The older I get, the more I find myself face-to-face with the realities of hospice.
Each year, it seems, I know an increasing number of the patients under the care of Gilchrist Hospice Care – both at home and at one of our two inpatient centers. It serves as a reminder of just how lucky we are here in Baltimore to have such an extraordinary resource close by.
My interest and involvement with Gilchrist, as a donor and event attendee, started before I knew anyone who needed the specialized, team-oriented care that is the hallmark of hospice. Then, my sister needed inpatient end of life care at Gilchrist Center, and later, my brother died of cancer at home – also under Gilchrist’s care. Meanwhile, I had progressed to event organizer, volunteer board member and all-around booster of this amazing hospice.
Today, as I serve as Chair of Gilchrist’s Board of Directors, both my work behind the scenes and my visits to friends and family members under Gilchrist’s care reminds me, daily, just how crucial our services are, not only for patients, but for their families as well.
The Gilchrist team treats the patient and family as a unit to be cared for, inside and out. At times, their care is so individual and personalized that it’s easy to forget that your loved one is one of more than 550 patients being cared for by the organization on any given day.
The team provides comfort. They troubleshoot problems. They lend a compassionate ear. And ultimately, they help families come to terms with what will be their new reality – life without their precious loved one by their side.
I am so grateful that Gilchrist has been there when my family and friends needed them most, and I will continue to work to ensure that it continues to provide the finest in end of life care for patients and families in Central Maryland for the foreseeable future.