Tag: dying

I found out the hard way that caring for dying relatives is almost impossible in our society | Carers

Caring during Covid-19 has been a strange experience, but not in the way you might think. When the pandemic hit in early 2020, my mother had been sick with cancer for two years. I was leading almost a double life: at work, I inhabited the “normal” world, where conversations about annual leave quotas or inbox management mattered; outside office hours, my only concerns were preventing fevers, dispensing accurate milligrams of medication and searching for the right words to convince her that her suffering had a purpose.

At first, being a carer seemed alien, as if one morning I’d accidentally woken in someone else’s identity. Then, as the months passed, I could no longer remember what life was like before her illness and the relentless daily grind it engendered. Caring for someone terminally ill is the most crushing experience imaginable: nothing will avert their decline, no matter how tenderly you minister, how hard you love. Days began at 3am with her wailing voice and from then, I would be checking her temperature, wiping up vomit, changing sweat-sodden sheets, dispensing medication, showering her, emptying catheters and opening fortified juices, taking her temperature again … every miserable task repeated 10 times a day, on and on and on.

I dreaded those early dawns when, half awake, I’d steel myself for another day of bearing witness to her suffering

Our life became very small and airless, as if we had been walled into a tiny cramped space by her illness and its demands. Alongside the practical tasks, caring requires an exhaustingly intensive attention, a kind of loving hypervigilance, because failing to heed the precise quality of tremors or pitch of moans can mean the difference between a night at home and emergency hospitalisation. Often, I’d dream I was a car tyre spinning on hot concrete, the smell of burning rubber as it screeched, then 3am would come and it would all begin again. I dreaded those early dawns when, half awake, I’d steel myself for another day of bearing witness to her suffering.

This was made so much more difficult by the failure of our society to support care effectively. All the building blocks of life are ill suited to these circumstances. Employers expect fixed hours at the office, a requirement that starts to seem surreally pointless when your morning involves trying to lift someone off a toilet. Families are smaller than in the past, creating a heavy care-load on too few shoulders, and our atomised lifestyles leave us without local support.

Our social security system treats care as an afterthought, offering an insultingly low carer’s allowance of £67.25 each week. In carer support calls and forums, the topics of conversation are as repetitious as our days: financial distress, depression born of isolation, the stress of juggling care with employment, lack of local services. Superficial sticking plasters like the paltry carer’s allowance or the week of unpaid carer’s leave the government is currently considering don’t solve these deep structural problems.

Our society and

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San Diego Humane Society’s Project Wildlife nurses dying mountain lion cub back to health

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A mountain lion cub rescued by the San Diego Humane Society continues to make great strides in its recovery.

The Humane Society said the female cub was found by Vista Grande Fire Station firefighters near a road in Idyllwild on Sept. 2. The cub was “semiconscious, extremely emaciated, dehydrated, weak and had tremors,” according to the Humane Society.

Under the care of the Humane Society’s Project Wildlife, the cub — believed to be 14 weeks old — has made significant health progress.

Through daily fluid therapy, medications, and proper meals, the Humane Society said the cub has increased her weight from 10.5 pounds to 22 pounds.

Christine Barton, the director of Operations & Wildlife Rehabilitation at the Humane Society’s Ramona campus, said, “With each passing day, she becomes more active and responsive and, though she still has some medical issues to overcome from being in such a fragile state, we are delighted she has responded well to our treatment and are hopeful she will make a full recovery. Mountain lions are special predators and we are proud to have an expert team trusted by the state of California to care for the species.”

The Humane Society added:

“Mountain lions typically stay with their mother until they disperse to live a solitary life at around 12-18 months of age. Because it is not safe to return a young mountain lion to the wild if found injured or orphaned as a kitten, Project Wildlife has been working with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to monitor her progress and when stabilized, to ensure she has a good permanent home at a qualified facility.

San Diego Humane Society acquired the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Ramona on Sept. 1 from the Humane Society of the United States. This mountain lion cub is the first wildlife patient admitted at the Ramona Campus since San Diego Humane Society’s Project Wildlife took over.

Project Wildlife is one of only two licensed rehabilitation organizations that have a special agreement with the state to work with black bears and are also routinely called on to assist with other apex predators, such as mountain lions.”

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