Anna didn’t want to go to the hospital anymore. After the last hospitalization, her 3rd in as many months, her doctor suggested hospice care. She wanted Anna to enjoy time with her children and grandchildren and focus on the things she loved. For Anna, her perennial garden was a labor of love she began almost 40 years ago when her children were small. She spent many happy hours there, and over the years it grew from a small patch of daylilies and irises to the showcase it is today. At home, with a view of her garden, was her choice for end-of-life care.
On this beautiful day Anna’s “Brilliant” pink Stonecrop are blooming in the early September sun. With support from the hospice team and her family around her, Anna talks of her choice for comfort care from Merrimack Valley Hospice. She tells them that the hospice medical director will make sure she has the medications she needs to be comfortable, the nurses will monitor her well being and a hospice aide will help her with meals and personal care. She explains that a social worker is available and she has asked that the chaplain visit. She knows she will enjoy that. “There may even be a volunteer to help get the garden ready for winter” she says with a smile.
Her family is quiet, thoughtful, with many mixed emotions. Finally her daughter says “fall has always been my favorite time in the garden. We’ll all be here with you to help with pruning and weeding. We’ll help get your garden ready for winter, and next summer, it will bloom again better than ever.”
With the support of Merrimack Valley Hospice, Anna will spend her days in the comfort of her home with her family around her.