Caring for a Resident and their Family

Hospice gave a family something they didn’t know they needed.

In March of 2017, we received the phone call that no one wants to get. “We found a tumor.” The prognosis was not good; 12 months, 18, if he’s lucky. 

Dad loved being outside, hunting and fishing, four-wheeling, tinkering in the garage, fixing lawnmowers, building birdhouses, feeding the squirrels, biking, walking, or just cutting the grass (most of which he did barefoot and topless). My Dad was humorous, out-spoken, and always so helpful to his kids, his grandchildren, and his neighbours. 

In March of this year, we found out the original tumour awoke from its slumber and started growing. At this point, Dad was not up for any more treatments. 

We managed with Dad at home for April and May, but things quickly declined. He was no longer able to help get himself out of bed in the morning, his mobility was disappearing, and his pain was now intolerable. We knew it was time for Hospice.

As you approach Chatham-Kent Hospice you can’t help but notice the beautiful landscaping and warm, welcoming greeting you get from the volunteer at the desk. Over time, many got to know us by name which made it easier to walk through those doors every day. We were grateful for the weekly barbecues, soup, and baked goods made by kitchen volunteers, as they allowed us to have lunch on site and not have to worry about going home to cook. It was so nice to have our needs met as well as Dad’s. 

When Dad entered Hospice, his pain was off the charts. The doctor told him, “Give me 3 days and I’ll have your pain under control.” Dad responded, “No.” He didn’t think that was possible. However, just as promised, in 3 days his pain was manageable. No longer would Mom have to manage his medications. This was taken off her plate the very first day and was a great relief.

You might think the most impressive feature of the room was the big screen TV, fireplace, or huge bathroom, but it was the adjustable cuddle bed, which we took full advantage of. With the click of a button, the bed could be expanded to queen-size for those moments you wanted to lay down with your loved one. 

The nurses made it clear to Mom that she could call in at any time, so she did. Twice a day. First thing in the morning and just before she went to bed. This allowed her to get a good night’s sleep. 

When Dad passed, we were told that we didn’t need to rush. We had a prayer service in his room with him and we were able to walk him out as a family and say our goodbyes before the funeral home took him to prepare him for the visitation. Each grandchild was given the opportunity to say a few words if they wanted, then lower a floating candle into the waterfall pond. It was such a peaceful way to end our Hospice journey. 

Hospice felt like a home away from home. We were able to be ourselves, spend all the quality time we needed with Dad, and not have to worry about anything else. They cared for us, and I knew this because, on most days, I felt like we were the only people there. The impact that Hospice left on our family will be a positive memory that ended a very long journey. There are not enough words to tell our Hospice story and the immense appreciation we have for such an incredibly warm, compassionate place.

-Shared by Sue and the Hoskins Family in loving memory of Bob

Living with a life-threatening illness, or providing care for a loved one as they near end of life? Chatham-Kent Hospice is here to help! CK Hospice not only provides residential hospice end-of-life care at no cost. They can also support you to navigate the healthcare system and help you get the care you need.

Call Amber at 519-354-3113 ext 2101 to learn more.

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