish out of water so to speak, and it was awful watching my friend get weaker and weaker, but worth every minute. I was not afraid to talk about her dying, and what plans she had made or wanted to make. I helped her with that too. When I first started sitting with her, I noticed she was in a T shirt that looked like her husbands. So I went out and bought her a bunch of colorful girlie T shirts and other feminine things. She loved them. When I asked her what she wanted to be buried in, she told me, a beautiful peignoir.
I asked her if she had a peignoir, she laughed and said no. So I started looking around for one. Finally after not having any luck at dept. stores, I put the word out at church, and got a bite. A gal that hadn't worn her pink peignoir since her honeymoon, wanted to donate it to my friend. I warned her, 'now you're NOT getting it back you know'. It was satin, feminine and beautiful, and my friend loved it. Anyway, long story still long, Lilli is right, just being there and doing whatever she wants to do is a really good thing. You won't be sorry.
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Without knowing the circumstances, my general suggestion is to be present. People seem to react differently when someone is older, seriously ill, or, in your loved one's case, dying. Most tend to "scatter" because it is just to "icky" to witness.
Vist often, try to be upbeat, bring appropriate gifts or photos, buy comfoting music CDs....all these are good things....but your presence means the most
take care,
Lilli
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