I never know what to expect when I enter a room where a patient is close to leaving this world for the next. Sometimes the patient is alone, and sometimes family members are present. I’m immediately drawn to the patient’s side at which point all other thoughts leave me and I focus on the patient. I’m honored to hold a cool hand, brush back wisps of hair from the forehead and quietly speak to hopefully convey to the patient they are not alone. I may read to them, or just have a chat, knowing I won’t get an answer.
If family is present, my first question is always: tell me about your mom, dad,etc. I hear stories of a life lived, thrilling vacations, troubles encountered, and of course, family interrupted by grief. I feel privileged to be available to them, to share their thoughts, and to answer their questions.
My favorite hospice experience: spending time with a lovely woman, who was at the bedside of her husband of many years. She had sadly said her goodbyes and was keeping watch. She told me stories of their life together and we were laughing and enjoying the memories. I was watching changes in her husband as we were talking and realized during a particularly funny story, that he passed. I let her finish and I stood and checked her husband. I then turned to her and told her he had left. She was astonished that the passing was so peaceful! She said she felt he knew it was ok to leave! The joy on her face despite her sadness was a sight I’ll remember always. I’m blessed to be a part of the process.
Sandy, Hospice Volunteer
For more information or to volunteer with Abode Hospice, please contact us.
Promoting Independence in Senior with In-Home Health Care
Independence is an important aspect in helping a person determining their self-worth. As people, we start off as children who need help just getting from place to place, then teenagers who just need financial aid to support them, and then eventually into full-fledged adults that function for the most part on their own. But as people reach their later stage of adulthood, it becomes apparent that it’s harder for them to maintain this level of independence. Seniors often feel like having in-home care is the end of their independence, but this is far from the case.
While it’s not always easy to admit, sometimes it’s necessary to recognize that as a senior, some extra care and attention might need to be administered by someone else. But just acknowledging this fact is a sign that you’re aware that such care can actually enhance your independence as you age. These in-home care professionals can provide interactions with their patients and give them the help that they need to stay healthy and stimulated. In addition to this, there are few things to remember that will prolong the independent stage of a senior’s life.
- Stay physically active
- Doing small tasks around the house or community like gardening, walking, stretching, and housekeeping are all ways to keep the body stimulated and prevent it from aging prematurely. Always make sure to listen to your doctor and your body though when doing physical activities to ensure that you don’t strain yourself unnecessarily.
- Socialize often
- So many changes often occur at the senior stage of life, so it’s important for them to have some sort of routine. A fun way to do this is to have a scheduled time to hang out with friends and family to ensure that love and laughter continue in a consistent manner while things around them begin to change.
- Stay mentally stimulated
- A lack of activity and stimulation of the brain is often what drives most seniors into being more forgetful people. Just something as simple as crosswords and Sudoku puzzles can be enough to give the brain a metaphorical jog to keep it in shape and keep the person on the right track to longevity.
These are just simple aspects that can help individuals maintain that individuality on their own. However, in addition to these practices, in-home healthcare like that which is provided by Abode Hospice and Home Health can almost guarantee a stronger and more independent individual as they experience this new phase of their life.
Yes, it’s our job. Yes, we attended school to bring cutting-edge services to your doorstep, but it’s so much more than that. To say we are privileged to serve our families would be an understatement. Our families often don’t realize how special THEY are to us. While we are caring for a loved one, families are, in turn, blessing our staff. One of the greatest compliments we receive is when a patient’s family offers to help us with our mission. “PS — if there is ever a need I can help with, it’s yours. Please don’t hesitate to call.”