Families guiding a loved one through the end of their life are still receiving comfort, medications, and assistance through hospice and palliative care. The needs in our valley don’t stop for a pandemic. Continue to show your support of Compass Care programs and services at Virginia Mason Memorial by giving to The Memorial Foundation today here.
My dad went to Virginia Mason Memorial (VMM) the second week of January with extreme weakness, inability to walk, and other evidence of failure to thrive. While he was there, I was hospitalized – probably driven by stress and dehydration. Dad came home the day after I was discharged. A few days later, VMM sent out a hospice doctor who put him into home hospice with us, where he had been living. However, when Veterans Affairs (the VA) learned that he was on hospice, they cut off my respite hours effective immediately, which I was depending on to manage his care.
Following the VA call two social workers from Virginia Mason Memorial showed up at my door. I called them angels of mercy because I was nearly in panic mode not knowing how I was going to manage dad’s care with only 4 hours of outside care a day. My husband was at work and my dad was not catheterized and was struggling to use his bedside urinal. It was impossible for me to move him because he was complete dead weight. The social workers immediately arranged for my dad to go to Cottage in the Meadow for the five day respite offered through VMM’s Compass Care program. Their compassion, efficiency, and professionalism simply took a weight off of my heart.
Once dad was at Cottage in the Meadow, it became evident that he could not return home. The social workers at Cottage, especially David, helped me understand what my options for his ongoing care were, including the financial part as well as other factors that were important to me. David also helped me get started with the Medicaid application, which was hugely helpful since I was pretty confused and frazzled by this point.
And so began Dad’s long sojourn at Cottage in the Meadow. During his eight weeks there, his care was outstanding. Everyone, including Peggy who is the chaplain with heart, the social workers, the nurses, and even the cook went far beyond the call of mere duty to care, not only for dad, but for me. My gratitude knows no bounds. Not once did I worry about going back home after visiting with dad because I knew he was in the best of caring, compassionate, and capable hands.