SERVING EASTERN CONNECTICUT - SINCE 1985

Patients

Words from the People We Help

Words from the People We Help

Center for Hospice Care is proud of the role we have played in thousands of lives. Not just those of our patients, but also of their families, friends, and loved ones. The story is not just about death, but also about life, and living every day with meaning, dignity, and joy. At the most difficult, frightening, and the saddest times, our team of professionals and volunteers are there when they are needed most.

Hospice stories like the ones below are given to us by those left behind, but listening to patients is one of our first duties too.

 I will never, ever forget the kindness

“There is no way I could have survived the process of my dear wife succumbing to brain cancer if it hadn’t been for you people.  I felt like I was slowly being crushed by the weight of the universe when your team appeared and lightened that load.  I learned that angels don’t have halos, wings and long flowing gowns… they look like a select band of trained, motivated care providers who enabled me to keep my wife in her own home in grace and dignity through her travails…

… And, the very reason for this letter: Lorraine, our Hospice Aide… Lorraine was so kind and gentle that the whole family declared her “great…”  She made sure that Karen was clean personally and that her environment was clean and comforting.  She let me participate in Karen’s care so that I didn’t feel so helpless when she wasn’t around; she trained me in things that made Karen’s and my life so much more endurable…  A particularly memorable moment came one day when I was sitting on one side of my wife’s bed and Lorraine was administering to her from the other side.  At some point, I realized that Lorraine was softly humming/singing something.  It was too low to hear the words but the tune was comforting and I could see Karen relaxing by the moment.  Such serenity in the middle of chaotic reality made me cry.  I don’t know what I would have done without Lorraine on a daily basis.  I will never, ever forget her kindness.”

Not all hospice organizations are the same

“Hospice is a household word, but people think it means you have no options. Our doctor suggested we look at what he called ‘palliative hospice’ care. It was the right decision. The medications became manageable, and the Center for Hospice Care people listened to us carefully. They went above and beyond.”
“People say hospice is hospice, but it isn’t. My husband was diabetic and very sick for a while. Center for Hospice Care helped me with wound care, and all kinds of support. They helped me through a very hard time.”
“People need to overcome the stigma around hospice in general. It’s not just about the end of life. People think it’s just for cancer, but hospice deals with all sorts of end of life care.”
“I highly recommend them. 99% of people think hospice means you have 2 weeks to live, but they can really help with so many aspects of everyday life.”

Ways to open the door to Center for Hospice Care

“Our doctor was the one who initiated the discussion. We heard about hospice through him. But we never knew that hospices were different, with different types of services. We thought they were all the same.”
“Our oncologist told us about hospice and they said, ‘this is the way to go. You’ll receive the care you need and you’ll get the answers you need.”
 
“Something had to give, because I’m not a nurse and I needed help. Mom’s doctor was very busy, but the nurse practitioner eventually told us about Center for Hospice Care, and that filled the gap between doctor and patient.”
“Parkinson’s and dementia were what my husband had, and we kept needing more and more help. Nobody was getting any sleep. And finally we talked to my husband’s doctor and a nurse we worked with. They said he was a candidate for hospice. All of a sudden, there were people everywhere, helping us. They had supplies, and they had answers.”

Good care, and good communication

“They met every medical need we had, and had access to people and information as it was needed. The sooner the engagement begins with them, the better.”
“It was 2:00 a.m. and I had to give my mom morphine. I wasn’t sure about the medication so I called and someone called me back immediately and guided me through what I needed to do. Then the next day someone came over with labels and a way to organize medications in the fridge.”
“They cared. They were accessible. They always gave clear instructions and they had answers ready. They always had a rationale for doing what they did, and just knowing they were coming over made you feel good.”
“Nights can be the toughest times. And when you hear that voice on the phone it just helps you relax and do what you need to do.”
“My husband was having a terrible time with his skin. It was breaking down and an injury he got just wouldn’t heal. Center for Hospice had people who came in and helped. They knew everything to do.”
“They understood the process. They understood the medical terms, which I found confusing. There was always somebody to talk to me on the phone. I wish I did it sooner. So now I tell people, don’t hesitate. They’re there to help.”  

Making the most of every moment

“On days when my wife had reiki treatment, she looked forward to it all day long. Every person who came to our home was a human being who cared.”
“My social worker helped us talk about death in the way people talk about life. And the day my mom died she was speaking full sentences, there were kids playing, and people saying goodbyes, including our pastor of 10 years. It was beautiful. And we came to see that death is just a part of life.”
“My mother was diagnosed with thyroid and lung cancer. She had a very brave but short battle fighting her cancer. Wishing to spend her final days in the comfort of her home and own bed, the Center for Hospice Care was called in and they did their wonderful work. She was able to die with dignity, surrounded by her family and friends.  It was a great comfort to my entire family to have the guidance of the Center for Hospice Care. And my mom made us promise to never ever forget them. That’s why we have never stopped supporting this agency.”

Honoring the person

“After removal of a malignant tumor from his stomach, my husband decided to forego treatment, deciding instead to continue living his life until he couldn't. He called the Center for Hospice Care to help him on his journey about three months before he died. They were there to provide the help and support he needed, enabling him to participate in the process. To a proud man, this was essential. Center for Hospice Care proved invaluable not only to Jay, but to me as well.”
“It was the same team of helpers. They got into a rhythm and they got to know everything about my mom: They knew what position she slept in. They knew her skin. They knew what she liked and didn’t like. And they were gentle.”

Going beyond the loss

“They still stay in touch with me. Their bereavement people call to see how I am. I can now get back to the things that I love but boy, did I miss them when it was over.”
“The Expressive Arts program has given our daughter a safe place to express her feelings. Each week, she looks forward to going – and meeting the therapeutic dogs.”

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