Home- care co- ordination was inept
My father Bernie Whitworth passed away at home on Boxing Day.
He was a community- minded man and a lifelong newspaper letter writer.
For the family, the shock that he had a non- operable brain tumour was only surpassed by the unco- ordinated and inept home palliative care providers.
Dad had been in hospital for six days and they needed the bed.
We were willing to care for him at home but would need some equipment and some assistance.
We got 12 hours notice, a plastic shower chair and a list of wheelchair hirers.
I spent the night modifying a bathroom for invalid access.
I was astounded that before my dad’s discharge no one had checked the house was suitable and properly equipped.
We were left to manage for three days before a care co- ordinator came to see us and arranged a hospital bed and carers/ nurse visits.
The carer could not do anything because Dad could not get into the shower by himself.
My sister and I did all the showering/ toileting, they left us three bags of baby wipes.
In the last three days my dad was bed- bound and required a 24- hour morphine pump.
The nurse who came to replace it had not read her emails so did not have the drug they had sent a prescription to our local pharmacy who was awaiting delivery.
Our family will be forever grateful to Andrew at Safety Bay Pharmacy, who left his shop, collected morphine and delivered it to our home.
The greatest amount of attention taken during the entire home- care operation was the counting of the unused morphine vials leaving me the impression they thought we might on sell it.
We all die and to do that at home surrounded by loved ones is as good it gets.
It saves the Government a fortune but the support system needs to be a lot better.