Area Families' Stories of Hospice Care
Lois & Jim's story
Betty Baxter’s husband Leland (Lee) lived with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) for many years, but as it got worse and he began a battle with throat cancer, they turned to Upland Hills Health Home Care, then Hospice for his care. Betty describes Lee as very strong, but they needed help for him to return home after a short say at GoldenLiving Center in Muscoda.
“Hospice was wonderful, it gave me a feeling that there was somebody there. It was a security to have the help and a relief to know they were there any time you called them. We had a bad night and when I called at 2:00 a.m., she was there.”
Working with Upland Hills Health Hospice allowed Lee to die at his home, with Betty and their daughter present. “He was two weeks shy of 90 when he passed,” said Betty. “It was a hard situation and a terrible experience, but he had an easy death. I’m grateful for having such nice people from Upland Hills Hospice there to help us through that time.”
What started as shoulder pain last February for Lorraine Hennessey led to a second experience with Upland Hills Health Hospice for Lorraine and her daughters, Marcia, Teresa and Heidi. The Henesseys’ experience with Hospice more than 25 years ago through Lorraine's husband Pat’s final months left a strong impression on Lorraine. The positive impact of the care they received compelled her to support Upland Hills Hospice financially and by recommending the care to everyone she talked to.
After tests revealed a fluid buildup in her lungs, but couldn’t pinpoint a source for the continued ailment, Lorraine opted to discontinue the frequent hospital visits. She accepted not having a diagnosis, and followed her plan for her end-of-life care, transitioning to Upland Hills Health Hospice. With in-home care from her daughter Teresa, a round-the-clock nursing aide, and Hospice staff, Lorraine was able to spend her last months in the familiar surroundings of home—something that was invaluable to her.
“It was very nice having someone come to Mom's home frequently, to answer my questions and help me keep her comfortable,” Teresa explained. She and Marcia specifically noted their appreciation for the Hospice nurses’ care in adjusting pain medications for Lorraine’s comfort, and helping rearrange the living room so Lorraine could see the television and enjoy visiting more easily from her bed.
“They helped me not only medically, but helped guide me through and give me strength by confirming that what I was doing was the right thing to help her,” Explained Teresa. “We could call Hospice any time, day or night and ask questions or have supplies delivered. It really brought peace to both Mom and myself.”