My father is dying of acute leukemia. I came to be with him through to the end. I signed us up for hospice and chose Choice based on a recommendation from his doctor. It has been over two months now and we have hung in through numerous disappointments because we are reluctant to spend the time and energy right now in search of an alternative and worried that a switch at this critical time would not only entail the necessary hassles of administrative paperwork, but in the end be no better, or worse. We have encountered repeated examples of a lack of interpersonal skills, lack of professionalism, and even a simple lack of respect. After two months they are still sending new nurses which has set perhaps an unalterable rapport in which my father will probably not interact with any nurse now except in the most hospitable and superficial way. It is a bother to him now that they come twice a week. We never know when or who will arrive. I call and try to find out every time, and have to go through an hour or more of waiting on hold, leaving a message on the voicemail of someone whom I have never met, or waiting for an hour or more for someone to return my call. The nurses are perhaps competent in the minimal medical interactions with my father - taking and recording his vital signs, but I could do that. They go down their list of questions and often do not wait for him to talk. They are too focused on the documentation and have little or no focus on the human. As a former hospice volunteer with experience some years back as a CNA (certified nursing assistant), I find this appalling. We have heard several stories of other patients, even from the Social Worker, including one of how she was conspiring with the daughter of one of her patients to lie to this man so that he would give in to having a nurse come in. I was so stunned at how injuriously inappropriate this was that I hurried her to the door without even responding to it. I just wanted to pretend it didn't happen. I am now seriously contemplating changing companies, although by this point a relationship should have already been established. My father is declining rapidly and perhaps just has weeks left. I realize that my anger and upset around this is perhaps unavoidably mixed with the anger and upset that I have simply about losing my father and love of my life. I have tried to recognize that and be fair in this report. I really hope there is a more positive alternative and that we find it quickly. He deserves all I can give him and more.
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