Relieved to learn that PALCARE exists

Relieved to learn that PALCARE exists

Patient: Sheela Fadnavis

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Sheela was a 48-year-old woman who had been diagnosed with stage-4 cancer of the female genital organs. She lived with her husband and son in a very small one-room house in the interiors of Kandivali West. Her family came from a low socio-economic income group with the son being the only earning member. The patient’s father and son served as the primary caregivers. When Sheela Fadnavis had become aware of her diagnosis and prognosis, she expressed a desire for her pain to be managed at home, which was her preferred place of death. Even though her husband wanted to honor her wish, he did not feel assured that he would be able to manage her symptoms at home and hence, pondered a hospice admission.

On the other hand, her husband considered that with being in a hospice, Sheela would not be able to have a relative with her during nights as only women were allowed to accompany patients into the female ward. After having had to endure many hospital visits during the course of her illness, Sheela very much wanted to be at home, where she felt the most comfortable. The family finally decided to honor her wish in every way they could but remained concerned about her care at home as she was not able to walk and could not easily reach a hospital for any symptomatic management.

When the PALCARE medical team visited the patient for the first time on 18th February 2019, she had been constipated for over 5 days, had a grade 2 bedsore in her sacral region and kept passing in and out of consciousness. Having doctors spend time to understand her difficulties and a homecare team to make frequent visits, free-of-charge, was unheard of and a welcome respite for the family who had been left feeling disheartened upon knowing the prognosis and helpless to provide care. The family was relieved to learn that the PALCARE team would be able to support Sheela’s needs right at home.

Sheela soon had her pain and other symptoms under control and managed well. Her family was instructed on how to keep her wound clean and dry. Additionally, the family was instructed on what they needed to watch out for and was requested to report her ongoing condition to the medical team. In this way, the family started to gain confidence in the method of care for Sheela. When in doubt or for any emergencies, they were told to call the doctor or nurse. The team would visit her every week.

When Sheela’s condition started to further deteriorate, the family was also prepared with recognizing end-of-life signs and managing her at home with the use of medications and procedures. On 19th March 2019, she passed away peacefully at home as she and her family had wished for.

 

*Patients’ names, on this and following pages, have been changed to protect their identity.