Hospice Provided Care and Comfort
Like most of us, the Gaegers never gave hospice much thought. Marsha Gaeger recalls, “I knew that hospice had something to do with illness, but I had no idea what they really did.” She continues, “Now, I know there is nothing that they don’t do.”
Marsha’s husband, Jere, was in the hospital undergoing treatment for a variety of respiratory problems when the doctor recommended that he be put on a respirator. At the time, the doctor indicated that he may never come off the respirator again. Jere and his family decided against going forward with the treatment, and, at the recommendation of the hospital, began looking into hospice care. “Jere wanted to come home. He wanted to be with his family,” says Marsha.
The Gaegers contacted Season’s Hospice, to get in-home, end-of-life care for Jere. “They knew what he would need to live at home comfortably and made sure that he had everything,” Marsha said. After helping Jere and his family settle into a routine, Season’s Hospice caregivers provided constant care for the next eight months. Their priority was always making sure that Jere remained comfortable.
Marsha notes that the “kindness, thoughtfulness, and caring” of the staff members was unparalleled. “I felt like there were angels at our door every time they rang the bell,” she says. She believes that the ability to live at home surrounded by family and friends allowed Jere to exceed the doctor’s prognosis by two months-giving the family more time to make memories.
One of the most poignant times was this past holiday season. Marsha remembers, “Jere read The Night Before Christmas to our grandchildren every Christmas. He would do a Santa Claus impression while he was reading. It was really sweet.” She continues, “He got to do that for the last time this year, and then he asked one of our sons to take over for him. That was really special.”
The help of experts, who knew exactly how to provide care and comfort, gave Marsha and her children much needed peace of mind during a difficult time. “The children really took to the Season’s staff. They knew that we were fine as long as they were around, and that if I needed anything, all I had to do was pick up the phone,” she says. For the Gaegers, hospice care relieved the burden of caregiving and gave them more of the most precious of gifts: time together.