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Letter: Hospice offers great, compassionate care

Hospice offers great, compassionate care

My wife, Nancy, battled a rare form of ovarian cancer for over 10 years. In October 2006, we were told that nothing else could be done. In January 2007, after many ER visits and hospital stays, we decided it was time to get hospice involved.

With the help of the Niagara Hospice team, we were able to get Nancy home. Thanks to the expertise of the doctors and pharmacist, she was able to get off the morphine and her quality of life was considerably improved. The nurse came every week to check vitals and make sure Nancy was comfortable.

By mid-August, the progression of the disease had taken its toll. She had symptoms I couldn’t control at home. She was admitted to Niagara Hospice and spent the last week of her life there.

I thought as her caregiver that I was doing a great job. But the care she got there was outstanding. She had a beautiful room and was pampered and made comfortable.

We made the right decision that her final days were spent at Hospice House. They did things for her that we couldn’t have done at home. We, as a family, could spend quality time with her instead of being concerned about caregiver duties. The whole staff was caring and compassionate. I took advantage of the grief counseling, which helped me through a very difficult time in my life. Nine years later, I still do some volunteer work at hospice.

Niagara Hospice is a great organization that helps patients and families get through a difficult time – when a loved one dies. Looking back, I know that traditional care would have resulted in more hospital stays; with unwanted procedures that would have done nothing to change the outcome. After Nancy started with hospice care, I saw improved quality of life, which I believe extended her life and our time together as a family.

Gerry Zanow


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