A terminal prognosis is life-altering, scary, and difficult to prepare for. For Jean Molinari, cancer came suddenly. Her selfless response was to do her best to get her affairs in order and to try to avoid burdening her family – in particular her daughter and caregiver, Jane. Jean had experienced her father’s death in a way that was alarming. All she knew was that she did not want to experience that for herself, or her family.

Jean’s hospice care team includes a nurse, physician, care aide, social worker, spiritual counselor, and a donor-funded massage therapist. The team first asked what her and her family’s goals and what her ideal situation would be like. For Jean, it was to have peace, no pain, and to be cognizant.

“They came in and literally changed my life from night to day. I didn’t realize I was so anxious. I felt like once they came, I didn’t have to worry anymore. Their care is loving, down to earth, and compassionate. They make it very easy and that takes the stress and fear out of it.”

To know what to expect at the end of life and knowing what to do during any circumstance is empowering. Caretaking is hard; but with hospice, support is just a phone call away – day or night. Jean’s daughter Jane explains, “When you know the one you love is uncomfortable, it’s the hardest thing. Hospice has provided emotional relief to me. Caitlin, our social worker, has taken so much off of my plate with logistics. She has taken care of things we didn’t even know we needed. Everyone has been so positive and I am so grateful.”

When asked what she would tell someone who may need hospice care in the future for themselves or a loved one, Jean replied, “The sooner the better. My only regret was not calling them two weeks earlier. It has been hugely helpful and very empowering.”

To learn more about hospice, visit www.hospicenw.org or call 360-814-5550