We had the worst experience with Silverado Hospice Care in Orange County, California. If we knew then what we know now, we would have immediately declined their services and sought hospice care elsewhere. We selected Silverado for hospice care for a beloved family member after being promised that their hospice care would provide "comfort" and "dignity in the dying process" with "expert nurses" in order to enable family members to "cherish their last moments with their loved one." Rather than experience these promises, we experienced extreme headache and heartache.
Silverado provided one nurse that we felt was very unsatisfactory. We found her to be both inattentive and insensitive. The entire family was forced to listen to horrific sounds of our loved one gasping for air, coughing, moans, groans, and witness disturbing displays of facial grimacing and jerking body movements for eight hours of her shift. Although there were prescriptions for increasing the amount of medication depending on pain and discomfort, she did not increase medication until the last hours of her shift after many family members had to request for her to do so. She did not once call the physician for guidance even after family requests. Her demeanor made it evident that she treated this as a job and nothing more. The entire eight hour experience was traumatizing for the whole family. It was not until her shift ended and the next nurse was scheduled that we watched our family member's condition improve with increased pain medication administration and the calling of the physician for further guidance. Furthermore, the subsequent nurse noted discomfort immediately after the prior nurse had written that the patient was comfortable (to the complete shock of the entire family)!
The worst part of the situation was the stress and trauma induced from the experience on family members still to this day. We never were able to enjoy our loved one during these last days because we were constantly forced to check in with the hospice and follow through with their services. Silverado failed to schedule nurses for shifts. We had to provide care ourselves while calling to inquire why a nurse had not been scheduled. It took painstaking phone calls and follow ups to have a nurse scheduled. During the last day that our family member was alive, no one was scheduled for the afternoon and evening shifts. As soon as a nurse was finally sent after we had called, our family member died half an hour later. There were periods when we called for assistance and we had trouble contacting someone from their 24-hour call assistance.
We received attitude from the staff when we complained about these problems. We think Management handled our complaints inadequately.