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Nearing the End

Thursday November 01, 2018 - Jennifer Prell
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Gramps with his caregiving companions.
Left to right - Susie, Darlene and Wendy near San Diego, CA.
Nearing the End
by Carolyn Osuyos, October 31, 2018

This month, Gramps (my father-in-law), turned 92. For three years, these awesome women provided companion care in his home 7x24. They cooked, drove him wherever he needed to go, and generally had fun with him. A year ago, Gramps needed more help with his ADLs (toileting, lifting and physical therapy). The decision was made that he needed more care than he could get at home and Gramps made the move to assisted living. We chose a small place that felt like home with only 15 residents. It is owned by an RN, offers good home cooking and feels like family (we are 2,000 miles away). The transition has been smooth and relatively event free over the past year.

However, things are starting to change. Visits to the hospital are becoming more frequent. Rehab has been a requirement in order to transition back “home”. This last time, he returned with an oxygen tank and excess weight due to fluid retention – his kidneys are failing. My husband was contacted multiple times by the hospital and rehab facility and asked about inserting a feeding tube and dialysis (my husband has Power of Attorney for Healthcare and Property). The answer he gave, “no”. He had to say it multiple times. Gramps has a DNR and does NOT want any extraordinary measures. We expect a hospice order any day from his community doctor.

We recently spoke to Gramps on the phone. He says he is tired, has lived a good life and is ready to go. Family fences have been mended. We know he is comfortable where he is, and we respect his wishes. Nevertheless, there is much stress anticipating a call to say we should fly out now or that he has passed. The RN owner of his community has much experience with end of life and trust her with Gramps. We have peace in our hearts and know, “he is right where he is supposed to be”.

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