Aine O'Riordan's Story

My mother Mona was very very well really all her life until she was into her eighties and then she started having a lot of episodes of losing consciousness. When that would happen she would be in the emergency department because an ambulance would come wherever she was or even they happened at home a lot. She was under the care of a geriatrician who was very good and, no matter how much they tried to stop this or prevent it, that still happened.

From then on, you know, she was obviously getting weaker and not eating; not drinking and then the GP referred her for the specialist palliative care service. And that’s when we got, having that service we had a doctor came out, and my brother Eugene was with me at the time, and he was very good and said ‘yes, she could have the service’. I think what was really good about him as well is that he wrote a prescription, he put everything down on that she could ever possibly need and then we had a nurse the next day and we just found, she was excellent as well.

For my mother and for us, having, you know, the chaplain came as well and that was good for my mother in particular, I suppose, and for the rest of us and then, I was thinking of this as well, I did get a phone call from a social worker just to check how we were and that was good as well. So I suppose it was very just reassuring that we now knew that mammy was going to be really well looked after and that was our main concern and I think for us then as well just having that support and that we would be able, yeah, look after her at home.

She died in her own bed, in her own bedroom with her own holy pictures around her and for us, being able to be at home and go up and down and see her and be together, I think that was really good. I think it’s just so good if somebody like mammy, who is just gradually getting older, frailer to have that service for her as she comes to the end of her life. Even though she had a number of different problems, medical problems, rather than maybe one specific one, that she still got the service. I just think that was really good.