“The Last 203 Days of Sarah’s Life”

9 September 2016

Sarah’s daughter Kaye expressed her feelings throughout the video, the frustration, the good and bad days her mother had, all of which affect the care givers state of being. Listening to the sadness in Kaye’s voice reached me. I was able to relate with her situation because I just recently heard the same from my own aunt who takes care of my grandmother. It’s the hardest thing to witness when the care giver is breaking down from built up frustration. Sarah and Kaye began the film with what turns out to be 203 days before Sarah’s death.

Sarah is terminally ill and although she’s in great pain and discomfort, her state of mind is clear and defined. She wore a wig and cared about what she looked like, getting her nails done and all. Half way through the film you can see things are taking a turn for the worse.

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Sarah’s physical appearance changed quite a bit. She wore no make up, the wig was gone and she was slower and in much more visible and audible pain. Up until two weeks ago, I knew that a hospice was a place where the terminally ill go to die. I had no clue as to how the staff relates to the clients or what their primary focus would be.

The staff members from the hospice in the film were primarily concerned with Sarah’s level of pain and how they could help alleviate it. They treated her with respect and did not patronize her in any shape or form. All of which was mentioned in the last chapter of our textbook. Kaye had mentioned three things her mother feared, dirtying herself, loosing her mind and being put in a nursing home, then she mentions how all of her fears came to fruition. Sarah herself said at one point “…I have no idea what it was all about”.

My take on her comment was that although she came to accept her inevitable death, she did not have any philosophical answers to give anyone. The film began with hospice care being administered at Kaye’s home and it seems that by that time Sarah had gone through her stages of realization and had now accepted her death. I realize that witnessing all this makes me better aware of what happens, but knowing what to expect and going through it are definitely two different things. Eventually Kaye was not able to continue providing the care her mother required.

Although the decision to move her mother to the hospice was difficult to accept, it was a welcomed event. Kaye had gotten to the point where she couldn’t cope physically. In the end, when Sarah died, Kaye seemed like having had her mother in the hospice was the best way to have conducted their affairs. Watching the film was definitely enlightening. It was an eye opener to the benefits of hospice care. Having been around for some time I have experienced the loss of a loved one but my case was different and did not require the use of hospice care. The film is definitely worth watching.

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