My essay about dying at home posted on The Caregiver Space

I’ve been reading posts on The Caregiver Space for quite some time, but never had time to submit my own writing.

Now that I find myself in a post-caregiving phase of my life, I’m really trying to focus on writing a series of essays that have been stewing in my brain for awhile.

hospital bed

Last week, The Caregiver Space published my essay, “Why dying at home is not all it’s cracked up to be” and the reception has been quite positive. The post was published on The Caregiver Space Facebook page where it generated several hundred likes and many heartfelt comments.

The essay is not an attack on hospice care workers; I admire most of them and think they do a phenomenal job. Hospice care is truly a calling in my opinion, and one can see the benefit of the loving, compassionate care they provide.

My essay is a look at dying at home vs. dying in a facility from the family caregiver’s perspective. After my dad died in a skilled nursing facility, I was all for my mother dying at home. But the reality was a bit different. It was an emotionally brutal experience that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. That’s not to say that her death would have necessarily been better in a hospital, it would have been difficult in a different way.

My main point of the essay is to bring awareness to family caregivers in rural areas. They may find that the local home hospice agency is understaffed and overworked, and cannot provide the around-the-clock care that is often touted by die-at-home advocates. People should be aware and prepare themselves for taking on more of the nursing duties of caregiving. If they feel they cannot do it themselves, they should seek out help from family, friends or professional caregivers.

If you have the time, please read the essay and let me know what you think. Also, please share with anyone who you think could benefit from the information.


Filed under Awareness & Activism

5 responses to “My essay about dying at home posted on The Caregiver Space

  1. Well written essay, and brave to write the truth about your experience. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. I read your well written essay there, Joy. I guess we take a chance with either choice of dying at home as opposed to the hospital. I know that when my husband had his injury, home healthcare was horrible, and I didn’t live in a rural area. I didn’t have to deal with hospice. I’ve heard of some good experiences and some bad experiences with hospice, so I guess it’s a shot in the dark on what type of care one receives.

    Joy, you’ve dealt with so much all on your own. I’m sure you’re used to being strong, but I hope you have had someone to support you through this, if even just someone to talk to. Hugs.

    • Thanks Lori. I do remember your home health horror story w/your husband, yikes.

      I have indeed had loving support through this ordeal, but the positive vibes are always welcome!

  3. Hillary

    It’s been five months since my mother died in my arms. She had been living with me for several years, and I retired early to take care of her for the last three. I am so grateful that I had that time with her, even though her dementia sometimes made for a funny/sad state of affairs. I knew what I was in for because I worked in a nursing home before I went to college. I was prepared for everything except going on without her. Even now, I sometimes feel that last exhalation of breath on my neck and the incredible emptiness that followed. But I wouldn’t have wished it any other way.
    Thank you for writing about your experience. As someone who’s walked in your shoes, I can fully understand the depth of your love for your mother and the bravery and honesty with which you tell your story.

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