My 90 year old dad is bed and wheelchair bound. He also suffers from dementia. His worst part of the day is late afternoon to evening, when he sundowns and suffers from pain in his backside from sitting in his lift chair or wheelchair. He does have pressure sores. I’ve asked the hospice nurse if it’s possible to allow him to get massages every now and then just to relieve him of his muscle pain due to atrophy. She said it’s not possible. He does have a hospital bed with the air mattress that inflates and deflates, and has tried mats and pillows while in his chair. He loves the bed air mattress, the pillows or seat pads not so much. If the goal of hospice care is to keep someone comfortable, it seems like massages would be built into their care. They can pay for morphine but not massages? I wish I knew where to go to help make positive changes for hospice care patients (like this). Chronically ill and dying patients benefit so much from massage as they crave human touch and benefit from the muscle stimulation.
Maybe when the aide helps with baths, he/she could do a few minutes massage to areas without pressure sores.
'Tylenol twice a day' needs a check to see what pain relief he is actually getting. Tylenol can be as little as 500mg of acetaminophen/ paracetamol, or can come with different levels of codeine or other pain killers. Many doctors are now under prescribing painkillers, following all the fuss about fentanyl. I am permitted to take up to 6 x 30 mg of codeine a day (with added paracetamol which does nothing for me and appears to be there to stop addicts from separating the codeine). It needs special permission. I very rarely take that much, take nil if my back is behaving itself, and I’m definitely not addicted. Double check that Dad is getting an effective level of pain killers at the right time of day – and if not, make a fuss.
Protecting dying patients from COVID is but 1 thing protecting Volunteers is another priority. Volunteers have the choice to enter facilities or homes and if they do not feel comfortable doing so it is not something that they will be obligated to do. And many of the people doing therapies like massage, Reiki, art, music are volunteers.
And yes you protect dying patients just like you would protect anyone else. Hospice is not going to intentionally try to get someone ill. Anyone that is on Hospice already has medical problems contracting COVID could hasten death and that is not taken lightly.
I was formally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia several years ago, and spent long periods of time with the pain, loss of sleep, and fatigue that can accompany the condition.
Following my mother’s death, I was able to use some of my extra time to institute some beneficial habits and practices, lost over 100 pounds, and was pretty much free of Fibro flares for a few years, while moving, being a grandma, and assuming the care responsibilities of my present LO IN Care.
Despite taking every precaution, I became infected with COVID, and have once again experienced a Covid flare within the last 4-5 months.
Through a relative, I’ve been connected to a fine Licensed Massage Therapist, and following 6 visits, I’m experiencing the benefits of improved sleep, reduced pain in my arms, hands, and fingers, and improved posture and breathing.
”Our” residential care center is currently closed to visitors, and it has been 2 weeks since I’ve been there. Again, COVID Ruins Everything It Touches.
Can our LOs benefit from massage? I certainly think so, but at this point, where I live, facilities AND family care providers are stretched so thin that even humane basics of care can be hard to access.
If she lives through this latest viral siege, I’ll discuss this with my CMT.
If he has pressure sores that may be the reason that they do not want a massage therapist involved. Using any oils may make the sores worse or lead to infection. And the pressure from the massage might also be problematic.
You can ask if the massage can be just upper torso.
And there is nothing that would stop you from gently rubbing his arms, back and neck.
When he is bathed I am sure the CNA also gently rubs his skin so he is getting touched.
My question is...if he is in pain are they doing anything to alleviate the pain?
So apparently some hospices do offer that service. You may just have to call around to find out which if any in your area do.
Good luck with that.
If he's developing contractures, ask for a PT to come in for stretching. Is he getting meds for the sundowning and pain?