Hello. Its Leo here.
I haven't written before because Ellouise has not plugged in her computer since my last post. "Its too private to write about." she told her daughter Robin.
But I can tell you a few things about working with Hospice because I watch everything that happens here that has to do with Jim.
When a patient comes under the care of Montgomery Hospice they are assigned to a team: a chaplin, a social worker and the RN - their nurse. All fine and caring people!
In Jim's case he as also assigned a health care aide - the marvelous Elizabeth - who now comes five days a week to take care of him. He trusts her completely and she is a blessing in their lives.
In what I see Ellouise is the main caregiver- meaning she handles all the medicines, the food and general care etc. It is a big job and some nights she is really tired out. She finally went out to get her hair cut the other day and Jim said, "good" when she came home. I heard the nurse telling her "you have to take care of yourself. I tell that to all my families." She says, "its hard to leave - - "
The family has stepped in - and someone is here all the time - to be with Jim, to help with the care and to support Ellouise. They are a wonderful bunch who love their dad quite a lot. I heard Ellouise tell Jim, "We are so blessed."
The long and the short of it is that finally she called an agency and hired a CNA - that's a certified nursing aide and a strong, gentle and compassionate Ethiopian man entered their lives. Ellouise still manages Jim's care and medicines but now they have back-up and support from someone who is capable and well-trained. I heard Ellouise tell Jim's RN, "look I am a nursing school drop-out -- what do I know?"
"Ellouise, TLC is your medicine! Your job is to love him".
"Well that's not a problem for me. I have been loving him for 57 years."