My experience with this place in 2004 was similar to that of a horror movie when my father was sent there and euthanized with Roxanol (morphine). It was then a single wing of approximately 18 beds. As I walked slowly down the dim-lit hall, looking from side-to-side, those lying in beds all looked the same with paralyzed faces, mouths drawn open, and eyes shut tight. There were TVs, but none were on. There were water pitchers, but they were empty. When I arrived, I wondered why there was no light in the dark bathroom at the foot of the bed. I asked a stranger about it. He was a Chaplain.. the only person around.. and said that he would report it. A light bulb never came, and I never saw him again. The man in the bed beside Dad's never knew that we came there, and he never knew we left. The doors would suddenly close, and we were told not to open them as funeral homes came in to pick up the bodies. A so-called doctor wearing a stethoscope would appear from nowhere to pronounce them dead. The wing was being emptied fast. On Wednesday Dad sat up in bed laughing and singing with his brothers and sisters. By Friday he was dead. He lasted less than one week there.
This was an extremely painful situation from the very beginning, as we had not expected for my husband to be admitted to any hospice facility. We were given basically no time to "think about it", ev erything was rush, rush, sign here, rush. It probably wasn't the hospice's fault, but rather the local hospital who sent him there. But after arriving at the hospice, I could not find anyone at the desk to direct me to my husband's room. I walked down both hallways looking for help and finally decided to find his room on my own. It was so depressing. There were several rooms occupied with patients looking so forlorn. Not one staff member was on that hall while these patients were in bed alone. My husband asked me to go get something for him. I had no idea where to begin looking for either a staff member or the item he wanted. Most upsetting was the manner in which I was awoken...nurse said , "You need to wake up now . . . it could be any minute." For what? I thought, until I remembered where I was. These nurses were in the room earlier, so they surely noticed that he was declining rapidly. They should have gotten me up ASAP, not wait until "it could be any minute". We were given the news at the hospital right before he was discharged that he had "only a few days left" We were under the impression he had much longer to live, even if only by a few weeks. Luckily, he lived for 2 1/2 hours after I woke up, but if he had passed away while I was sleeping, or coming awake, I would be livid! I realize a lot of my negativity was based on the entire sudden situation, the rug being pulled out from under me, but I did not feel connected to that place one tiny bit. We never had a doctor come into my husband's room. A nurse gave my husband morphine and another medicine to relax his lungs, but I will always question why his disposition changed so quickly from when I laid on the recliner, until the nurse abruptly woke me. We are only talking about 8 hours. Can a patient who was alert and talking one minute change that much within 8 hours or less? I've decided . . . for me, when death is knocking at my door, allow me to pass away at home . . . no hospice, please!
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