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“It’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”

“It’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”  That’s how Doris sums up her experience with Hospice of North Ottawa Community.  After being hospitalized with a serious illness, Doris came to Lakeshore Assisted Living, and started receiving hospice care.  Now she doesn’t know what she would do without it.

“You don’t know how wonderful it is to have people coming to see you when their only goal is to make you happy,” Doris says.  “The hospice people are like medicine for me.  Do you know what it’s like it to have someone help you with a bath when there’s no time limit?  Do you know how amazing it is to have a chaplain you don’t even know take the time to come and see you?  I told my last caregiver that I wished she was my daughter.  She will be a friend forever.”

Doris has ample experience with hospice, first as a family member and then as a recipient of care.  Her husband, Jack, died of cancer in 2015.  Doris relied on the hospice folks to help her care for him.  “They came every day,” she recalls with tears in her eyes.  “I felt bad because I could not give Jack the care he needed.  The hospice people helped me accept it.  The most important thing I learned is that you don’t cry before someone you love dies.  You allow people to help you so that you can treasure every moment.  This made a huge difference in how I felt, and how I spent the little time I had left with my husband.”

Doris says that hospice is like therapy for her.  “I want the world to know how marvelous hospice is!” she exclaims.    “I think hospice is the reason I’m only taking two pills each day instead of 20!  I just don’t have anything bad to say about it.  I know I’m not alone, because my hospice team will always be there for me.”

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