HomeCare and Hospice provides hospice services to residents of Allegany County through in-home nursing, aide, counseling care, medications, durable medical equipment, and all other medical needs related to the terminal illness. In addition, bereavement support is provided to the primary caregiver and significant family members of hospice patients.
Allegany County United Way funding allows Hospice to bridge the gap between the actual cost of care and available reimbursement.
One client shared her experience with Hospice care during the organization’s annual Tree of Life Ceremony:
“I would like to thank the staff from Hospice for being there for my family in our times of need, and for giving me the opportunity to share a little about my family.
Our first Hospice experience was in 2007 with my brother Bobby* was only 43 years old and had been living with Alzheimer’s for about 4 years. We were very fortunate to be able to keep Bobby at home so he could be with all of his favorite things and to have his family around him.
Bobby had Downs Syndrome, and one of his favorite things was being able to work at the Arc; he was such a social butterfly. Bobby also loved football and his music. It wasn’t uncommon for any of the family to come in and hear him singing his favorite song, Elvira. Hospice was there for Bobby’s last days.
My father had also started showing signs of Alzheimer’s before Bobby had passed. And, as anyone knows, Alzheimer’s is not easy on the person who has the disease, but it is devastation for the whole family. As we watched my dad, who was such a wonderful father, grandfather and husband go from a man who loved life, his horses, dogs, nature and God to a man who forgot our names. We just became familiar people he saw every day. Dad never lost his spunk and even at the end would still point his finger at me and say “Don’t do that” and tried to communicate his wishes through his eyes.
Our goal was to be able to have him continue living in the home he built for us and where he would be most comfortable. When my mom could no longer care for him by herself, the family was able to help in providing for some of his care, but unfortunately we had jobs, so that’s when Hospice was able to come in and give him a bath, sit with him and comfort him with their caring ways and their friendly smiles; they made him feel safe.
But something that was important to me was having hospice there to give my mother someone to talk to. She could ask questions. She had someone who understood what she was going through, someone there to give her a break so she could run to town or just get out for a little while.
Hospice made sure my dad had all the things he needed; they also made sure the family had the support and counseling we needed.
It’s been almost a year since my dad passed and Hospice has never forgotten about us, and I would like to thank all of them again, especially Pat, the social worker, the nurse Lynn, the Chaplin and all of the aids for all they have done for our loved ones and for us. Hospice will always have a special place in our hearts.”
*name changed to protect identity.