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Question for those who lost a parent while in hospital


pamdora

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My father died May 21, 2011 while in hospital due to Alzheimers.

I'm very upset as his only kin and only child (my mother died April 16, 2010) - that the hospital called me about 90 minutes after his death. He was only in hospital for about 5 wks. prior to his death. He still knew me, knew my name and even called out for my mom about a week before his death.

I told the hospital from day 1 that they were to call me immediately ASAP if something were to happen to him. Unfortunately, he died in a ward and NOT a private palliative room because during this holiday weekend in Canada, there were NO rooms at this hospital for him at the time. I was all set to move in there and stay with him right to the end.

I am wondering if anyone else has experienced this whereby the hospital nurse/staff had called so late after a death? I live 10 min. from the hospital! Usually, people I have talked to, have had medical staff call them much sooner when a loved one dies. My father died around 3:30 a.m. But when someone is palliative- you don't sleep. I couldn't sleep anyway, and I would have gone to the hospital at ANY time of day or night.

I am very upset though it's now a month later. It is all coming out.

My mother died at home last year but even so, I was not in the room and found her dead though I thought she was alive, for she died sitting up in profile and in movement. But I found her not long afterwards with her oxygen mask off.

As their only child, I am utterly devastated. They were more than parents; they were friends of mine as well and we shared a lot in common.

The final blow was when I read the medical notes and the Dr. who came in to pronounce my father and sign the certificate- wrote: ' family present' . This is a lie, obviously- since I was at home literally at the time of death.

I have contacted patient relations about this matter at the hospital. I am waiting for their reply into this matter.

Has anyone else experienced this type of treatment by medical staff if their parent died in hospital?

Thank you.

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I have not experienced this personally, and when I was still doing hospital nursing I made every attempt to contact family when someone had a change in their condition (especially if I thought there was a chance of death). I cannot explain why they would do this. Maybe you should make an appointment to meet with the unit manager of the floor/unit of the hospital. Maybe she can review the chart and give you some explanation. It may not be a great explanation but it would be something. A lot of times loved ones die after the family goes home. We see it happen a lot in the hospital. And I don't have a great explanation for it. Some people say they simply feel more ready to die when people leave or they don't want to burden their loved ones. But who knows. I am so sorry for your loss and sorry things happened the way they did. I am an only child as well and can feel your pain. My father, whom I was closest to, died about 2 months ago and I feel like a piece of my being is gone. So I cannot even begin to imagine how you must feel with both parents gone. Hang in there. Do you have other family/loved ones that are being supportive?

My father died May 21, 2011 while in hospital due to Alzheimers.

I'm very upset as his only kin and only child (my mother died April 16, 2010) - that the hospital called me about 90 minutes after his death. He was only in hospital for about 5 wks. prior to his death. He still knew me, knew my name and even called out for my mom about a week before his death.

I told the hospital from day 1 that they were to call me immediately ASAP if something were to happen to him. Unfortunately, he died in a ward and NOT a private palliative room because during this holiday weekend in Canada, there were NO rooms at this hospital for him at the time. I was all set to move in there and stay with him right to the end.

I am wondering if anyone else has experienced this whereby the hospital nurse/staff had called so late after a death? I live 10 min. from the hospital! Usually, people I have talked to, have had medical staff call them much sooner when a loved one dies. My father died around 3:30 a.m. But when someone is palliative- you don't sleep. I couldn't sleep anyway, and I would have gone to the hospital at ANY time of day or night.

I am very upset though it's now a month later. It is all coming out.

My mother died at home last year but even so, I was not in the room and found her dead though I thought she was alive, for she died sitting up in profile and in movement. But I found her not long afterwards with her oxygen mask off.

As their only child, I am utterly devastated. They were more than parents; they were friends of mine as well and we shared a lot in common.

The final blow was when I read the medical notes and the Dr. who came in to pronounce my father and sign the certificate- wrote: ' family present' . This is a lie, obviously- since I was at home literally at the time of death.

