Lifelong Learning Programme

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Training > Experiences

Personal Experience

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Language: English
Country: Slovakia
Typology: patients and relatives
Eugénia was almost 93 years old. She was an active lady who loved books and even at her age she did some of the exercises from yoga. She could walk on her own – just with the support of the French crutch. That was until one night – that night she forgot to take it with her and she slipped in a bathroom and broke her thigh bone. Transport at traumatology followed where they offered her really good care. She was entertaining nurses by singing songs, she patiently handled the pain and the fact she had to be lying all the time. Thanks to the mobilization of all her friends and acquaintances she was included in operational program. I am her granddaughter and I loved her more than anything. 1.2 Experience of the client with the service We believed that she can make it through the operation because recently she made it through the fracture of pelvis and she was a big fighter. At traumatology she communicated normally, accepted the food, her broken leg was fixed and she did not look like she had any other health problem. An intern who examined my grandmother found out that she has some unspecified finding at her lungs and not a good blood count so she send her to treatment at the department of geriatrics of the hospital. She could not stay at traumatology from unknown reasons. Without informing relatives they moved her to the geriatrics. We found out that fact when we came to visit her. According to the fracture of thigh bone it was not possible to take her to home care. Horror information that at geriatrics they kill old people by opening a window in winter I always considered as a legend, paranoid tendencies or likeliness to believe in conspiracy theories until the moment I could see it for myself. The word euthanasia is not an appropriate word because it was not “a good death”. The grandma was alright during the first days. Her good mood and her appetite were not leaving her. At our insistence she signed an agreement with the operation, the most influential fact for her was that she will be able to drink a toast at her 93. Birthdays, which were going to be in few days. According to our friend, a head of one department she had to be operated in first date possible. But out of the blue came the message that grandma has pneumonia. Most of the people would consider it as something normal for an older person. Many old people after an accident has it too. We would also think that if we had not come on Friday after visiting hours. At this point it is needed to emphasize that at the given hospital it is not possible to visit your relative out of visiting hours, which are from 15. to 17. 00. Does this seem to you unbelievable? That you do not have a right to be with your seriously ill mother, sister or grandmother? Does it seem to you illogical? That during the busyness of nurses it is not allowed to help to take care of your relative? Well, we did not understand the logic of this. When we came into the hospital room, we found the grandmother moved to the bed under the window, naked, just in diapers, uncovered, her blanket was at her feet and with not only the window open but also with opened balcony door. In January! We dressed her up and covered her. At that time she was still able to talk and to complain. She told us that nobody came to replace her diapers and that nurses hung the ring high above her so she cannot ring and “bother” nurses. We immediately went to complain. But when we did it there was only aggressive and rude nurse which told us that grandmother’s nurse supposedly “forgot” to dress up her and that the window is open because there is an unpleasant smell in the room. I emphasize that we are talking about January 2012 when the temperature was below freezing. The next day situation repeated. This time my mother came to the department and again she found her naked and uncovered with balcony door opened. My mother again went to complain and again she found out that grandmother’s nurse forgot to take care of her! At this time grandmothers state was rapidly worsen, she choked, she could not eat or drink by herself. By continuous pressure we begged oxygen for her to lower her suffering. I am not going to mention that her leg was not fixed from the day she came to geriatrics (at traumatology she had it seized up in some kind of “bathtub”), that we found her totally dehydrated because she could not drink on her own so she only could helplessly look at a cup of water at her table at which she could not reach. In her bed I found a box for her pills which was full of pills which should have been given to her, so she was not even given her pills. At this time she had big difficulties to swallow but the pill treatment continued. The very top of everything was putting her food at table from where they take it back even when it was not touched. After the week deep bedsores appeared, grandmother was bleeding and was in pain. It was clear that without out help she won’t survive. My mom gave notice at work and I overcame my aversion to favoritism and called to the head of the hospital who is my acquaintance to give us a permission to visit grandmother without limits. Our presence and permission from the head of the hospital caused at least that the stuff did not again dare to undress grandma and put her under the open window. The other patients did not have so much luck. At one day I found at neighboring bed undressed dying granny, she choked and wheezed – without help, lonely naked human being Her suffering was not so interesting to the stuff to come to her during those 2 hours I spent there. I came to her caressed her and covered her. I want to believe that at least before the death she felt humanity. When my mom came to visit an hour later, the lady was dead, but we did not manage to save our grandmother from this. I note that few hours before her death when she was lying there in agony they brought her dinner at the table. My mom left hospital at 18.00. According to the death certificate the grandmother died at 18.46 and we get to know that at morning. When I think of the fact how all of my animals died, free from pain, surrounded with love and compare this to the death of my grandmother I am horrified. Horrified by the evil and disregard of the stuff at the department. I cry because of unworthy death that old people at geriatrics undergo: naked, lonely, choking, in pain fro

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