Susan had a plan and resources set aside. She had planned for a quality end-of-life experience surrounded by family. But she could not predict that she would die during a pandemic and how unanticipated events would impact her wishes and her family’s desire to give her the end-life-experience she had envisioned.
When the pandemic hit, Susan was living in a skilled nursing facility and was happy there. She had family nearby who visited often, and she was engaged in her caregiving plan. Unfortunately, as her illness progressed so did the pandemic. Before long, the visits from her family were no longer allowed and even visits from her hospice team were less frequent and more complicated.
Susan’s family had a strong desire to be with her during her final days and hoped to fulfill her end-of-life wishes to be with family. To do that, they made the extremely difficult decision to move Susan from the facility to her daughter’s home while she was actively dying. There were worries that Susan would not survive the move, but she did. Even so, the move caused a lot of stress for everyone. There was little time to complete all the caregiver training to ensure her total comfort. Susan died in the days that followed, and even though everything wasn’t exactly how she had hoped, she was surrounded by those who she loved the most.
An end-of-life center in the community would have been a wonderful option for Susan. It would have improved her overall journey and experience. Immediately, she would have been surrounded with a caregiving team who could help fulfill her wishes and provide the family peace of mind. Even when a pandemic isn’t impacting the world and community, life throws us curve balls. An end-life-center will be a constant place of comfort and support when even the best-laid end-of-life plans cannot come to full fruition.