Over the past two years, there has been an uproar in the media about end of life care, most of it surrounding the Liverpool care pathway. We did not use the end of life care pathway but a very similar one.
I want to dispel rumors and gossip about end of life care, we never withheld food or drink and even made allowances for patients who wanted to have a few beers or smoke. Often once a patient stopped eating their favorite food or asking for a beer before bed, it was obvious that their body had started to decline and they would pass away shortly afterwards. A time comes when the human body cannot process food or drink anymore and it often does more harm than good.
I looked after a man who suffered from an inoperable brain tumour which had spread into his bones, which i had been told is an unbelievable pain. Due to the brain tumour his personality had changed from what his family was used to and he could be rude and forgetful, though on the whole a nice man. He was a smoker who before he was in the home smoked atleast 30 a day. He was used to smoking whenever he wanted and found it very hard to remember that he wasn’t allowed to smoke inside the building. I remember many occasions of me wheeling him outside in the freezing cold so he could have a cigarette, he of course was wrapped up warm and I was just in my uniform freezing my butt off. It got to the stage that when you walked up the corridor to his room, you could always smell smoke coming out of it and you would find him half asleep with a lit fag in his hand. In the end we had to take them off him and get him to ask when he wanted to go outside however he started asking less and less and towards the end he wouldn’t even ask once a day. He passed away two days after he stopped asking to smoke.
I am sorry about the depressing posts but, I am asked all the time about my placements and I think it is easier to explain my experiences on here.