Taking patients to see special people and places
Patients near the end of life sometimes have the desire to visit or revisit places and people that have special meaning. Enabling them to do so is the purpose of Sentimental Journeys, a program offered by Center for Hospice Care in partnership with American Ambulance to all of our New London County hospice patients.
A national program with medical support
Sentimental Journeys began as a local program in Colorado. It now operates in 33 states, enabling patients to reconnect with people, places, and meaningful experiences from their past.
Patients travel to locations in eastern Connecticut via ambulance with EMT and paramedic staff attending and providing medical assistance if needed. It’s a wonderful way to grant a wish, fulfill a final request, or enable a patient to stay in touch with earlier life experiences.
Seeing the end of life as a celebration of life
Sentimental Journeys can bring emotional well being to end of life care. And in our view, patients may not be able to choose when they will die but they can choose how well they will live and the quality of the life they have left.
One Sentimental Journey - Marti DeBartolo’s Story
Marti DeBartolo wanted one last trip to the casino. Still perky and pretty at 93, she wanted to “step out” and see old friends from the days when she worked at the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino in Uncasville. Marti was our patient for several weeks when she asked us to make arrangements for her Sentimental Journey.
On a fine autumn day her “boys” from American Ambulance, as she called them, transported her and her home-caregiver Sherika to the Mohegan Sun where Marti was warmly greeted at the coat check by one of her former colleagues. Marti was done up in purple for the occasion – purple pantsuit, scarf, and eye shadow to match. With her Hospice and American Ambulance entourage, she first stopped at the buffet for a lunch of her favorite fried shrimp, served up with compliments of the Mohegan Sun. Though Marti hadn’t been eating much during the week before, that day at the casino she relished her shrimp and ate heartily. Next stop was her favorite jewelry store where, with helpful comments from her “boys”, she selected a pair of earrings – purple, of course, and on sale! Then she was ready to play the slots – for which the house provided complimentary chips. She was in her element. What a day! As Sherika reported, “Marti didn’t stop talking about it for days.”