I have contacted patient relations about this matter at the hospital. I am waiting for their reply into this matter.

Has anyone else experienced this type of treatment by medical staff if their parent died in hospital?

Thank you.

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My father died May 21, 2011 while in hospital due to Alzheimers.

I'm very upset as his only kin and only child (my mother died April 16, 2010) - that the hospital called me about 90 minutes after his death. He was only in hospital for about 5 wks. prior to his death. He still knew me, knew my name and even called out for my mom about a week before his death.

I told the hospital from day 1 that they were to call me immediately ASAP if something were to happen to him. Unfortunately, he died in a ward and NOT a private palliative room because during this holiday weekend in Canada, there were NO rooms at this hospital for him at the time. I was all set to move in there and stay with him right to the end.

I am wondering if anyone else has experienced this whereby the hospital nurse/staff had called so late after a death? I live 10 min. from the hospital! Usually, people I have talked to, have had medical staff call them much sooner when a loved one dies. My father died around 3:30 a.m. But when someone is palliative- you don't sleep. I couldn't sleep anyway, and I would have gone to the hospital at ANY time of day or night.

I am very upset though it's now a month later. It is all coming out.

My mother died at home last year but even so, I was not in the room and found her dead though I thought she was alive, for she died sitting up in profile and in movement. But I found her not long afterwards with her oxygen mask off.

As their only child, I am utterly devastated. They were more than parents; they were friends of mine as well and we shared a lot in common.

The final blow was when I read the medical notes and the Dr. who came in to pronounce my father and sign the certificate- wrote: ' family present' . This is a lie, obviously- since I was at home literally at the time of death.

I have contacted patient relations about this matter at the hospital. I am waiting for their reply into this matter.

Has anyone else experienced this type of treatment by medical staff if their parent died in hospital?

Thank you.

I am so very sorry about the passing of your father. Unfortunately, it may have been a case in which they had just checked on him and he was fine, but when they made the rounds again, he was gone. Or, the person who was responsibile for calling you may have been remiss in his/her duty and put it off until the last possible minute.

It's a terrible situation, but for the physician to obviously write "family present" when no one was there is not okay. I will be interested in knowing what happened and what the explanation is if you get one.

Do you have any type of support system to talk to and lean on? Friends, extended family, or church members?

We will be here for you.

ModKonnie

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I have not experienced this personally, and when I was still doing hospital nursing I made every attempt to contact family when someone had a change in their condition (especially if I thought there was a chance of death). I cannot explain why they would do this. Maybe you should make an appointment to meet with the unit manager of the floor/unit of the hospital. Maybe she can review the chart and give you some explanation. It may not be a great explanation but it would be something. A lot of times loved ones die after the family goes home. We see it happen a lot in the hospital. And I don't have a great explanation for it. Some people say they simply feel more ready to die when people leave or they don't want to burden their loved ones. But who knows. I am so sorry for your loss and sorry things happened the way they did. I am an only child as well and can feel your pain. My father, whom I was closest to, died about 2 months ago and I feel like a piece of my being is gone. So I cannot even begin to imagine how you must feel with both parents gone. Hang in there. Do you have other family/loved ones that are being supportive?

I am very sorry for your father's loss, as well. :( May he rest in peace.

Thank you to both of you- I'll reply here- my dad had alzheimers but he knew me right to the end! I was his main caregiver and I refused a long term care facility for him last Sept. I wanted him to die at home, as did my mom but hers was more sudden and shocking as she died with her oxygen mask off, sitting up in profile, in movement- I called to her that morning because I thought she was alive!

I have some friends- including two who are hospice nurses ironically. I called Patient Relations after obtaining - for a small fee- the medical death notes by the nurse and doctor ( a resident Dr. was called in per se) In Canada, it was the beginning of a holiday weekend. He had NO private rm. but was stuck in a ward after being transferred from another ward where he had private and semi-private. There was simply NO room available, they claim to have him transferred though he was palliative.

