Daughter Writes Thank You Notes to Hospice at VITAS Healthcare for Fulfilling Their Pledge
By Kathleen Kashow, VITAS Healthcare // March 12, 2020
Linda, whose mother was a VITAS patient, saw over nine months how VITAS fulfills their pledge
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Until family members have experienced hospice care firsthand, they sometimes struggle to understand what VITAS means by its pledge to provide compassionate physical and psychosocial support to patients and their families.
Linda, whose mother was a VITAS patient, saw over nine months how VITAS fulfills that pledge through our hospice care teams and a variety of volunteers.
Hospice: Support for Patients and Families
“Dear Marla,” begins Linda’s recent thank-you note to the VITAS volunteer services manager. “It was so nice to meet you when you brought (your volunteer) Tara to mom’s house for her first—and only—massage. I am so grateful that my mom had that positive experience before she passed.”
Linda’s mother, Era, enrolled in hospice with VITAS in March 2019. As Era’s health worsened later that year, Marla arranged for Tara, a VITAS massage volunteer, to provide Era her first-ever relaxing massage. After Era passed away peacefully in November, Tara also provided a massage to Linda, part of VITAS’ ongoing family bereavement services.
Linda’s letters and feedback to VITAS highlight the positive impact of the hospice profession’s focus on individualized care plans for patients and emotional support for their families.
Hospice focuses on providing comfort, embracing joy and making the most of the time that remains.
“Everyone at VITAS went above and beyond to help,” says Linda about her inspiration to write the two thank-you notes.
“The VITAS professionals who cared for my mom complemented each other perfectly, from the level of care they provided to their expertise in communication. They sincerely made a real difference.”
Memories for a Lifetime
Linda’s second note carried her thanks for Laura, a VITAS sewing volunteer who created two Memory Bears for Linda and her brother. Memory Bears are sewn from a hospice patient’s clothing as sources of comfort and memories for families.
“The two Memory Bears you created from my mother’s clothes are priceless,” Linda wrote. “Not only did you include all of the features we requested, but you also did so with amazing detail! I love the way you combined the materials and colors – from mom’s favorite ‘red’ as the ears and soles of feet, to the seersucker legs and skirt. And especially the way you used the zippers of her robes for the top…they still function!
“What a joy your talent has given me. Your kindness restores my faith in humanity.”
Linda’s advice to caregivers and family members facing end-of-life care: “If you’re at wit’s end and feeling lost, get quality help. Call VITAS.”
Marla appreciates the affirming feedback she receives from family members who praise key members of their loved one’s hospice care team.
“When I received the beautiful card from Linda, it made me so proud of my volunteers,” she says.
“We work together as a team to provide loving support. Our volunteers’ time and talent are from the heart, and being able to share Linda’s appreciation is priceless.”
For more information about end-of-life care services, call VITAS Healthcare at 321.339.2893 or visit VITAS.com
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