Donna Riley’s father was a survivor. At 91 years old, he had beaten lung cancer twice, and successfully coped with COPD, congestive heart failure, renal failure and countless other ailments. But when he was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia in January, she and her family realized it was time to face the fact that his courageous fight might soon be over.
Riley’s aunt passed away under hospice care about five years ago, but she received care for only two weeks at the very end. Riley said she now realizes her aunt could have had a better quality of life for much longer if the family had called sooner. So when a retired chaplain suggested she call Hosparus to determine her dad’s eligibility, she knew it was the right decision.
Riley, her mom and four siblings didn’t want her father to spend his final moments in the hospital, and she said it was Hosparus that allowed him to come home.
“It allowed my mom and his five kids to be at his bedside when he died,” Riley said. “I couldn’t have written a better ending.”
Not only did Hosparus manage her dad’s medications and keep him as comfortable as possible, the staff helped the family become better caregivers themselves. “They really supported our entire family and offered a lot of guidance,” Riley said.
Thanks to the quality of the care he received, her father never had to go back into the hospital, and she strongly believes that he would not have lived as long and as fully if it hadn’t been for Hosparus. Riley added that this was the first summer he couldn’t mow his own grass, but he was determined to go shopping for a new tractor, and Hosparus made that possible.
“The last seven months of his life were the very best we could have hoped for,” she said.
The Rileys always had peace of mind when it came to their dad’s care, and that was due in large part to their Hosparus nurse, Amber. “If we had a question, no matter how small, we could always call her and get an answer,” Riley said.
Riley added that Amber was especially kind and gentle with her mom, who suffers from the early stages of dementia. “I will love that girl forever,” Riley said of Amber.
Hosparus’ care didn’t end when Riley’s dad died. She said Amber and the Hosparus staff helped them make all the necessary arrangements and notify other family members after his passing in August. Riley added that she is now considering calling the Hosparus Grief Counseling Center for grief support for her mom.
“Hosparus gave Dad dignity in those final months,” Riley said, which is one of the many reasons why she urges everyone who thinks they might need hospice services to call.
“You should go ahead and call, and Hosparus will determine if you qualify. They gave us so much. I don’t know what we would have done without them.”