For those who haven’t experienced it first-hand, the thought of hospice care can be frightening and mysterious. Caring hospice providers are here in our community to help guide families through the agony of losing a loved one.
Lorie Garwood says the nurses at CHP Home Care & Hospice lent invaluable support to her family as they cared for her mother, Deb Matthews, during a complex, four-year journey with multiple myeloma and congestive heart failure.
Something in common
“The nurses from CHP were all very professional, knowledgeable, and made a personal connection with us,” Garwood said. “They were a blessing to our family.”
Matthews began receiving home care services from CHP in 2016 when first diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer that effects the immune system.
Home health aides came into the home and helped with chores after she began getting weaker from the illness. Skilled nursing services began a year later as the disease progressed.
“She enjoyed the visits,” Garwood recalled. “She enjoyed the company and the help. There was a connection with everyone who came to care for her because they were local people and she could find something in common with them.”
Making the decision
Matthews began gaining strength and her cancer went into remission for a couple of years. However, in 2019 her cancer returned and after taking treatments for a while, Matthews decided to go on hospice.
“She wanted to continue fighting,” said Cindy Sinning, RN Supervisor with CHP Home Care & Hospice. “Deciding to go on hospice is a tough decision for patients and families. But when you see someone you love failing, that’s when it’s time to call on hospice.”
Just a phone call away
Garwood said it was a blessing to have her mother at home and having their family together throughout the time. Hospice nurses and aides delivered the care and support to make it possible.
“Our family had never been through anything like this and we didn’t know what to expect,” Garwood said. “The CHP team guided us through this journey. We never felt alone. If we had questions about her health, they were a phone call away and would help us through whatever the issue was at the time.”
She says they became very familiar with the 24/7, after hours on-call service. “It was comforting to know that help was nearby when we needed it.”
Garwood said she was impressed with how CHP coordinated the medical equipment they needed like oxygen, medications, and even a commode so they didn’t have to mess with it.
“She went on hospice on a Saturday and did great for a few days during the week,” Garwood said. “Then it was like a switch went off on Friday and she passed on Sunday.”
Comfort to the end
The family is especially thankful for the nurse that stayed with them the night their mother passed.
“Beth [a CHP Hospice nurse] was willing to spend the night with our family as we knew the end was coming for our dear family matriarch,” Garwood said. “She said, ‘I’ll stay for as long as you need me.’”
Based on her family’s experience, Garwood says she would recommend CHP as a local provider for home health and hospice services.
“We know Mom is in heaven watching over us and I can’t help but think she too feels fortunate to have been cared for by the CHP Hospice program,” Garwood said.
Top photo: Wayne Matthews of Ohio City, husband of Deb Matthews, with his daughters Lorie Garwood (Left) and Jamie Friedrich.