Part of our celebration of National Hospice and Palliative Care Month is to ask patients and families what they think of the services they have received from Gilchrist Hospice Care. This blog is written by Barbara Carr — whose father is cared for by Gilchrist, as was her mother who recently passed away.
When my parents began to have serious health issues and it was obvious that things were beginning to slide downhill very quickly, my sister Carole and I were beginning to feel desperate about their care.
Although we have a wonderful caregiver, Nadine, the task of caring for and making decisions about their care seemed so huge! Mom was 87 and Daddy, a retired physician, 95. We had spoken with them both about their wishes. Palliative care and support seemed to be our best options, but where in the world would we find it?
We has always considered Hospice to be end-stage care, but how wrong we were! Our family doctor suggested Gilchrist and as soon as we met with them, small miracles began to happen on a daily basis. They knew exactly what to do to make Mom especially, much more comfortable, calmer and safer. The marvelous staff quietly and efficiently stepped in and suddenly everyone’s anxiety lessened, we all felt cared for and about on every level! The nurse, the social worker, the chaplain, the grief counselor, all had made contact very quickly, assessing Mom and Dad’s needs while providing supportive care to my sister and me. Suddenly we were wrapped up in the compassionate and comprehensive care of Gilchrist.
Mom passed in August. It was a gentle, pain-free and calm passing thanks to Gilchrist and their fabulous team, particularly Don, the chaplain, who spent hours talking with our family, guiding us through the process. They helped us with the final details and offered emotional support, which continues as our family and Daddy especially, adjusts to the loss of his beloved spouse of 67 years.
I can honestly say that without Gilchrist our family would never have been able to weather the stormy weeks before my mother’s death. They were our rock then and are still as they help and guide us through the Daddy’s and our grieving. Daddy is also under their care and I know I can continue to count on Gilchrist’s amazing staff for their help and compassion.