Checking Off That Bucket List: One Last Trip to the Beach - Heart 'n Home Hospice & Palliative Care, LLC

Checking Off That Bucket List: One Last Trip to the Beach

The first week of February is National Patient Recognition Week. At Heart ‘n Home, we feel every day and week is patient recognition week.  We make it our priority to put ourselves in “your chair” and then govern our actions according to how we would want to be treated if we were in your seat. Throughout this month we will be sharing stories about how we help create a special feeling for our patients.  This first story is from Nurse Teresa.  

“I had a patient who wanted to vacation with her daughters and swim in the ocean again. It was on her bucket list.

Every year for many years in the month of February my patient and her 3 daughters took a trip to a warm destination. They did fun things like stay in a nice resort, eat exotic foods, shop, and swim and play in the ocean. They took a lot of pictures for their memory books during these trips. A few years ago the mother’s health started declining several months before their annual trip because of a terminal illness. In a short period, she was hospitalized three times and during her last hospital stay, it was determined that hospice was medically necessary.

I remember during her admission to hospice this patient stated that going to Florida with her daughters for the annual vacation was her goal. Her daughters at that time didn’t think it was a good idea. I provided education about traveling hospice and by my next visit the daughters and the patient were asking for assistance to travel to Florida so the patient could swim in the ocean and vacation with her daughters and granddaughter one more time. Heart ‘n Home helped coordinated with the airline to use onboard oxygen, made sure the patient had enough medications to take with her to last until she returned, arranged for durable medical equipment to be delivered to the beach house they were staying at the morning of their arrival, and arranged for the equipment to be picked up from the beach house on their departure. Lastly, Heart ‘n Home contacted a local hospice and made a contract with them to cover urgent needs if the patient had any during her trip.

After all the footwork was completed, these ladies were able to enjoy a beautiful and memorable trip. It was an honor to have helped make this vacation happen. When they returned it was fun to look through all the pictures including ones with the patient smiling on a boogie board supported by her three daughters and her granddaughter on each side of her in the ocean off the Florida coast with the sun shining down on all five of them. My patient passed about 6 weeks after they returned home. This last trip turned out to be a great memory for the family and for me as well.” 

Hospice is not about giving up and dying.  Hospice is about living every last moment the way you want to.  It is a support team that will help you live the way you wish. It is about creating meaningful moments with those you love. 

Continue to watch our blog for more wonderful patient stories this month.  If you have questions about hospice or you feel that you or a loved one might need hospice services, please contact us today by clicking here.     

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