A Family Gets the Answers They Needed

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Rose Marie and George Nalley had been married for almost 56 years and had raised two children before he became a Hospice of the Chesapeake patient last year. It was during that time when the nonprofit organization, based in Annapolis with another office in Prince George’s County, changed their lives in more ways than one. While the Nalleys did eventually lose a husband and father, the bonds within the family had grown so strong at the end, that the lasting effect would carry them through.

Having enlisted a provider that strives to improve quality of life for those experiencing advanced illness or bereavement, the Nalleys found many valuable resources, including hospice volunteer Ray Boileau.

“For almost five months, I saw this wonderful, gentle man weekly for about two to five hours,” said Boileau. “He was always telling stories. One caveat came once when he said, “‘When my kids were young, my daughter was always asking questions. I should have been more patient with answering her.'”

Boileau continued, “There’s a saying that in every man’s life there is a novel. I took this to heart and at the suggestion of Renee Bland in the volunteer department I learned about one of the many offered programs — Lifetime Chronicles.”

“Lifetime Chronicling usually comes under the auspices of a volunteer that sits with a patient over the course of time and records conservations,” said Bland. “As patients are nearing the end of life, they may find it helpful to reflect upon their lives. Through a written journal, audio or video interview or photo album, many find the opportunity to preserve some of their experiences and look back upon cherished memories.”

Using questions from a life review form, Boileau journaled George Nalley allowing him to determine the pace and direction of the interview. After compiling all the conversations into a single journal, Boileau then presented the album to the family. He could not have prepared himself for their reaction. The pages had brought them all the answers to so many unasked questions, from the daughter in particularly. It had become a pivotal point in all their lives.

“This was the most extraordinary experience for me,” he said.

“Ray did a wonderful job,” said Rose Marie Nalley. “I appreciate what he did in writing this journal. My daughter hadn’t really understood her father before this. It just shed him in such a different light. George was a very special person.”

With Hospice of the Chesapeake, the Nalleys had found a premier organization for not only hospice and other palliative care and bereavement support, but they found a terrific vision with its Lifetime Chronicles.

Posted in: Home Care, Hospice

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