Kathy’s Story: Making the Choice for Hospice Care
With two parents living at home and both suffering from life-limiting illness, Kathy and her family realized it was time to seek help. At the suggestion of their doctor, the family called the VNA to learn about hospice and our program. For several months, her parents received visits from the hospice team, including nurse Jennifer Cuff, RN, social worker Mary Lou Daley, MSW, Chaplain Karen Lewis, MTS, MDiv, and volunteer Maria Aznar. Kathy spoke to us about her choice to use VNA Hospice Care.
“At the time, I just was devastated because to me, hospice meant that they were going to die very soon. The nurse explained to me what hospice was. It was just a different kind of care they would be receiving at home, and the main goal was to keep them at home throughout the rest of their lives.
“They both got excellent care. We had a volunteer come, which my parents loved. She was about their age, so they reminisced. They really enjoyed that. The chaplain was wonderful. At the end of my mother’s life, that evening, the chaplain came out 11:30 at night in the pouring rain and she prayed with us. I’ll never forget that.
“Without hospice, we wouldn’t have gotten through the way we did. They died with dignity, the way we wanted them to. We were told what to expect and what would happen, and it happened just that way. I learned so much about life and death with hospice, and so did my brother and my sister. Hospice really prepared us for their end-of-life stages. I was happy to be here for them because my biggest fear was that they would be alone, and they weren’t.
“I always say we were so grateful to have hospice on our side, and I’m so glad we made that phone call.”