Hospice is more than a Building
For Jeanne and her family, it is the people and the services offered that make Chatham-Kent Hospice a treasure for Chatham-Kent.
Jeanne died at Chatham-Kent Hospice after living there for 10 days. The 84 year old retired teacher was born in Harwich Township and lived in Chatham-Kent her entire life. She was Mom to 2 daughters, 3 step-daughters, 1 step-son and grandmother to 10 grandchildren. She enjoyed travel, sewing, scrapbooking, playing cards and swimming.
Jeanne had lived with cancer for 5 years but with the support from CCAC (Community Care Access Centre) and the medical care of Drs Haddad and Wolting from the hospital, she was able to comfortably stay at home. The last few months were the most challenging, living the last 4 months on a liquid diet, but she managed with the additional help of her family. The CCAC nurses suggested she consider moving to hospice for her final days and both Jeanne and her family were so glad they did.
“At first my sister and I felt awful taking our mom from her home but after a couple of days, we knew we had done the right thing and Mom agreed with us” said Nicole, one of Jeanne’s daughters.
“The sweet, compassionate way they treated Mom and us was beyond our expectations. No detail was left out. We spent 10 days there and it became home, here’s why:
- We were greeted warmly when we arrived
- The staff took the time to get to know Mom and how she liked things
- Mom enjoyed her spa bath – the first soak she had had in months
- Mom loved going outside by the waterfall
- Getting medication for pain, rash or nausea took minutes
- Hospice took the stress from the family allowing us to just be her daughters
Jeanne’s family were grateful that the hospice staff knew when Jeanne’s time was coming because it gave them the opportunity to gather their family and say their last goodbyes.
“One thing that stands out in my mind is when the funeral director was taking Mom out, we were not sure what to do. Nicole, one of the hospice staff, took my hand and my sister’s and walked with us behind the stretcher. Although we were sad, that gesture was touching and comforting. She even walked us to the exit when we were ready to go. She led us out just as you would a guest in your home. Those things meant a lot.” Said Nicole, Jeanne’s daughter.
Jeanne was the hospice’s second resident and was thrilled to be able to share her story.
“Don’t be afraid to make the move to hospice. It’s comfortable, feels safe, medicine is available quickly and the staff are extremely kind.” said Jeanne.