Saturday, May 11, 2013

Dying at Home

How one family came together to care for their dying mother. To quote:
When Teresa Pilarski, 86, died of breast cancer at her daughter's Toronto-area home on April 12, the family said they wanted to respect the frail woman's wishes not to treat the cancer and to spend her final days as comfortable as possible in a familiar setting. Daughter Dorothy Pilarski called the at-home palliative care from myriad professionals an "outstanding" complement to the support of family members and friends.
"She did express a tremendous amount of gratitude and a tremendous amount of affection, and that kept us going," Dorothy Pilarski said, her voice breaking with emotion.

The experience was so rewarding that the family wants to encourage others to consider the option. Pilarski's physician, Dr. Harvey Pasternak, said the goal is to control symptoms with less anxiety to the patient and to their family.

CIHI also reported that 30 per cent of rural residents with cancer had multiple hospital admissions in their last four weeks of life, compared to 20 per cent of the urban residents. Multiple hospital visits near the end of life can be difficult for individuals and their caregivers, when compared with care received at home, in a nursing home or a hospice, Morris acknowledged.

"Anything that can be done to improve the consistency of care and co-ordination would be very helpful," she said.

Strengthening services outside the hospital system, such as through family doctors, hospice care or support in the home, are all possibilities, Morris said. (Read entire article.)

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