My lovely Dad has gone so I'm saying goodbye
Since my last post on 24th June, my 91-year-old Dad's health deteriorated rapidly. Our hospice outreach nurse (from Severn Hospice) was organising two weeks' respite care for us which my husband and I desperately needed. This was put in place a week ago on Thursday (21st July) for a care home 11 miles away (my local care home of choice not having any vacancies) and we were waiting for transport to be arranged.
My gut instinct told me that he probably didn't have long to go and I wanted him to stay at home with me, where he's been since the end of February, not miles away in a strange place that would take me 40 minutes to get to. The hospice outreach nurse swung into action and by the end of the day we had a hospital bed delivered and three-times-a-day Hospice-at-Home care. We'd already had a night-sitter for a week (a god-send as Dad couldn't get himself to the bathroom) and she stayed on for another week.
Dad was able to confirm to the on-call doctor (on their second out-of-hours visit for pain relief) that he didn't want to go to hospital but wanted to stay at home with me and his Respect form was changed to reflect this. By Saturday Dad was only taking in a few teaspoons of water and after that, nothing. He slept most of the time and didn't really open his eyes again. By now I was sitting with him most of the time during the day, holding his hand and stroking his forehead. On Sunday he started saying over and over 'I love you' and 'my precious'. He needed more pain relief and on Tuesday he was fitted with a syringe driver. He never spoke again and eventually died, peacefully and painlessly early yesterday morning.
I'm so glad I was with him.