Only granny in chat no registration
At first it wasn’t clear whether her health would continue its rapid deterioration or plateau, so there was a good deal of trying to get systems in place to enable her to continue living by herself, in her own home in Addingham, West Yorkshire, as independently as possible.To supplement the care her own family could provide, she had up to four visits a day from nurses and care assistants from the Airedale Collaborative Care Team (ACCT), an NHS agency whose staff recorded daily observations on her health. Grandma was a pretty extraordinary woman: idiosyncratic, plain-spoken, down to earth and pithy. She wanted to ask questions about how Grandma had died, which we dealt with easily enough.
I know it will sound silly – what does it matter once someone is dead?She was admitted to hospital for the first time in her life and when she came out, in mid-February, three weeks before she died, she had a big box of pills, an oxygen machine and a thick file of medical notes.These chronicled several life-threatening conditions, including pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of the lung tissue, which is a progressive disease), COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, another chronic lung condition), and heart problems. She had woken thirsty, and I’d just squeezed a syringeful of water into her mouth because she didn’t have the energy to sit up, though mentally she was clearly still absolutely “with it”, as she would have said. It was as peaceful and as kind a death as I think it might be possible to have. The curtains were open because she liked to see out. All of our energy had been thrown into life: how to minimise pain, how to make her comfortable.What you need to know is this: if a person has not seen their GP in the 14 days preceding their death, or is not seen by them immediately afterwards, the case must be referred to the coroner. If the death happens outside surgery hours – in the night, say, or at the weekend – and you reach for the phone and find yourself visited by a different doctor, even one from the same practice, the case will go to the coroner. “It is really to make sure, if the person is not seen by a doctor who has cared for them as a patient, that the correct cause of death is entered on the death certificate,” explains a Home Office spokesman.He arrived soon after 6am, but did not issue a death certificate. – and partly because I knew my uncle, her only son, wanted to see her one final time. In some ways, we were lucky: the policewoman was both gentle and empathetic and held off calling the undertaker to take Grandma to the morgue until about 9.30am, by which time my uncle had arrived and we had got ourselves together. But when you have, this loss of control and lack of emotional space is the very last thing you need.
Instead, he explained that despite the thick file of medical notes, her age, and the fact that she had been seen several times a day by NHS professionals, he was required to refer the death to the coroner, who would then determine the cause of death. The undertaker, we learnt, is only temporary; you can later switch if you like – and we did, a couple of days later – to one of your choice, who will also look after the body in their own chapel of rest.
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