Be Patient (excerpt 2)

Hospice’s initial assessment: Her body is shutting down. Food is no longer necessary. Ice chips will provide some relief as she transitions. We obeyed the “No food. Ice chips only” directive, and we expected the daily stream of hospice nurses to obey it as well. However, we discovered that nurses often ignored directives and dispensed their own brand of care. To make sure they followed the rules, Deecy and I stopped them at the front door with the directive in hand. This worked well until one nurse, after noting the directive, turned to our mother and blurted out, “Are you hungry?” We practically leaped over the bed to stifle her. But when Mom’s eyes snapped open, the nurse accused us of starving her to death. She called her supervisor and repeated the accusation. Hospice told her to leave, and she did so in a huff.