My mother-in-law, Laurene H Williamson, was admitted to Palliative Care on April 3. She then was a resident at a local nursing home.
Within a few days it was obvious to the visiting Hospice nurse that Laurene needed a level of care that could not be provided in her current residence. Therefore, on Saturday, April 7 the nurse very quickly arranged for her transfer to Elizabeth House. That transfer was done so efficiently and carefully due to the insight of the Hospice nurse.
Immediately upon arrival at EH Laurene was visited by the remarkable staff, her condition evaluated, and a new drug protocol was established that made her comfortable and peaceful. Soon thereafter, we were visited by Doctor Hart who patiently explained to us what they would try to accomplish in providing care to Laurene. She was thorough and thoughtful in her explanation to us about the process of dying that Laurene would experience. During the next two days Doctor Hicks visited and kept the family well aware of Laurene’s condition. The positive attitude of the medical team gave us much confidence that Laurene would be tenderly and lovingly taken care of. What we all appreciated was the honesty, sensitivity, and tenderness the medical staff showed to Laurene and to us her family members.
Prior to the transfer, Laurene told me that she was not afraid of death but did not want to suffer while dying. I shared that with the EH staff and they showed their understanding and did provide Laurene the peace and calmness she desired. Each nurse and CNA that visited the room showed very clearly their devotion and love of their ministry to Laurene and us. We can never thank them enough for their care.
My wife and I spent each night in Laurene”s room and we experienced first hand the continuous care the staff provides to patients during the night. Each nurse or CNA visit allowed us to keep informed about her condition, and no question of ours was not answered. Special mention must go to Nurse Nancy who was with Laurene for the last three nights of Laurene’s life.
Laurene died at 6:13 AM on Tuesday, April 10, with my wife sitting with her holding her mother’s hand as she passed into eternal life. The nursing and CNA staff was respectful and supportive while other nearby family members came to say goodbye to their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
What can I say about this experience? I am a Hospice volunteer doing home care and always had a high opinion of Four Seasons staff, but this time I was on the receiving end of that care.
My wife and I have decided that when our time comes to go peaceably into the night, we want that to happen at Elizabeth House.
God bless everyone that touched Laurene during her last days.
-Tim and Sandra Almy
“…My special needs daughter, Lisa, arrived at Elizabeth House with her entourage of professional staff from the care facility in which she resided, and her brother, Rick, and I, to find her room had been prepared for her personally. Elizabeth House staff had taken the liberty to make this room both comfortable and individual to Lisa’s taste. Lisa’s favorite color was purple, and we found they had supplied purple towels and gowns. The whole room reflected Lisa’s love of flowers by using a flower garden quilted spread on her bed. She loved it!
…Doctors and nurses were always at hand and responsive to any concerns for Lisa, myself and other family members. Special care was shown me and Lisa’s brother by the chaplains and grief counselors. The chaplain would visit several times a day, taking time to explain and answer her questions tirelessly. Once a week a Music Therapist came by, spent time with Lisa and sang her requests. These visits were a special treat for Lisa. Also, volunteers came by often with therapy dogs which Lisa thought was the greatest.
Since Lisa was born disabled and I was unable to care for her at home, Lisa’s care has been primarily left to others. The 21 days I spent with my daughter at Elizabeth House were a personal blessing for me. With the help of such caring staff I was afforded the time to spend and enjoy her like we have never before. Telling stories and cuddling in the same bed at night was a special time for both of us.
Considering Lisa’s disabilities throughout her life this was a very special and graceful way for her to go home to be with our Lord.”
“…From the moment we walked through the front door, we were welcomed with a smile and a helping hand. We knew immediately that we had entered a very special place. My wife, Rachel, was only expected to live about two weeks when she arrived, but something magical happened to Rachel at Elizabeth House and she surprised everyone and lived for four more precious months! She received excellent care from all the staff and volunteers and got to know each and every one of them by name and always asked about their families…The staff pampered her by painting her fingernails, always making sure her nightgown matched her bed sheet, bringing her favorite sherbet and always making sure she had fresh flowers in her room. Everyone’s main priority was her comfort.
We were extremely pleased with the excellent care Rachel received at Elizabeth house. The entire staff was compassionate, understanding, professional and very knowledgeable. They constantly did all they could do ensure she was comfortable and not in pain. Not only did they take excellent care of Rachel, but they took good care of us, too, making sure we were aware of the various stages and what to expect. We were made to feel right at home-from my son being allowed to decorate her room to my grandsons watching TV and playing X-box in the lounge to my daughter setting up a virtual office in her room. The open, friendly environment at Elizabeth House coupled with the compassionate staff was like a ray of sunshine to all of us. My family and I were so blessed by everyone at Elizabeth House.”
“Mom was admitted to the hospital…The doctor reported that her health could not withstand the surgery needed. Then, he soon told us the words every family dreads to hear: “There is nothing more we can do…a decision needs to be made.” Those hours were a blur. The next morning mom was transported to the Elizabeth house. We walked in to find her room and were greeted by smiles, caring nurses and the chaplain on staff. The uncertainty soon was replaced by a feeling of peace, as we knew mom was in the right place!
Each day we visited and the late evenings we called. The nurses always were ready with an update. Watching them care for our mom was as if they were taking care of their own mother. They were very caring ad sensitive to the family’s need and concerns…The nurses, “her angels” cared for her as we prepared our hearts for the final goodbye.”
“….There were 16 of us who came with my Dad, and Elizabeth House welcomed each of us with such love and compassion, showing us around the center and where to find anything that we might need. They lovingly positioned my Dad so comfortably in a bed, making it easier for him to breathe, and making us feel at home with him for his last few hours. They accommodated 11 of our family to spend the night near my Dad, including 4 small children. They allowed us to use all the linens we needed for beds and tip-toed in and out of my Dad’s room throughout the night, using flashlights so they would not disturb any of those who were sleeping. They continued to give my Dad medication to make his breathing easier and keep him from any discomfort…
…The Elizabeth House staff treated my Dad like he was one of their loved ones, and they treated our family like we were their family. We TRULY thank God for allowing my Dad, and all of our family, the privilege of loving care from Elizabeth House. Thank you Elizabeth House, for being God’s loving hands in a difficult time.”
“…I loved the care our son got from Four Seasons. A team with a doctor, nurse, case manager and chaplain would meet with us to decide what the best medications were and what could be done to help us. I was more comfortable there than at home because of the support. Nurses that treated us like FAMILY and the amenities: music therapy, Wolfy the dog, a massage for mom and all the hugs you could need. It was like being in a 4-star hotel! We love you Elizabeth House!”