When you are providing home care to seniors, as we do at Support For Home, many of them have chronic diseases. The folks for whom you care and are caring – and the two go together, inevitably – may pass away. You know that and your Home Care Aides know that, as we have talked about in previous postings.
The home care agency and the family understand the statistics, but when a client does pass, it is still a surprise and even a shock, at times. It is always painful.
We have also talked about the courage of many or our senior care clients before, as well. We serve folks with debilitating arthritis that are in constant pain. Seniors with COPD suffering from edema that just will not go away, no matter how good they are at the frustrating “assignment” of keeping their feet elevated. We provide services to folks with MS and Parkinson’s and Diabetes who know what their long-term future looks like. And they have amazing strength and courage.
Many of them have incredible senses of humor, as well, and work as hard at making people comfortable as we work for them.
And, then, we have our hospice clients.
Even knowing I was getting to that point in this posting, my fingers and my mind still pause, unsure about how to express the incredible respect and emotion they arouse.
Yesterday, Saturday morning, my co-owner and I sat in the dining room of a wonderful woman and her two cats, talking about how we had done on Friday, the first night of hospice care. We did not do well enough, in our view, to be honest. But this is not about us. This is about her and other folks like her, who simply amaze us every time we sit down with them.
We talked about her son the rafting guide and her own rafting expeditions. We shared stories about her cats and our own two rescues. It is not that any subject was avoided, including the fact that she is on hospice. Rather, her dignity and outward peace simply reflected the inner core of strength this woman possesses. And she represents so many others, who have reached a point in the process of acceptance that we, on this side of the hospice line, cannot really, fully comprehend, no matter how caring or compassionate we are.
Some of our Home Care Aides are hospice “specialists”. They feel a true calling to help those going through the hospice experience. When I meet a woman like the one we spent time with yesterday, I understand just a little of that passion.
Best wishes, Bert