Case study: Anne’s story – the dignity and comfort mum deserved
My mum was 97 and very frail following a series of strokes over the last 10 years. After another significant stroke, she was admitted to hospital, where she was also diagnosed with heart failure.
When the doctors told us that mum now needed palliative care, whilst this was distressing for us all, I knew straight away there was only one place she would want to receive it. In her own, dearly loved home, surrounded by her memories, her family and friends and her faithful cat Freddie.
I contacted The Good Care Group, with a view to bringing mum home for the last time.
One of their Care Managers visited us in hospital before she was discharged, to understand mum’s needs and wishes. She spent time talking to the doctors and nurses and created a holistic plan of care which would keep mum comfortable and pain free at home, living with dignity and respect in the time she had left.
The Care Manager knew the two professional carers on her team she wanted to look after mum. It came as such a relief to learn that both were experienced in delivering end-of-life care and were extremely well trained.
They cared for mum in her room, with her favourite music – Mozart – playing gently in the background. Whenever she woke, day or night, she was treated to the sound of his symphonies, which seemed to keep her calm and at peace. Freddie her cat was invited onto the bed, where he had always slept, and Mum loved to have him near.
The carers cooked her small portions of her favourite meals – it was agreed she would eat what she wanted, when she wanted. They used her favourite scented soap to wash her each day and spent hours just sitting, holding her hands, rubbing cream into her skin, keeping her nails trim and her make-up just so – exactly as she instructed
them to do!
Even in the last days, when it was sometimes hard to tell if she knew we were there, they did not deviate from her wishes. She passed away a few weeks later, with Freddie on her lap and her favourite music playing softly.
We were all able to visit before the end came and I cannot speak highly enough of the carers who made sure mum felt safe and comfortable and allowed us to spend such precious time together.