I had been caring for my Mom, who had Alzheimer’s disease, for several years. When her health took a turn for the worse, it was clear to both her doctor and me that she needed more care than I was able to offer. He brought up the idea of hospice and soon after a hospice nurse came out to assess her needs. She suggested that I consider taking my Mom to The Good Shepherd Hospice House to receive her hospice care. Once we toured the facility, I immediately knew the hospice house was the best choice for my Mom. My Mom had very strong beliefs about the importance of dying with dignity and that helped me know that hospice would have been what she wanted and how proud she would have been of me and my brother for choosing the hospice house for her.
The amazing part of the hospice is not just the great care they gave to my Mom, but also the care they give to the family. The Nurses and Aides handled her care and comfort exceptionally and the Hospice Chaplain took care of our spiritual needs during that time. That spiritual support changed our outlook on the entire experience. The stress of caregiving was lifted from our shoulders and we were able to be a daughter and a son again. We were still very involved, and I was at the hospice house nearly every single day of those ten months.
Too many people think that hospice is only for the last few days of someone’s life, but that’s simply not true. During those ten months, we had the time to create relationships and connections with the hospice team that hugely benefited us. We were able to prepare, to cope and to grieve. Our feelings and memories of our Mom and her final months would have been very different had we not been surrounded by the kindness and support of hospice.
I still stop by from time to time and visit the hospice house and the staff. I will always be proud that we brought her there and I will always be grateful for the gift of hospice.
I am Joyce Mattson and I am Homecare & Hospice.