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When Myra’s father needed hospice care, she turned to Hosparus Health for support in his final days.

James McGeorge was a veteran who served in the Army for 22 years, including three tours in Vietnam. “He was always very proud of his service, and I was very glad that we got him into the Radcliff veteran’s center,” Myra says.

James came from a large family — there were eight of them, so all he knew was family and school. He was also shy, so it took the Army to really get him out of his shell — it put him in situations where he had to talk to people and get along with them. “It truly made him who he was,” she adds.

What Myra remembers most about her dad is that he always had a smile on his face and never had a mean thing to say about anybody. “There wasn’t a person that my dad didn’t like. He would never consider someone a stranger,” she says. “He started talking to you, and in a matter of minutes could be laughing with you. He was just the happiest person.”

James suffered from dementia, and when his mental condition began deteriorating, Myra knew it was time to bring in some help.

“We just knew it was a time where our focus needed to be on making him as comfortable as possible instead of trying to fix everything that was happening. So, the recommendation for hospice care felt like the right thing to do.”

Once the referral was made, Myra was contacted by Hosparus within 24 hours to let her know what the plan was, and who was going to be helping with her dad. Although it was overwhelming at first, it was exactly what she needed. “I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know what to do and having that many people reach out to me in a short period of time really reassured me that they were going to do the absolute best that they could for my dad.”

Hosparus Health helped Myra understand the end-of-life process and assured her that it was okay for her to make the decisions that needed to be made for her dad. “I was thankful for them walking me through what to expect. They let me know it’s OK to not subject my dad to every medication or every test. They gave me permission to do what I thought was best for him,” she says.

Myra added that the Hosparus nurse genuinely cared for her dad. She knew James from when he was at the veteran’s center, which helped tremendously. “Seeing her in action with him that first time, I could tell she just genuinely cared and was going to do the right things by him. That was a great burden off my shoulders — having her guide me — so I appreciated that.”

James was under Hosparus Health’s care for about five days, and Myra wishes she would have called sooner. Many people wait until it’s too late and don’t get to take advantage of all the hospice benefits available.

“If anything, I would tell people to start hospice as soon as you can,” Myra says. “It doesn’t have to mean it’s the absolute end, it just means that you’re preparing for the end. I could have started that sooner; I just didn’t realize he would qualify.”

Following James’ passing, Hosparus Health volunteer Melissa, also an Army veteran, made a veteran honor visit to Myra as a part of our We Honor Veterans program, which meant the world to his entire family.

If you’re not sure if you or your loved one qualify for hospice care, give us a call today at (800)-HOSPICE. Starting sooner rather than later can offer you the support you need to create more moments.

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