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October 21, 2013


Review from Guidestar
October 21, 2013

I am a frequent donor and have purchased bricks in memory of my loved ones. I entrusted the care of both my mother in 2007 and my mother-in-law in 2012 to Hospice of Palm Beach County. Our family’s experience was so wonderful, with two completely different situations to draw from.

mother, in constant denial about her terminal illness, would not consent to hospice until the bitter end. We knew it was right for her and from all we heard, they would help her through this process. Mom would not hear of it. She thought she was going to beat the cancer. We now wish we had called sooner. Mom continued to decline and went through a great deal of pain and fear that I believe could have been avoided. Finally mom was hospitalized and after a couple of days, she was unresponsive. Her breathing was labored and she just seemed to be uncomfortable. When hospice was suggested and called, it was 10:00pm or so on a Friday. I didn’t know what to expect, because it was so late and on the heels of a weekend. Hospice of Palm Beach County sent a nurse to meet me at the hospital within 30 minutes. I was shocked! They made a difficult decision and the process very easy for me. Mom was transported to their inpatient unit at the Gerstenberg Center on 45th Street. Mom’s nurses, aides, social workers, chaplains, music therapists and physicians were angels!!! They put me at ease from the first minute, but more importantly they put Mom at ease. Yes, I know she was non-responsive, but within an hour of her being there, you could see she was comfortable. Her breathing was not labored, she was not moaning in pain. She looked like the Mom I always remembered. They bathed her with care and took care of her as though she was awake and watching them; like she was their own mother. It was beautiful to see. They let me come to the inpatient center any time of day or night to sit with Mom, often checking on me to see how I was doing. It took a long while to realize I was their patient too. They were taking care of me, as much as Mom. It was a beautiful, enriching experience I would want for anyone and everyone.

My Mother-In-Law’s (Mom 2) experience was so different, but so similar. She knew of the care my Mom received and opted to call the same hospice, Hospice of Palm Beach County much sooner, as it became increasingly difficult for my Father-In-Law to care for her. Mom 2 was at home. Hospice scheduled their appointment around my wife’s family’s schedules to meet and answer their questions. It was a scary time for them, but it was made so easy by their Admissions Nurse. She never rushed them and never made them give up anything they wanted. Hospice made it very clear that Mom 2 was always in control of what happened to her. Mom 2 was adamant that she was not going to go to a hospital to die, not going to a nursing home and not going to an assisted living facility. The Hospice Nurse said, then that was what was going to happen. They would do all they could to keep her at home…and they did. Mom 2 had the most caring and compassionate caregivers anyone could hope for. They treated her like the lady she was. They bathed her, they talked with her, they sang to her, they prayed with her, they even had a massage therapist come in to relieve her pain, they saw to it that she received communion, they answered every question and yes, they held their promise; Mom 2 was always in control and in charge of what happened. Mom 2 and Dad 2 truly felt they had additional family there to help them each day. Morning, noon or night, questions were answered and support was given. Mom 2 had the benefit of this wondrous care for over 3 months, before she passed peacefully in her own home, as she wished. When hospice was called, a social worker came out at midnight, to help us all through her death. Mom 2 was ready and so was our family because of all the preparation Hospice gave us.

So Mom and Mom 2 had different experiences, because one was at their facility and one was home; one was unresponsive and one was “in charge”; but they both received the same wonderful care and compassion.

I cannot say enough about what Hospice of Palm Beach County did for our family. They worked with us every step of the way, removing fear, pain, concern and just the plain unknown. I don’t know what we would have done without them. God Bless these Angels.

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