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Patient Voices: End of Life Care


End of Life Care

These stories were prepared to accompany the National Audit Office’s End of Life Care Conference held on the 17th June 2009.

My journey with David
After a series of falls, David is finally diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND). As Margaret and David face the end of David’s life, and the end of their journey together, Margaret reflects on the complexities and challenges – as well as the rewards – of caring for David at home.

For most people, the end of life period is a few days, weeks or months. Derek’s wife Barbara was left completely incapacitated by a series of strokes in 2003 and, with the help of planned respite care, Derek was able to look after her in the familiar environment of their home, until those last few days…

The real Malcolm
When Alzheimers stripped Malcolm of his talents, speech and mobility, Barbara reflects on the quality of services in physical end-of-life dementia care, and on nurturing the real Malcolm through his senses and emotions right to the very end.

A bed for Betty
When Teresa and her family make the decision that her mum would be better off in Hospice, they don’t take into account the possibility that a bed might not be available.

In addition to the stories above, the following existing stories were also used at the conference:

A tribute to St Nicholas’ Hospice
Marilyn Kramer pays tribute to St Nicholas’ Hospice, where her son Ian died peacefully and with dignity.

Yeah, I’ll go
Matthew is a keen and enthusiastic medical student. He successfully performs a ‘by-the-book’ catheterisation, but the discovery that there is more to his vocation than technical know-how leads him to reflect on the true nature of caring for patients.

Can I have a hand please?
Patients in the last days and hours of life can sometimes be challenging and even unreasonable. As the only male professional on the ward, Wee Haan is at first frustrated, but then patiently responds to the final requests of a dying man.

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