Embracing Comfort: A Journey with Hospice Care

My father was placed on hospice care before he died from liver cancer. I wonder if the morphine and Ativan hastened his death, and if lowering the dosage could have allowed him to eat and drink again.

Embracing Comfort: A Journey with Hospice Care
Photo by Dominik Lange / Unsplash

Losing a loved one is never easy, and navigating the delicate balance between medical care and compassionate end-of-life support can be overwhelming. In this heartfelt narrative, we delve into a poignant journey of a daughter whose father was placed on hospice care before succumbing to liver cancer. As she grapples with complex emotions, questioning the hastening of her father's passing, we witness the profound impact of hospice care on both patients and their families. This touching story sheds light on the role of hospice in providing comfort, compassion, and dignity during life's most challenging moments.

My father was placed on hospice care 12 days before he died. He had liver cancer.

The day he was admitted to the hospital he was talking and eating. He was very clear headed but, his ammonia levels were high and rising, This caused him to be very combative. He stopped eating and refused to take his medicines for 3 days at his nursing home.

The hospice social worker talked to me about admitting my dad into the hospice unit, instead of returning him to the nursing home.

I agreed to this and all the arrangements for hospice care were made. When my dad was transferred that day, he was alert and in good spirits.

I came into see him the next morning and he was unresponsive. He remained that way until he passed.

I cannot help but think, that the morphine and Ativan they gave him hurried his death.

He stopped drinking , but they did cleanse his mouth and moisten it with swabs. I feel as if he could hear me the first few days, because I would shake his shoulder and call him. He would open his eyes and his mouth would move slightly.

I requested that the nurse lower the dosage of the meds, so he could wake . The nurse explained to me, he was getting a very small dose already.

I now wonder if the drugs made him unresponsive. Maybe if they used less he could have started to eat and drink. Maybe he could have lived longer.

In my heart of hearts, I know it was time for him to leave this world. I just do not understand how someone goes from complete alertness to totally unresponsiveness so quick.

I am not complaining , the hospice care nurses did a wonderful job. I do not know how they they do what they do. They treated my dad with such kindness. They all were so gentle and compassionate.

I was just wondering, does anyone else feel that death felt a little rushed, once their family member was placed in Hospice.

My Father Was On Hospice Care. Am I Wrong to Think That They Rushed His Death?

First, I would like to say, I am so very sorry for your loss. No one can understand the pain you are feeling.

Since your father had liver cancer and he had rising ammonia levels, his status change from alert to unresponsive overnight could very well occur. His levels became so high, the level grew to a toxic level that his body could not longer handle.

I know your fathers death was unexpected for you. The sad thing is, your doctors lack of referring him to hospice sooner. There is a fear of discussing end of life issues and referral to hospice. Many family members feel that hospice is a way of just giving up. That is not so.

Studies actually show that a person on hospice, with the same diagnosis, as a person without hospice, actually lives a month longer! Yes, Hospice care, according to the statistics, actually prolongs life by an entire month.

Hospice care does not hurry death. It helps a person be in control of their life, until their last breath. It helps a person die in comfort and peace, surrounded by family members.

I am so sorry that you lost your father. I am glad, that hospice care provided him with comfort at the end of his life. There is a bereavement benefit, for the family members. They provide support and grief counseling for 18 months after your family member passes. I hope you will take advantage of that benefit.

In conclusion, her journey with hospice care taught her the true essence of compassion and comfort during her father's battle with liver cancer. Though questions of hastening his death surfaced, the unwavering kindness and support from the hospice team provided solace and dignity in her father's final days. Embracing the philosophy of hospice care allowed her and her family to cherish the remaining time with their beloved father, honoring his journey with grace and love. Through this poignant tale, we are reminded of the immeasurable value of hospice care, a compassionate embrace that ensures every individual faces life's closing chapters with respect and tender care. She carries forward the legacy of gratitude, inspiring others to recognize the profound significance of hospice care in embracing life's transitions with compassion and peace.

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