August 18, 2020
Lauren H
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Dementia End of Life

1st thing I wish I had known

If the patient is discharged to a rehab facility, someone in hospital will be able to provide you with a list of choices with ratings. If a bed isn’t available at the facility that you prefer, the hospital may be able to keep the patient for a couple more days, in hopes that a bed opens up where you prefer. If the bed still isn’t free and they want to move the patient, you can contest it, and that may buy enough time for the bed to become available.

2nd thing I wish I had known

If you can help out the staff – I pushed a lot of patients in wheelchairs to and from their rooms with the nurses’ grateful approval – they will be much more inclined to help out you and your relative. One nurse actually went two floors down to get extra tomato soup for my father-in-law because he finished his bowl and I said to them how much he’d liked it. Most places will supply Boost, or similar, for additional nutrients for a patient who’s losing weight - but you may have to request it.

3rd thing I wish I had known (plus any bonus thoughts)

If they’re up to watching TV, I recommend nature shows and pre-1960s films. Those actors articulate very well for patients whose senses are weak or have hearing issues, and the plots aren’t too complicated. You can doze off during one without missing too much.

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