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Just a Phone Call Away

Updated on March 26, 2014
Support for end-of-life caregivers
Support for end-of-life caregivers | Source

I can’t say enough good things about our Hospice experience. Optimal Hospice was a Godsend at the end of mom’s life. We met a number of Hospice nurses, and all of them were so caring. We looked forward to their visits.

When we first started in the program they came once a week, but within just a few weeks they began to come 2-3 times a week, as mom’s health declined.

At first mom didn’t want an aide to come out and help her with her bath, but when she got to where she was totally bedridden, I requested to have an aide come to bathe her, and mom really loved it. It was like a “Spa Day.” The aides are well trained and knew how to roll mom just so. I on the other hand, was afraid I would break my mom, she was so frail. You need to supply the soap, shampoo, rags, towels, creams and if you don’t have a nearby sink, you’ll need to have something to put the water in. It was a nice addition to mom’s week; she looked forward to the aide coming to bathe her.

The very first day that we started the program, Hospice arranged for oxygen, a medicine kit to have in the fridge for emergencies, a shower chair, and they would have sent out anything else we needed, all we had to do was ask. They supplied all of mom’s diapers, bed protector pads, waterless shampoo/body wash, mouth freshener swabs, creams, prescriptions. It was unbelievable.

The thing that was most comforting though, was knowing that I could call them at any time of day, or night. If they couldn’t remedy the problem over the phone, then they sent out a nurse.

If your doctor or nurse suggests Hospice care for your loved one, I urge you to accept. It will make your life and your loved one’s life so much better. You won’t regret having Hospice at your disposal 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It can be a scary experience taking care of someone that is terminally ill, but Hospice takes away that fear, because they really are only a phone call away.

Hospice Care
Hospice Care | Source

March 2014: Circle of Friends

My mom was a social butterfly. She played music in piano bars, and loved being the entertainer. It wasn't that she needed to be the center of attention, but more so, she loved making the people around her feel special, and know that she valued every moment that they spent with her.

After mom got sick, she didn't want to see anyone except family members, because she wanted people to remember her in a healthy state. When she began having visits from Hospice, they were more than just Nurses and Aides coming to the house, they were welcomed guests.

Mom looked forward to seeing the Hospice staff. There was one Aide who would schedule mom at the end of his shift so that he could stay and visit with her as long as she wanted. He would kneel on his knees by her bedside so that his head was at the same level as hers, and they would talk up a storm. In the last weeks, as mom’s health declined, she did a lot less talking, but her Aide continued to kneel by her beside and talk to her without fail. I hope he knew how much she enjoyed that.

I have to say that Hospice was a great emotional support for me as well. There were a few moments during the Nurse’s visits that I broke down, and she was right there with a hug and a comforting word for me. I would have been lost without Hospice, and I know that mom’s last few months of life wouldn't have been as comfortable had she not had such wonderful home health care.

I can’t stress enough how beneficial having Hospice was. Taking care of someone who is terminally ill, is no easy task, and it can be quite frightening at times, but it makes all the difference in the world when you have people helping you, who really care about your loved one and your family.

My mom knew that her care was the central focus of the Hospice visits, but she always tried to make sure that the Nurses and Aides felt special too. Hospice was more than just a medical staff, they became mom’s circle of friends, and she valued every moment that they spent with her.


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