Caregiver to my grandpa. Could hospice affected his passing?

My grandfather passed Friday, September 8th at 12:21am.

He suffered from stage 4 lung cancer. He was diagnosed last August and refused chemo and radiation. My grandmother is 82 and has trouble caring for herself. She has a HHA come twice a week, so they wouldn't let my grandfather come home without someone there to care for him. 

My grandfather and I have always been very close as I spent the summers with my grandparents since they lived 3 hours away. I lost contact with them for awhile because of my own selfishness. 

My nightmare began on August 23rd when my grandpa called me on the phone crying at the hospital because they told him they don't think he'd make it through the night. He went in with a collapsed lung and pneumonia. Well he sure did make it through the night and I raced to be with him the next day. He refused hospice the whole time because he wasn't ready to face the reality of dying since his whole side of the family passed from some sort of cancer. He was doing well until Sunday August 27th when the doctor had told my family that my grandfather was only looking at a couple more days due to his shortness of breath and them having to raise his oxygen to 15 over night. We agreed for him to come home under my care through hospice so he can die at home.

He came home Tuesday, September 5th beating the odds of the doctor thinking he wont even make it to Tuesday, but my grandfather was such a stubborn man. He was going to make it home. We got him all settled in and he was his normal self to me until the hospice nurse started him on morphine every 2 hours. To me it seemed like too much, but maybe to him it was helping. The doctor told us that upping his morphine would slow down his respiratory and speed things up. I wasn't happy about it, but I wanted him to be comfortable. Wednesday night he screamed for me and it scared me to death saying he was having a hard time breathing. So the nurse told me to give him ativan and a dose of morphine. He seemed to be okay and even through Thursday he seemed fine. At 1030 I went into his room to give him his medicine and told him i'll be back at 12 to give him his breathing treatment. Something didn't seem normal to me when I woke up from my nap, I didn't hear him. I got up from the couch in the living room and walked to the bedroom to find him in labored breathing and his nasal cannula on his forehead and the way he looked I could tell he was about to pass. I called his name a few times and he was unresponsive and cold. I called my mom and got my grandma up and as soon as my grandma held his hand for a few moments he stopped breathing. It was almost like he was waiting for my grandma to be with him.

I don't sleep at night anymore because all I can think of was the way he looked. Always questioning my moves that night. Did I not hear him because I was asleep. Should I have stayed in the room with him to make sure he didn't take his oxygen out. Did hospice give him too much morphine. Why didn't hospice bring me another mask, but I don't think it would've helped at all. hoping I can find someone who was a care taker and that can relate to my story. 

Views: 62

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion


I am so sorry for your loss. And your entire experience in this terrible loss.

I was the main caregiver for my father in law. He had Alzheimer’s and his situation was a long agonizing experience.

At the end, he was in hospice at home for about 3 months. He died in my arms, gasping for breath with fear in his eyes.

I actually have a lot of experience with Hospice. I am a spiritual care provider for the sick, and those who have suffered loss, and I have been in the room more than I care to remember when some one has died. It is NEVER like on TV. It is rarely peaceful. It is often exactly as you have described your experience.

Your experience is not unusual. First, what you described is the normal Hospice protocol. They are mainly focused on palative care. They are not there to extend life. They are there to ease pain and make the patient as comfortable as possible. They are only there because it is a terminal condition past the ability to treat. I know that’s hard. Many people resist Hospice because they can’t face that reality.

Second, it sounds like you did a GREAT job for your Grandpa. You obviously love him very much. And you were there at the most critical time. Because of you, your grandpa fell asleep with the most important people in his life around him.


