A terminal illness is one of the hardest things a family can face. And when the end draws near, everything can become completely overwhelming, not only for the patient, but for their loved ones as well.
“I remember my initial thoughts were probably the most fearful thoughts I’ve ever had in my life,” said Doug, whose father passed away after a terminal illness in 1999.
Hospice of Montgomery, an affiliate agency of the River Region United Way, works to help patients and their families through the difficult end-of-life process. Hospice not only provides in-home medical care for terminally ill patients, but also grief counseling and support for the families left behind.
When his father’s doctor told Doug and his mother that the time had come to arrange hospice care, they had no idea where to turn. A search of the phone book led them to Hospice of Montgomery.
“It was a blessing from the first second,” Doug said, though he was initially nervous about the process. “I remember I didn't want to be there. It just made me very uncomfortable. But the second Jenille came in, and sat down with us, and started talking with my mother and I, it absolutely just calmed us down. And we knew right then that we were dealing with the right people, in a very scary, very troubling time. And we knew that we were going to get peace out of it, because of Hospice of Montgomery."
The organization strives to provide the best care for the community, says Executive Director Jenille Ball.
“Hospice of Montgomery is able to provide a high level of service and care to the River Region with a personal touch,” Ball said. “Our patients and their loved ones become a part of our family.”
The passing of his father was a tough time in Doug’s life, but he credits the staff at Hospice of Montgomery for helping to ease the burden.
“By the time my father passed, there was such a peace about it,” Doug said. “And it was because of the way the staff embraced our family. I never would have imagined that, from the day we contacted Hospice to the day my father died, a couple of months later."
Doug and his family remained close to the staff at Hospice of Montgomery, and when his mother became ill five years later, "there was no question where I was going to turn."
The support of River Region United Way donors can make a big difference in the lives of terminally ill patients and their families, Ball said.
“The money we receive through the River Region United Way allows us to provide the level of care our community deserves,” Ball said. “Hospice of Montgomery is honored to be a United Way agency.”
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