If you were heading into a hospice, what would you want to make the experience less clinical?

We got N’s dad a radio yesterday. He’s pretty lucid, and he looked somewhat bored: there’s a pay tv system in the hospital. It’s not clear if it shifts beds with you, and it flummoxes everyone. He’s not quite got the fine motor skills for the iPad anymore, but we thought a radio might allieve the boredom of being on his own waiting for the next visit from a nurse.


5 thoughts on “So….

  1. You are great for thinking about his mental health on top of his physical. An iPad – he can stream music or netflix, play games on it. Crossword puzzles or Magazines. A deck of cards. Put plants in his room and throw blankets to soften it. Bring in a warm-colored lamp. Bring in framed pictures of his family. Ask the family to write to him – provide them all with the blank card to write him a note. Bring him warm slippers or his favorite shirt.

  2. Definitely audio books, but I discovered that it is easier if you use the ones on CD’s and not try to do MP3 streaming. My dad is almost blind and he can still shove the cd into the player but he can’t use the mp3 player or the ipad. There is just too much stuff on the screen and you have to hit it so precisely that it is extremely frustrating. He can, however, find the “play” button on the cd player. Also, lots of pictures of things that are familiar – family photos, pictures of cities and houses where he has lived, things that help to recall good memories and provide things for visitors to talk about with him.. And is there a family pet? Some places will allow pet visits and some even have visiting animals. A friend’s mother always loved a visit from the the family cat and the cat seemed to realize that he had to be on his best behavior and not run away. Also a tin of favorite candies or cookies. Also, keep a stash of magazines for visitors to thumb through and read articles to him if he can no longer read. (And they can also read them while he dozes during visits. II always kept a magazine on hand for those times my mother would sleep during my visit so that I could stay occupied until she awoke.)

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