The story of Sandy Hamilton and her father is a familiar one. Many of us have to face difficult decisions in deciding when the time is right to seek help from Hospice when a loved one is facing a life-limiting illness. When the doctor said Sandy 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 sisters and her father could get the help they needed from Hospice of the Panhandle.

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

What they found was that Hospice of the Panhandle could help in large – and small – ways. 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. That garage is still filled with wrenches and screwdrivers, benches and hammers, saws and fans. And he still spends hours on end there.

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 said.

Other “small things” that Hospice could help with: Sandy’s father was uncomfortable bathing his wife. His wife also was uncomfortable having him perform that caregiving task for her. Hospice’s certified nursing assistants were able to take that small task away from him.

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.

Sandy shares how Hospice care is as much for the family as it is for the patient … providing caregiving training, emotional support, spiritual support and understanding hearts.