My parents live in a Wheatbelt town which is approximately 1 hour to the closest major hospital. Mum, 88 years old, had dementia and a terminal blood cancer. She was very fearful of going to hospital or a nursing home due to the disconnection with her community and most of all her husband. The Wheatbelt Palliative care service made it possible for her to stay at home and for dad and I to confidently care for her.
The weeks preceding her death coincided with a spike in Covid infections in the community which led to visitor restrictions at hospitals. By staying at home, mum was surrounded by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren which I believe would almost certainly not have been possible in a hospital setting at that time.
The palliative care team were incredibly responsive to her changing needs; as an example, when her pain medication didn’t seem to be working, they arranged a video conference with the doctor and had the new script to the pharmacy within 30mins of my initial call.
When the time came for a morphine pump the nurse brought everything we would need to the house. He set up the pump and gave dad and I a comprehensive training to confidently administer any top-ups required. The training was backed up by written and video resources which were invaluable. The team also gave us clear information on what to expect and ensured us that they were available at any time we needed support or clarification.
Mum passed away 4 days after the morphine pump was administered and we had full confidence that during this time she was pain free and comfortable. It gave her a fabulous opportunity to spend time with her family.
Although the death of a family member is always going to be sad, I truly believe that having the palliative care service available to us prevented the experience from being traumatic.
Based on our experience, I would highly recommend that families in a similar situation give consideration to supporting their loved one at home safe in the knowledge you will be well supported by Palliative care WA.
"Invaluable palliative care service"
About: Wheatbelt Regional Palliative Care Wheatbelt Regional Palliative Care Northam 6401
Posted by Hellybelloo (as ),