Marley House staff members welcome Carol Burnside to her very own beach party.
Carol Burnside settles into the beach lifestyle during a surprise beach party for her coordinated by Marley House staff members and her case manager, Nathan Beever.
Nathan Beever, registered nurse case manager, stops iStaff member shows that hospice care sn’t about dying, it’s about living
By Nathan Beever Registered Nurse Case Manager at Good Samaritan Society – Prescott Hospice in Prescott, Ariz.
ago, and she was not expected to survive more than a week or two. With each hospice patient I help care for, I try to find something about the patient’s history that I can focus on in order to form a stronger bond with the patient and his or her family. This may be their military service, their career, or their passion for history, art or travel. In every situation, I come away
enriched by knowing more about the individual. To say I have developed a greater appreciation for life is an understatement. While saying goodbye is incredibly sad, I wouldn’t give up the many wonderful relationships and memories I’ve developed with hospice patients over the years. Sometimes, I have the privilege of helping create a cherished memory for patients and their families. As I talked with Carol, I knew I would have this chance. Hearing about her entire life was inspiring. She had lived her life up to
arol Burnside came to us at Prescott Hospice almost a year
that moment being the quintessential homemaker. Her home was immaculate, she raised wonderful children, she created works of art, and she baked — man, could she bake. For more than 20 years, Carol and her husband, Bernie, had made an annual trip to Pismo Beach, Calif. Early on in her stay with us, Carol expressed a deep desire to make this trip “one more time.” She and I talked with her entire care team and her family, and we started making plans for her final trip to the beach. I coordinated care with another
agency at the travel destination so Carol would have availability to hospice services, if needed, while away. Due to Carol’s special care needs, I taught Carol and her husband how to perform the medical interventions that would be required while they were away. As the planned destination date drew
near, it became apparent that Carol was not going to be able to make the trip to California. Instead, she was scheduled
for a respite stay in Good Samaritan Society – Marley House, our campus’ hospice house that provides general inpatient care. As Carol’s case manager, I helped coordinate her transfer to Marley House. Before she arrived, I asked the staff
at Marley House if it would be possible to help fulfill Carol’s wish to go to the beach one more time. I suggested we put together a beach party for her during her stay at Marley House. They agreed, and Carol was greeted with a surprise beach party, complete with music, beach attire, drinks, and buckets and buckets of sand. This coordinated effort among
everyone on the hospice team, while not medical in nature, gave Carol a boost that no pill ever could. V
Editor’s note: As of November 2011, Carol is living at Marley House. She treasures every joyful moment of every day of her life. Nathan does, too.
to greet Carol Burnside. Carol is holding a birthday card she handmade for Nathan. In it, she tells Nathan how important he is to her at this point in her life, and how much his visits mean to her. Nathan says it is a gift he will cherish forever.
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