Hospice Nurses Lindsey Pelletier and Janie Sydor see patients wherever they call home.
The Our Lady of Peace Hospice is celebrating 20 years of serving patients and their families in the community, wherever they call home. This program provides health and emotional support services to patients at end of life, alleviating suffering, and maintaining dignity. They also reduce stress for families and caregivers.
As a result of the affiliation with our 21-Bed Residential Hospice, in-home hospice is able to draw on many of the same coordinated resources, providing a more seamless care experience for patients and their loved ones—enhancing quality of life during the final weeks or days.
Affiliated with our Hospice in the community program, our Home Health Care department is celebrating 17-years of helping patients recover from an injury, surgery and illness. These medical events can present serious challenges to families at home, so the Home Care team steps in when people require extra assistance or rehabilitation. Services include skilled nursing (RN), home health aides, post-surgical care, medication management, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and wound care.
Our Hospice and Home Health Care Program makes it possible for people to remain in their homes, while they recover, or receive care at end of life. Nancy Larson is the Director of Nursing, supporting a staff of nurses, social workers, home health aides, and chaplains.
Nancy says a lot has changed over the past 20 years. She remembers taking a refresher course in 2007, requiring 40 hours of clinical experience. She found a Franciscan community program that was only six years old at that time, serving patients in the St. Mary’s nursing home, and affiliated senior living in Highland Park. Nancy was the 4th nurse they hired. “We officed out of a beautiful, older house, with offices in second floor bedrooms,” she says. “There was an adult day program on the main floor and we always heard them singing. We had just one part-time social worker, a couple nurse’s aides, and a chaplain we shared with the nursing home. With an average daily census of 8-12 , we often walked to visit our patients in their apartments.”
According to Nancy, things are a bit different now. She says, “Our interdisciplinary team now serves 65 patients a day, with every discipline playing a major role in a patient’s care. We also offer complimentary therapies, like massage, pet therapy, and music therapy, and have over 100 volunteers who provide needed support to us and the people we serve.
What is Nancy’s vision for the future?
“I want the spirit of the second floor of the old house in Highland to continue, with personal, hands-on care,” she says. We still strive to understand what’s important to patients and their families, we’re still really good at our personalized approach to healthcare, and we support each other. It’s all rooted in our mission.”
Congratulations to Nancy and her dedicated and compassionate team!