Sandy's Story

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Caregiver Stories

“It’s hard to say who Hospice helps most – the patient or family caregiver.”

Sandy Hamilton

Many of us have to face difficult decisions in deciding when the time is right to seek help from Hospice of the Panhandle when a loved one is facing a life-limiting illness. When the doctor said Sandy Hamilton and her dad should call Hospice after months of her mother fighting cancer, Sandy knew it was time to reach out for help.

Sandy knew she, her mother, her sisters and her father all could get the help they needed from Hospice of the Panhandle. “Hospice was able to help my mom with some day-to-day functions, such as bathing or other little items she might want, but she would be embarrassed to ask my father for,” Sandy said.

Sandy’s family found that Hospice of the Panhandle could help in ways both large and small. During Sandy’s mother’s illness, her father needed time away in a place he loved – his detached garage where he worked on small machinery like lawnmowers and appliances.

Sometimes, when Hospice nurses and aides would visit, he could sneak away, just for a few minutes, to spend time in that garage, where he did “lots of tinkering,” Sandy added.

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“My dad realized, ‘They’re going to make my wife comfortable, but they’re also here for me,’” Sandy said.

What Hospice of the Panhandle was able to give him was some of that time … time where he could focus not solely on his wife’s illness, but on tasks that gave – and still give – him joy.

In fact, Sandy’s entire family was able to spend those final months with their mother, wife and grandmother sharing stories, recounting precious times together, all in the comfort of the family’s South Berkeley home.

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