Hospice Foundation

Compassion is Essential to What We Do

Compassion is Essential to What We Do

 

Two Elkhart families who had shared
friendships and laughter found their
lives intertwining in a different
way in the spring of 2010. When
Cyril “Bud” Stone came to Center
for Hospice Care Elkhart Campus in
early April, Kelly Minix was one of
his visitors. A few weeks later, Kelly
was a patient at Elkhart’s Center
for Hospice Care. And while their
circumstances were very different, the
stories their families tell of their stay
at Elkhart’s Center for Hospice Care
have many similarities.

 

Karen Parsons, one of Bud Stone’s seven children, said her family just wanted her father to be able to die in peace. Four days earlier he had been removed from a respirator and the family had thought it would only be hours before he passed. That hadn’t happened and they were advised by the hospital that they would either have to take him home or to Elkhart’s Center for Hospice Care.

“Home wasn’t an option,” she noted. Her father had endured years of pain due to back injuries and arthritis and, while everyone marveled at how tough he was, they also knew it was only a matter of time before he passed. They wanted to be able to share time with him as family, in a quiet setting.

“He received the very best of care in the short time he was at Hospice House,” she added. As a man who had always been mindful of his appearance, the family greatly appreciated that the nursing staff bathed and shaved him, even trimming his hair. “I think the staffare God’s angels on earth,” Karen said.

As one of the nurses at Center for Hospice Care in Elkhart, Jill Tyler, noted, “I feel that compassion is essential to what we do. We have to understand not only physically what’s going on, but that emotionally they’re going through huge changes in their lives that they may not understand.”

Terry Minix understands those changes. “I was sure when Kelly came here that I was going to be taking her home,” said her husband. Kelly had suffered an unexpected heart attack and had been hospitalized before being transferred to the Elkhart facility. “You kinda hate to be here but, if you have to go through it, this is an amazing place to be.”

Both families realized the peaceful, home-like setting made the time they spent there easier. “It’s so inviting,” Terry said.

Finishing the facility’s outdoor areas — complete with arbors, a pond, fountains, walking paths and sitting areas — will further enhance the peaceful nature of the campus. Studies have shown that tranquil outdoor areas help release endorphins, allowing people to relieve some of the stress they’re experiencing. “The unknown can cause so much stress, so having something like a pond will help to reduce that,” Jill said.