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For Dad, a Final Round

Posted by Mary Spiewak, Midwest CareCenter volunteer

For Dad, a Final Round
Mary Spiewak's father-in-law, Paul Spiewak Sr.

As a hospice patient care volunteer I've spent time with families, patients and caregivers. Whenever I needed to talk to a patient's nurse or social worker or any other team member, they were always promptly there for me, supporting my needs as a volunteer. Our patients' families always would speak very highly to me of our teams and the services they/we provided.

Now I know firsthand how true that is. This past December, my father-in-law entered into the care of our hospice and all of a sudden I was on the "other side" of our services. Wow. The help we received was amazing. Everyone was incredibly responsive, competent and compassionate. The service team came in right away with a hospital bed and all of the oxygen equipment. Even the gentleman that delivered and set up the bed was extremely kind and respectful. The nurses came to assure we had everything we needed at the house. The social worker came to assure we had all the help we needed and to help us emotionally. At the blink of an eye, my family went from feeling overwhelmed and scared to feeling prepared and supported.

Midwest CareCenter listened to our desires and needs. The focus was on giving Dad the best of every day he had remaining. They didn't think we were crazy when we told them that Dad loved the casino and wanted to go there. The hospice team's attitude was "let's do whatever is needed to get him there." We succeeded and Dad was a winner his last time there, just 11 days before he passed.

When Dad started to decline, he progressed quite rapidly and Midwest was there for us. We had our own private LPNs and caregivers at home and the Midwest team worked seamlessly with them. At 3 a.m. on a snowy and very cold Christmas Eve, when we really needed the help of a hospice nurse, she was at our front door. I cannot express how relieved we all were to see her. It was like an angel had arrived.

I am very grateful that Midwest was there for us. Every single person was compassionate, experienced, calming. Their assistance assured that Dad's wishes were met and that my family had everything they needed. And the support has continued. The bereavement staff has been very helpful and accommodating, being available to individual family members, helping guide the way through the grieving process.

It just doesn't get any better than this. I am proud and honored to be a volunteer with such a phenomenal organization.

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