“The family requests donations be made to hospice…” Open an obituary page in any newspaper, on any day, and chances are you will see at least one of these type requests. Hospice care often means so much to those who have needed it, their gratitude cannot be measured with words alone.

I honestly don’t know how hospice workers do what they do. I feel the same way about caregivers.

Providing care for another human is not an easy job. When that human is in the process of dying, it can be unbearable. Yet, these kind people chose, even volunteer, to walk into the most painful of circumstances and offer care.

Our Hanson Services caregivers often team with hospice when care is needed at home. Hospice providers bring us in when there isn’t enough care available at home. The combination of Hospice and our caregivers has made many passings peaceful, comfortable and even beautiful.

One passing that comes to mind was of one of our elderly clients who wanted to die at home, with his family present, and a view of his gorgeous gardens. We worked with Hospice of the Western Reserve to fulfill his wish.

The hospice nurse kept his pain at the delicate level of comfort without making him so sleepy that he couldn’t enjoy his family. Our caregivers were there around the clock taking him to and from the bathroom, feeding him, bathing him, and arranging his room so he could see family photos at all times, and of course his garden. The hospice nurses watched carefully for signs that his human life was coming to an end. The family was able to gather at his bedside, hold his hand, and send him, peacefully, to his afterlife. It was exactly what he had wanted.

Our caregivers grieve. How could they not? Often, we are the recipient of last words during late night conversations or provide a hand to hold and prayers to say when our client is scared. But we couldn’t do this without help from hospice. Their medical expertise is beyond what you could learn from a textbook or science. Sometimes “they just know” what is happening. I believe, that like a caregiver, they are called to this field. Their presence in this world makes others’ lives better.