The Right Time For HospiceCaregiver Resources
For the past five years, Carol’s health has been declining and her daughter, Laura, has been taking care of her. Carol had atrial fibrillation and other heart issues that sent her to the ER multiple times. She had a lung disease, similar to COPD, that caused oxygen issues, as well as problems with her blood pressure and was prone to falling. They spent all of 2019 in doctor’s offices and she was hospitalized three times.
Laura eventually rented a house in her neighborhood for her mother, allowing her to be closer in case Carol needed her. “There were many nights mom would call me in the middle of the night, and together we would have to make the decision to call the EMS or wait until morning and call the doctor,” said Laura.
After her third time within two months of being admitted to the hospital, Carol was so weak, it seemed impossible for her to be at home. The doctors had finally figured out the issue and told Laura that her mother would have to be on oxygen 24/7. She was so weak that rehab didn't even seem a possibility. Laura had no idea how she was going to care for her mom.
One of Carol's nurses came to Laura and suggested that Hospice might be what her mom needed. “I just started crying, because in my mind, hospice meant that my Mom was dying. I didn’t understand the palliative care part of it. She just sat there and talked with me and in 15 minutes time, I was convinced that is exactly what we needed,” Laura said. “We can’t spend one more night in the ER and I can’t spend one more day with Mom crying that nobody gives her answers that help her. Her quality of life was so horrible.”
Within thirty minutes, they were referred to hospice. Carol was discharged the next morning and by that afternoon, Alyson Roth and Misty Kirby were at her house. Laura says, “It was wonderful!"
Laura is so appreciative of Alyson. “She was amazing! She spent so much time with me,” she said. “We always knew when hospice left what our plan was, we always had a game plan.”
One major problem in Carol's care that was solved by having hospice was the monitoring of her many medications. “When four different specialists are prescribing medicines and conditions are constantly changing, it is extremely difficult to keep it all straight,” Laura said. The hospice physician and Alyson took over this entire process, saving Laura much stress and time dealing with doctors and pharmacies. “In ten months’ time, Alyson made sure every medicine Mom needed was there at just the right time.”
In October 2020, Carol passed away at age 85, after ten months in hospice care. “I know my Mom would not have lived as long as she did if it had not been for you all,” said Laura. “I can’t sing enough praises of what a blessing it was to our lives.”