Posted: February 19, 2019 | A story.
“When Tina’s sickness got to the point where we needed help, Hospice came into the picture. When Hospice first came in, all the whanau, apart from Tina, went “no, you only go there to die” – that’s the first thought that came to our minds. Tina was a very strong woman, and she carried on and said “I’m going to be using Hospice and I have completed my *ACP”.
Tina was clear from the beginning that she wanted to do these things herself, and once we came to grips with that and understood that it was about her wishes, everyone was ok about it. It was hard initially for the whanau. Once we got over that hurdle, it was about getting the best care possible for her, and Hospice gave it unconditionally. Because there was only so much we were able to do at home, the nurses would come in and help us, to make sure Tina was comfortable. But they would also let us do what we needed to do.
My daughter did the Carer Support sessions at Hospice, and from that we were all able to learn how to care for Tina in the way that was best for her. The knowledge was spread through my immediate whanau so it meant that we could all share in caring for Tina, and we all looked after her. What Hospice gave us was all that knowledge, so that we could help her straight away when we needed to. Initially, before we got to learn all that, it was pretty scary. Tina came up several times to Hospice and that made us realise that Hospice is not just about dying. It’s about having good quality of life, and with the extra care that Hospice gives you, that happens, time is extended.
They allowed us to bring our own home into Hospice. When we first came up they said “you can stay”. Tina’s choice was to always spend her remaining time in her home with her whanau which she did; the Hospice care leading up to that was whatever she needed it to be. We could come and stay for a few days; the whanau could trip and in out, whenever. Her biggest love was her mokopuna and tamariki, and they could stay with her. Nothing changed from the way we were at home. At home all the kids were there; we came up to Hospice, and all the kids came up there. All the medical stuff that we couldn’t do, it was done at Hospice, and when her symptoms were stable she went home again. The nurses, the staff, the ahua, the care – it all helped Tina and our whanau.”
* ACP – Advance Care Plan