A family thanks Delaware Hospice Center in Milford
Sometimes caring for a loved one at home as they approach the end of life is not the best option.
Care needs may require professional attention or be too physically demanding for caregivers, or the home environment just may not be the best place.
Becky and Ed Martin discovered the Delaware Hospice Center and were very grateful for the services provided there on separate occasions for their parents.
Becky remembered, “Delaware Hospice came into our lives about 20 years ago for a family member with cancer and enabled her to stay at home, which meant a lot because of the comfort that we had. Staff members always went the extra step to make sure all of us understood what was going on. Also, the bereavement care was fantastic. Recently, my mother’s twin sister fell to cancer. We had Delaware Hospice in the home and, once again, the care was wonderful. So we knew what hospice care was all about.”
Then, Becky’s stepfather was diagnosed with cancer. She said, “It was very tiring to go back and forth to the hospital for treatment and exams. One round of chemotherapy nearly killed him. He was already in stage four. We were trying our best to keep him at home, but finally a decision was made that we couldn’t. Luckily we found the Delaware Hospice Center in Milford. The care we got there was unbelievable."
The Martins appreciated not only the care provided but the special moments that the family was able to enjoy together when the burden of care was shared with Delaware Hospice’s staff.
“We felt blessed by the warmth of the staff from the first moment,” she said. “And with them taking over the physical care, we were able to focus on my dad. We shared stories, watched sports games on TV, and listened to him sing songs to us. One day, we stepped out for pizza. When we came back in, he was reaching for the sky, waving. My cousin said, ‘Everybody grab hands.’ We held hands, prayed and then he passed.”
Instead of being frightened or upset, Becky and her family felt that his passing was special. “It was very nice,” she said. “When my time comes, I hope for such a peaceful passing in such a beautiful place.”
Tragically, Ed Martin’s mother was in a severe car accident and suffered devastating injuries at the age of 79. She underwent several surgeries before the family decided to bring her to the Delaware Hospice Center.
Ed said, “In the hospitals, there was no communication from her whatsoever. When we brought her to the center, it was like she suddenly woke up. She didn’t know where she was, but one day she was sitting up and she looked at me and said, ‘This is such a beautiful place. Thank you, Eddie, for bringing me here. I don’t know why I’m here, but I just love you all.’ I knew she was all right then, and she was where she was supposed to be.”
Becky and Ed appreciated the attention they received while at the center. “The staff was always asking us if we needed anything. They reassured us that they were right there if we needed them.”
“With our stepdad,” Ed said, “he was so coherent when he came here that the nurses and CNAs were able to joke with him and sing with him. He was quite the jokester. He went to Indiana University and hated Purdue University. So he would sit up in bed and say, ‘Poo poo on Perdue,’ and they would say ‘Poo poo on Purdue, Mr. Krueger.’
“There was also a lot of pride with my stepdad,” Becky remembered. “He had lost control of all bodily functions, but he still had his pride. At the center, we could have all of our family around and step out to the suite of family rooms if he needed privacy. At home, it was harder.”
Ed said, “Our parents felt like this was a hotel. People think it costs too much, but we never saw a bill. Bringing my mother here was one of the best decisions that our family made.”
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” Becky added. “The toughest moment was the night we brought my stepfather. He knew what was going on. We talked about it, and when the ambulance came he said, ‘I’ll never come back home again, will I, Becky?’ That was hard. But once we decided, there was such relief in knowing they would be well cared for and that they are where they should be at this point in their lives.”
For more information about Delaware Hospice and its program and services, including the Delaware Hospice Center in Milford, call 800-838-9800 or visit www.delawarehospice.org.