Latest Activity

bluebird commented on Jon-Paul Ackerman's group Lost My Spouse...
"Sheila, It is unbearable. So many of us here are in the same kind of situation, so we can empathize. I hope that coming to this site helps you. {{{{hugs}}}}"
8 minutes ago
Sheila Ferguson joined Katherine Ellis's group

Losing Someone to Cancer

This is for anyone who has lost somone to cancer. I lost my adopted Mom to breast cancer some years ago. She was everything I could have asked for. She loved me because I was just me. She also loved my family and children as if they were her own.See More
16 minutes ago
Sheila Ferguson commented on Jon-Paul Ackerman's group Lost My Spouse...
"I lost my husband in February 2018 and I am finding it unbearable without him.  How are we supposed to carry on like this?  It is terrible."
22 minutes ago
Sheila Ferguson joined Jon-Paul Ackerman's group
25 minutes ago
Brett Bowman commented on Karen's group I miss my Mom!
"I realize more and more each day that my mom was the center-piece of my life. The one constant I always had in my life was my mom. All was right with the world as long as I had my mom. Of course I had bad days, but I still had my mom. And now I…"
4 hours ago
Jessica Laird commented on Karen's group I miss my Mom!
"I am having such a hard time at work .Tuesday i had to leave mid day and today i broke down crying again at work and had to leave early. I want the anxiety and tears to go away"
5 hours ago
L.O commented on Jon-Paul Ackerman's group Lost My Spouse...
"Been to hospital again tonight for my chest, they run all the test and still cant find anything wrong. Gave me two paracetamol and sent me home. Sat here alone in pain not just from my chest but pain from missing him. Its been almost 6 months and…"
5 hours ago
Billy Jo Colt commented on joseph ty's blog post No normal days
"Hi Joseph, You have a lot of emotions to go through. Your Daughters body is gone but she lives on in your memory forever. A poor consellation I hear you say. It is and it's the only one we have. I treasure my memories and always will. Your loss…"
5 hours ago
BLUEBELL commented on Karen's group I miss my Mom!
"I knew it was time to let my Mom go. But I had no idea of the intensity of the emotional pain it would cause me until it happened Bluebell"
8 hours ago
Marjorie Willcox commented on Jon-Paul Ackerman's group Lost My Spouse...
"I feel the same way. "
13 hours ago
Emma Marie added a page to the group Funeral Service

Important things to take care of after the passing away of a loved one

The death of a loved one will drain you out emotionally and physically. With the passing away of a loved one, you will have to major responsibilities to take care of. You need to assure that everyone that had a part to play in the life of the loved…
15 hours ago
Emma Marie posted a group

Funeral Service

To serve people at their need– it's all we do. We strive to set the highest standards for the funeral profession in terms of client service and care for the deceased. We help people through one of the most difficult times in their lives with compassion, respect, openness and care.See More
15 hours ago
Linda Engberg commented on Jon-Paul Ackerman's group Lost My Spouse...
"Lost without him, Thank you, I only stay on this earth because I have no choice. I just pray for God to take me."
17 hours ago
Theresa commented on Karen's group I miss my Mom!
"Brett, I agree."
17 hours ago
joseph ty joined Karen's group

Missing my Son or Daughter

For all of us that are suffering the loss a son or daughter.
21 hours ago
joseph ty posted a blog post

No normal days

    8 days 7 hours and 25 minutes ago I held my daughter as they turned off the machines and she slipped away. It's kind of a blur after that. Organ donations, funeral arraignments, getting her stuff from her apartment, people calling and coming by. So many people saying "if you need anything, just call." But what can they do, really? So much sadness and anger. Through all of it, I keep getting flashes of her face and body as they brought her out of the apartment. I knew when I saw her, blue…See More
21 hours ago
Brett Bowman commented on Karen's group I miss my Mom!
"Even If they do not understand what you are going through, I hope that they at least have some idea how blessed they are to still have  their moms. I don't know if that's possible though. I cherished my mom when she was alive,…"
23 hours ago
Lost with out him commented on Jon-Paul Ackerman's group Lost My Spouse...
"Love this Picture Linda! Yes you are still married forever and ever. I feel exactly the same way! Happy Anniversary ❤️❤️❤️"
Lost with out him commented on Jon-Paul Ackerman's group Lost My Spouse...
"My friends you are the only people that understand. I too am broken, ir's been 13 months of HELL on earth. Going through the motions.. Wish I were dead truly. I have tried to " live" without him,but I can't. I also will be alone…"
Theresa commented on Karen's group I miss my Mom!
"Crystal, you described it best "a horror movie"  I just can't get it out of my mind. God bless everyone, may we all find inner peace, here, talking about our moms. I can say it helps me alot to know you all know the feeling of…"

© 2018   Created by Jarvis.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service