In June of 2018, Stanley Lucas heard the word “hospice” for the first time when he was surrounded by his family in a local hospital having a meeting with the Transitions LifeCare team. His wife Catherine, to whom he was married for over 67 years, had been at the hospital for a week. She was uncomfortable and agitated. The family decided they would transfer her to The William M. Dunlap Center for Caring (Transitions’ Hospice Home). Catherine died on July 3, surrounded by her family.
The staff at the hospice home treated us like family.
“When she got to Transitions LifeCare,” Stanley remembers, “they knew how to manage her condition and we all felt immediate relief. Once she was comfortable, she thanked us for making this decision when she wasn’t able to. I felt we were valued and her wishes were respected. The care she received was incredible and we were able to spend our last days with her peacefully.” Catherine’s granddaughter Mary agreed, “The staff at the hospice home treated us like family. They remembered our names, they provided grief and spiritual support, and the volunteers provided an added light (the brownies were favorites).”
I felt like we were valued and her wishes were respected.
A year later, at 93 years old, Stanley faced his own battle with chronic conditions and had been admitted to the hospital several times over the course of a year. He and his family were both ready for something better. “We just wanted him to be comfortable, and not have to worry about these constant transitions in and out of the hospital,” Mary said. “It was really affecting his quality of life.”
While most people associate Transitions LifeCare with end of life or hospice care, we provide a wide range of services to make chronic or acute illness easier to live with, including palliative care and in-home health care visits. When Stanley met with the team the second time around in the hospital, this time for palliative care, he shared his number one goal with us: to avoid hospitals! He was especially worried about falling, so the team worked with him to make small changes around his home to keep him on his feet.
Just as Stanley was settling into a new routine at home with safety measures and healthcare visits in place, the coronavirus pandemic arrived in our community. Suddenly it became even more important that Stanley could stay safe at home to avoid infection and look forward to safe visits with providers who made sure he had whatever he needed. With the help of Transitions PalliativeCare and Transitions HomeHealth teams, he hasn’t had a single fall or hospitalization since that first meeting two years ago.
“The care I have received has been second to none, which is exactly what I remember from when Catherine was in your care,” Stanley reports. “I have made it through the pandemic healthy and at home, allowing me to spend time with my family and even play a few games of Pinochle with my old friends from IBM. I can’t thank my Transitions LifeCare team enough.”
We could just enjoy being together.
“It was a relief to us, too!” Mary said. “When we were all vaccinated and finally able to visit with my grandpa we didn’t have to focus on his health and we could just enjoy being together.”
Now 95, Stanley is doing well, his chronic heart failure is under control, and he still has not been hospitalized since starting on palliative care and home health services with Transitions LifeCare. He has welcomed new great grandchildren over the last year, and he was finally able to meet them in person. Stanley’s new goal is to make it to 100 years old.