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Lunch with Bill

Posted by Ann Portmann, RN Case Manager

Lunch with Bill
Bill takes his care team to lunch.

Bill came to JourneyCare several months ago and was initially very hesitant to accept our hospice team into his life and his home. The reason for this was that Bill’s wife had died two years before while on hospice care, but she only lived for a few hours after being admitted. In addition, Bill is a very private and proud man and later said he sometimes is embarrassed by his symptoms. After the first few weeks of routine visits, friendly and caring encouragement, and his care team responding to his needs and wishes, Bill began to accept the team into his life.

But after being with JourneyCare for several months, Bill began to share that he was nervous about completing daily tasks, often feeling weak and fatigued. For several weeks, he refused to consider allowing our certified nursing assistants (CNAs) to visit, even just for standby assistance. Eventually he allowed his CNAs, Kristi and Monica, to stop by – but Bill refused to allow them to do anything for him. But then his trust began to grow and Bill would comment to his other care team members about how much he enjoyed their visits. I will never forget the pure joy on Bill’s face when I visited one morning after Monica had cooked him breakfast. He was so thrilled that someone would care enough to do this.

At the beginning of the summer, Bill began to realize that he would no longer be able to stay in his home on his own. His social worker and case manager worked with Bill’s step-daughter to find a good place for Bill to move. Bill looked forward to the additional support, but was also very sad to leave his home of 35 years and all the memories of his wife. The JourneyCare team, including a volunteer, spent extra time with Bill in the weeks leading up to his move, to make sure he was as comfortable as possible with such a big life change. Bill’s volunteer also helped him with some packing and kept him company while he reflected on what important items he should keep.

After Bill moved and adjusted to the changes in his life, he talked to each of his team members and said he wanted to take us all to lunch to thank us for our care and support. We told him that we really appreciated that he wanted to do this, but we couldn’t accept such a grand gift. Bill persevered and repeated how important it was for him to be able to do this. I promised to share this goal with our care team and that I would do my best to make sure it happened for him.

As you can see from the picture, we were able to make this goal a reality for Bill. On Friday, September 8, Bill, his step-daughter and her husband, and Bill’s care team enjoyed fellowship and a delicious meal at The Red Apple. This lunch is something that Bill, his family and our team won’t forget.

Thank you, Bill! 

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