Thurs. morning, May 19th, I got the call from the attending physician, stating that my father would be going palliative and that maybe he had about a week left. Ironically, my mother's bday is May 28th, so I did not want him to die on that day exactly- too weird to have life juxtaposed with death on the same day for me. He died May 21st at 3:30 am but the nurse called me close to 5 am. That is totally wrong. The whole ward and staff and yes, clinical nurse mgr knew I was his ONLY kin and only child and I lived 10 min. from hospital. You don't sleep when someone is palliative. You want to be there for them. I was all set to start living at the hospital in his room- provided it were private, i.e. He never got the chance to have that.

I have also written- as of today- to the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons ( located in Ottawa, our nation's capital) to ask the generic question of this matter of accuracy and honesty on medical death notes by doctors. Another irony- today, I decided to see if this doctor were on facebook- She IS! However, I will not contact her as that would be unprofessional and I don't want to interfere. She is a resident specializing in general surgery who will graduate in 2015.

I would like both of these women- doctor and nurse- to explain their actions and also, an apology would be the least that should be done. I am appalled at this entire situation. I won't even set foot in a hospital now- unless a friend were in, of course. My father was also hit by a car in 2007 and has been in hospital more than 6 X in the span of 4 yrs. My mother was hospitalized, too for nearly 2 months at two different times. I am not afraid to talk to any medical staff- ever. I have spoken to just over half a dozen doctors- they are NOT God, though some of them think they are. The worst was this neurosurgeon who alluded that my father if he had died during his first of three subdural hematomas- well, it would be ok because he's in his 80s. after all! Honestly, knowledge and skill without emotional intelligence does NOT sit well with me for any medical professional. If you don't have both, IMO, you are not a good doctor. Period.

I am keeping up the garden for my parents in their honour and I am working on an original piece of music for piano which I played two weekends ago- it just came out of me. I was so upset. We were big on music at home.

I actually can't imagine life without my parents. I have no family really and am not married being in my now mid 40s.

Thanks for listening!

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I am so very sorry about the passing of your father. Unfortunately, it may have been a case in which they had just checked on him and he was fine, but when they made the rounds again, he was gone. Or, the person who was responsibile for calling you may have been remiss in his/her duty and put it off until the last possible minute.

It's a terrible situation, but for the physician to obviously write "family present" when no one was there is not okay. I will be interested in knowing what happened and what the explanation is if you get one.

Do you have any type of support system to talk to and lean on? Friends, extended family, or church members?

We will be here for you.

ModKonnie

Thank you.

I have written my reply to you both- see below. Sorry- not thinking clearly now and was going to bed, Sorry if I was a bit repetitive from my previous original story.

My father had alzheimers but he was not pure typical end stage. He was unique in that aspect! I designed many cognitive activities for him and I quit my job in 2008 to take care of both parents. I loved them more than life itself.

I really don't know how I can go on but I at least want an answer to this. The clinical nurse manager gets back from holiday July 11th but a person filling in for her called me a few days ago, stating that they are working on it. I take the whole thing as extreme carelessness and negligence, coupled with apathy. Nothing less. I bet the nurse forgot to call me - literally or else she didn't want me coming in that early, knowing my dad died in a non-private room where two other male patients were! Death is an art- not a science. I saw him May 20th for the last time around 7:15pm.

I am still in shock and it's very different in some ways from my mother's grief last April.

I also had a problem with the funeral home in their neglect. I wrote a letter June 20th and that was resolved. There were mistakes made in the obituary, and I even had to call the crematorium myself to inquire about his remains.

I am telling you- I tried to prepare for my father's death but things still went wrong. However, I will defend my parents post death. Honour goes beyond the grave in my books - and for life.

The best outlet for my grief journalling/writing. I write; therefore, I am.

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