The final chapter in an amazing life story
Beulah Hoofnagle of Lansing enjoys spending her time at home with her family and loved ones and reading the Word of God. About six months ago, when her health began to fail, her doctor suggested she begin seeking hospice care and Bea knew she wanted Winneshiek Medical Center (WMC) Hospice.
This is not Beulah’s first experience with hospice; she utilized hospice when caring for her husband at the end of his life. He only received hospice care a very short time, just a few months prior to his death. Bea says she felt unprepared at that time and recalls, “So much was happening in a short period of time.”
Bea remembers she was caught off guard with her own failing health because her perception was that hospice only becomes involved when “you are on your death bed,” she says. But she met with the Winneshiek Medical Center hospice team, and to her surprise she learned that she certainly did not need to wait until her health was in dire circumstances to be eligible to receive many services hospice has to offer. Bea says she’s aware her doctor does not believe she will get better, and he suggested hospice to help her cope with her symptoms and to help prepare herself and her family for the days, weeks and months to come. She says she feels that hospice has given her a gift by helping her to prepare in ways she did not have time for prior to her husband’s death.
Much of Bea’s own personal preparation has been spiritual. On her door hangs a sign stating “God loves everyone, there are no exceptions.” She says her energy these days goes to convey that message to all who come in contact with her.
Bea says she is amazed at the support she is receiving through hospice services – especially from the Winneshiek Medical Center hospice staff who visit often. She says, “I’m amazed at how my nurse, Sandy, comes to my home and cares for me like family. She is so compassionate toward me.” Bea remarked that she feels that hospice has given her the support and encouragement she needed to talk openly with her family about her wishes and concerns at the end of her life. She says she is particularly is appreciative of the help she receives with her medications and equipment that was brought in to help her to remain comfortably in her own home. Bea says she feels that hospice has helped to manage her symptoms and this has given her quality days in this final chapter of her amazing life story.
Serving hospice patients in Northeast Iowa, WMC Hospice is a non-profit organization that emphasizes compassionate and quality care at end of life. “We provide services to the friends, neighbors and families in the communities that we live and work in,” says Nancy Haberitcher, WMC Hospice Nurse Manager. Hospice is provided through most insurance including Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance plans. “We provide services regardless of a person’s ability to pay and will work with families as needed to ensure services can be provided,” adds Nancy.
“I have learned so much about myself throughout this journey and have been able to depend on my entire hospice family including my dearest friend and nurse, Sandy,” says Bea. “She is my comfort zone.”