Making a difference to the very end
Cheerful and sociable, Chen Shueh Li made friends wherever she went, even when she was hospitalised. Her daughter Ng Beng Keow said her mother “had a rapport with the nurses”.
In 2019, Mdm Chen was admitted for palliative care at St Luke’s Hospital. She also had dementia.
The family was anxious when they had to make unfamiliar decisions regarding Mdm Chen’s care options. To help in decision making, the nurse manager of the ward invited the family to observe, for example, the different options. Beng Keow said, “The hospital staff guided us patiently and gave us ample time to think through. They were also sensitive to the needs of our family. Even though sometimes, we asked the same questions again, they took time to explain my mother’s condition and treatment clearly to us.”
When Mdm Chen’s condition worsened, the care team arranged a single, private room for the family to say goodbye. The team also helped the family till they left the hospital. Beng Keow said, “It’s the little things the staff did that made a difference. Just being there to help was very comforting to me.”
The multi-disciplinary palliative care team at St Luke’s Hospital works with patients and caregivers in a dedicated palliative care ward to provide quality of life and alleviate suffering, helping patients to live well before leaving.