A Patient Story from Breede River Hospice

“Tannie Kitty” is a well-known member of the Bonnievale community. Her independent way of living came under threat as she gradually aged and became less mobile. It is difficult for a person who is used to living on her own to make the mind shift to live in assisted living.

As a professional team, we realised the need for her to be admitted into a care facility, but it was impossible to change her mind, she was adamant to remain in her little house forever… Regardless of her resistance to the idea of being admitted to the local old age home, “Huis Herfsvreugde”, as a team we completed the application forms for her admission. The manager, Mrs. Brenda Elspeth was helpful and understanding of the situation. Much to our surprise, an opening came soon, but when Mrs. Elspeth phoned “Tannie Kitty” with the news, she was very angry and told her to NEVER phone her again for admission to the old age home. She was quite annoyed by the idea of living with “old people”.

Gradually we saw the physical deterioration set in, she could not move out of her house anymore due to the steps that were too high for her to climb. Everything became an effort, but stubbornly she refused to go to an old age home.

We needed a miracle, nothing we said would change her mind.

One day, much to our surprise we heard that the doctor at the local clinic made the same observation as we did, that she can no longer stay on her own. She had no choice, she was admitted to Breede river Care Centre where she told us initially she will only stay for four days.

After three days she blossomed. She could not stop telling us how grateful she was for the wonderful care and love she received. She enjoyed all the people to talk to and the lovely meals that were served.

In the meantime, we made contact with Mrs. Elspeth again and she was understanding and sympathetic towards “Tannie Kitty” despite the last conversation they had. They could accommodate her long-term.

Our task was to break the news to her and we expected some resistance, but much to our surprise she realised that the time has come for her to cross the bridge and start a new chapter in her life. She was no longer able to live on her own and would be willing to go to “Huis Herfsvreugde” where she is thriving and living happily at present.

We are grateful for Bram Care Centre which provided a “bridge” for “Tannie Kitty” to help her come to an understanding that she needs full-time care. It was teamwork and perseverance that helped a patient to receive the much-needed care that she did not even realise that she needed.

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