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#220341 - 08/06/14 10:48 PM Wine for hospice patients?
Anne Holmes Administrator Offline
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 3160
Loc: Illinois
I just read an interesting article I wanted to share. It noted that a French hospital, CHU Clermont-Ferrand, is about to start a program that will offer wine -- actually it sounds more like a cocktail party -- to terminal patients.

Here's the actual website. Though you have to be able to read French to read it...

And here's what I read about it.

When my husband was dying from is cancer, the hospital offered him unlimited morphine.

While I can't fault the US hospital for trying to ease his pain, I somehow think this new idea is quite nice. Treats the patients like people... And doesn't just isolate them.

What do you think?
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#220348 - 08/09/14 10:47 PM Re: Wine for hospice patients? [Re: Anne Holmes]
yonuh Offline
Member

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 2447
Loc: Arizona
I think it's a great idea. Hospice means making the most of whatever time one has left, so why shouldn't wine and spirits be part of it?
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#220369 - 08/14/14 11:48 AM Re: Wine for hospice patients? [Re: yonuh]
Eagle Heart Offline
Member

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 4876
Loc: Canada
In the last month before my Mom died, she was quite literally tossed into a special ward at the hospital for terminally ill patients and was terribly neglected there. Even though she ws dying, they wouldn't allow her to eat ice cream or certain foods that she loved because of her diabetes. We thought that was absurd, so always snuck those foods into her room and handfed her. (The treatment she received in this particular ward was heart-breakingly sad and still makes me weep even as I type this).

We fought hard and finally got her into a renowned hospice here in the city. She wasn't in the bed even five minutes before someone came along and asked her what her favourite foods were. She answered "ice cream" and within minutes had a bowl of ice cream brought to her table! And she ate ice cream as often as she wanted. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), she died only days after moving into the hospice. But we will never forget what a joy it was to her to have no restrictions whatsoever in those last days.

I say, if they're dying, why deny them anything?!
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When you don't like a thing, change it.
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#220375 - 08/14/14 05:50 PM Re: Wine for hospice patients? [Re: Eagle Heart]
Anne Holmes Administrator Offline
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 3160
Loc: Illinois
I totally agree, Eagle Heart, and I am so glad you were able to get your mother into that wonderful hospice for her last few days.

I totally agree with the concept of allowing loved ones to eat and drink anything they desire at this stage.

But I know it requires a change in mind-set to allow it: When my first husband was finally allowed to have unlimited morphine, my first thought was the traditional one -- "No, he might become addicted." Then of course I quickly got on board with the realization that at this point in his life, addiction was not a concern. And I realized that his doctors and nurses knew there was no more option to recover.

Then I realized that this was really the humane thing to do.

And later, when my MIL was dying, I was upset when the hospital kept calling "code blues" on her, not letting her simply be allowed to go in peace.

I guess the difference was that my first husband's docs were pragmatic oncologists, (and my ex might have had a DNR release)-- while my MIL was dying of old age complicated by diabetes and heart disease.

My MIL's docs asked her children whether or not they wanted them to continue all attempts to resuscitate her. And the "children" -- all adults, of course -- could not agree on this. (Actually it was the daughter who had worked as an OR nurse who wouldn't give up hope.) Plus they were hoping to keep her alive until one of her children could get to her side. He didn't arrive in time, and still feels somewhat guilty about that 20 years later.

So I'm all for allowing hospice patients to have access to whatever food or drink makes them happy.

And I realize that as we age, one of the things we need to do is let our loved ones know our wishes with regard to all aspects related to death and dying.
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#220376 - 08/14/14 07:19 PM Re: Wine for hospice patients? [Re: Anne Holmes]
Eagle Heart Offline
Member

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 4876
Loc: Canada
One very interesting piece of information that we picked up a couple of years after Mom died shed some light on this whole DNR issue. It was so bizaare how we found this out. It was in Cuba of all places, and one of the other tourists had begun chatting with me beside the pool. She kept asking me questions about my Mom, which I found both rare and comforting. I told her the whole story, about how she was so mistreated and neglected in the hospital.

Turns out that this woman was the public relations person for the geriatric unit at the hospital where my Mother had been so mistreated!!! Had I known, I would never have spoken, because we try to always protect other tourists' privacy and right to be on vacation, so we never talk shop with other tourists. But she insisted, and asked the questions. Afterward, she looked me in the eye and promised me that she was going to use this information to make the entire system better for terminally ill patients.

[which I believe she did...years later, there was a lengthy series in our local paper about how this hospital had done exactly that...and she was the primary instigator of those changes, and in the paper cited 'a story' which, while not supplying any names, was my Mom's story.]

Anyway, this woman also told me that, although it was not right, it was still common amongst the nurses and other medical staff to develop an "attitude of dismissal" towards patients with that DNR on their charts. They tended to focus more on the patients who did not have that DNR on their charts. Which would explain why my Mom (who had DNR on her charts at her request, not ours) would have experienced such coldness and utter unspeakable negligence.

So after hearing that, I'm not sure I could ever advocate any of my loved ones to choose to have that DNR option written on their charts. Perhaps make it understood by loved ones that that is their wish, but I think it's still risky to have it on the charts while a patient in the hospital.

Maybe others have had similar - or different experiences with that. That was over 10 years ago. Maybe that attitude has changed since then.


Edited by Eagle Heart (08/14/14 07:21 PM)
_________________________
When you don't like a thing, change it.
If you can't change it, change the way you think about it.

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#220383 - 08/15/14 04:51 PM Re: Wine for hospice patients? [Re: Eagle Heart]
yonuh Offline
Member

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 2447
Loc: Arizona
The DNR option is relatively recent as I don't remember it being around for much of my nursing career. I do remember when I worked on the oncology unit that patients were still limited on how much pain medication they were allowed because they could get addicted. I didn't understand that then - I fought with doctors over this. If a patient is dying, does it matter? And most of the patients weren't going to be around long enough to get addicted anyway. But I got tired of fighting and gave up nursing in the late 80s so hopefully things have changed.
_________________________
Well-behaved women rarely make history. - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
http://ruthrainwater.wordpress.com/
http://newbeginningsgratitudejournal.wordpress.com/
http://sablewings.wordpress.com/

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