Like most family members, May wanted to do everything she could for her husband, Lee. She had never before taken care of a person with a serious illness, and the process was all very new to her. The things he had found agreeable in the past were not helping now. She was especially distressed that he would not eat. However, with the help of the hospice nurse, the family members learned simple caregiving techniques and were at least able to manage his pain so that he was comfortable most of the time.
Fortunately, Lee had thought about what he wanted in terms of treatment and eventually end-of-life care. He had been able to talk with his doctors about his options, and the risks and benefits of each. He knew he had the information he needed to make good decisions. As she thought about his needs, May knew she needed to get some help. She and her family researched the various types of care that were available and identified the services that were most appropriate.
It helped Lee, May and their children to learn what to expect in the last few days. When Lee died, they were able to process his passing together as a family and were proud that they had honored his wishes and provided him with the kind of passing he desired.