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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

When I was starting to comment on a friends page here yesterday I noticed a mutual friend had commented on her page and the word hospice jumped out at me. So yes, I read all the comment then. I found that these two friends on here and I shared a common experience. We had both been care givers too our parents.

I had been thinking a lot about my family anyway. Last month was Mom & Dad's anniversary and the 10th of April is my Mom's birthday. Dad's birthday is next month and the in June the anniversary of their deaths. My brother's illness has made me think a lot about our family too but this time of year I always seem to reflect back on family.

When it was obvious that it was getting difficult for my parents to care for their home they bought a double wide trailer and moved it onto our farm in Northern Missouri. They were able to stay there for 5 1/2 years. I cared for them in their own home as long as I could but Mom's health and her mobility were failing rapidly and my father had Alzheimer's. If it had just been one of them I might have been able to do it longer. Their doctor actually made things easier for me when he told Mom each time he saw me I looked more tired. He asked Mom what she & Dad were going to do when I ended up sick. He told her, "She is worn out!" He told her it was time to think about moving to a nursing home. Mom & Dad entered a nursing home in a small town 5 miles from us a few weeks later. DH stopped every day on his way to work and I went down almost every day to see them. We were blessed that the home where they were had a family atmosphere. The staff didn't just care for my parents, they loved them. There were lots of hugs and small gifts or flowers from someones garden would appear in their rooms. Mom loved to read and she was never lacking for books. We lost Dad 3 years before Mom. I called in hospice for him when I was advised it was time. The staff was very good. I really had no complaints and was happy with the care. All Dad's needs were met. When the time came for Mom to go on hospice I supposed I would use the same one. The director of nursing from the nursing home sat down with me to discuss doing this and asked if I had a preference. I said I guessed the one I had for Dad. The nurse ducked her head and then looked at me and said, "did you ever meet the hospice nurse, Nancy, that your mom's friend Grace had?" I said, "Oh, then you would recommend them?" With a twinkle in her eye and a big smile she said, "I can't recommend anyone. It has to be your choice." That is how I met the most wonderful caring group of people in the world. To borrow a phrase from a friend on here, they were "angels on earth!" They went way beyond the care my father received and I am still in touch with several of them.

I am blessed to have a lot of wonderful memories of my parents and growing up. My grandparents were pretty great too. This not meant to be a sad blog. The things I am looking back on are happy memories of times spent with my family.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Happy memories keep our loved ones close. I am glad you have them. I will be praying for your brother.
    1879 days ago
    I am grateful for Hospice and the care they give in this area. My Dad died with lung cancer and they were so good to us the entire time, telling us of the progression of the cancer and what to expect. I remember once when a lady showed up at our door with a complete meal of ham, baked sweet potatoes and other items and explained she was a volunteer who had been through what we were going through and she wanted to give back. We were so happy that someone knew and cared for our family. They are great! Thanks for the reminder. emoticon
    1879 days ago
  • SISSIE21
    Thank you for sharing your story. It took me back to my dad's passing... And you know how highly I regard the hospice people. My dad could never have spent his last months at home and die in his own bed without their help. And I would have never had the strength to take care of him on my own. Taking care of my dad was and will always be one of the most rewarding periods of my life. My sister watched me do this as I was the nurse in the family and it gave her the courage to do the same for my mom in her last months some years later, as I was in Holland at the time. It is a unique experience, one unfortunately that we do not all get to experience. And that is all because of the hospice angels! emoticon
    1879 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/3/2013 1:00:12 AM
  • 123ELAINE456
    This is a Beautiful Blog with Happy Memeries in it. Thank You for Sharing this with Us. God Blessings to Everyone. Have a Nice Day. Take Care. Hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!
    1879 days ago
    My mom chose hospice January 4, and she passed away four days later. My sisters and I thought the hospice team was wonderful. Reading your blog was very helpful. Thank you!

    DeAnne, Missourians Team
    1879 days ago
    My mom's hospice was the best.

    It's never easy but thank God for those that support you when it's needed the most.

    1879 days ago
    So glad that you have good memories and that you were willing to share them with us. emoticon
    1879 days ago
    My best friend was "in hospice" and I felt that she was neglected. I was there for over an hour w/her(comatose) and he children. No one ever checked in on her. My sister had hospice care at the end, and my nephews said they were great.
    It's important for the family as well as the one who is being cared for to feel loved and cherished until their passing. I'm glad you found a better hospice care giver for your mom. You were blessed to have had your parents close to you, and that they had a super doctor.
    I lost mom in January of 82, dad in October 96, my husband in November of 05 and my sister in November of 12. I'm reflective for mom, dad and Steve but I still grieve my sisters passing. I think it's too new and she was younger than I.
    You, your brother and family continue to be in my prayers.

    emoticon emoticon
    1880 days ago
    Your experiences will be of help to others as they must make the difficult decisions concerning aging parents. Hospice workers seem to be such an amazing group of people, uniquely gifted and called. Simply amazing people.

    I hear you, and I think I feel many of the same things you described each year. Spring brings me those same reflections, Martha, and I know what you mean about them not being "sad," they're just somehow "deep."

    I think we're supposed to reflect, supposed to see the events that happen around us in the light of forever, and I believe we're supposed to learn and make changes in our lives based on what we learn. None of that can happen without reflection.

    emoticon Gail
    1880 days ago
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