“My dad was 75 years old when he passed away. He never retired from his job at the power company. He was such a hard worker, and he loved planting and tending to his garden. He was married to my mom for 54 years. He was a really good dad.”
~ Kathy, Joe’s daughter
Joe was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June 2019 and his daughter Kathy took over as his primary caregiver. When his condition worsened, Joe and his doctors decided that it was time for him to enter hospice care at home. Kathy turned to us to help make this transition.
As a trusted hospice provider for more than 40 years, Bluegrass Care Navigators has provided expert and compassionate support for thousands of adults and children with serious illnesses like cancer, heart disease, lung disease, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. Every day, our care team connects more than 1,000 people across Kentucky with medical, social, and spiritual care.
“We could not have made a better decision,” says Kathy. “For Dad and for everyone in the family. It was a real blessing for us.”
When Joe began experiencing complications earlier this year, our team recommended that he transfer to the Greg and Noreen Wells Hospice Care Center in Hazard for full-time care. Kathy was nervous about the move, and unsure what to expect.
But right after Joe and Kathy arrived, they felt at home. Kathy broke down to one of the members of our care team. She was exhausted and overcome by what was happening.
“As a primary caregiver, there is so much to do and think about,” says Kathy. “I was trying to be strong for Dad, but I needed a minute to meltdown. I felt so much stress lifted off of me. Instead of worrying about what medication to give him next, I could just focus on spending time with him.”
By supporting Bluegrass Care Navigators, you make a difference in so many ways. As a nonprofit, our work depends on the generous contributions from those in our community, and we never turn a patient away for the inability to pay. Much of the cost for hospice services is covered by private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare – but not all. And many of our services are not covered, including bereavement for families and community members; and Bright Path, a palliative care program specifically for children with serious illness.
Donations also support special programs that help boost the spirits of our patients. Our animal-assisted therapy program was especially meaningful to Joe and his family.
Just before he entered hospice, Joe’s beloved dog of 13 years passed away. So, when Grace the therapy dog walked into Joe’s room, a smile spread across his face.
Right away, Joe reached out to pet Grace, and the friendly dog nuzzled into him. It was a much-welcomed reprieve from what he and his family had been going through.
From then on, Joe’s specialized care included regular visits from Grace. “Grace was very comforting,” says Kathy. “We didn’t know this service was offered until we met her. It was therapeutic for us all to see a smile on Dad’s face during such a difficult time.”
Your gift allows us to provide advanced services to our community delivered by our wonderful nurses, social workers, and clinical staff. Our experts also offer vital training and insight to caregivers, allowing them to confidently care for their loved ones.
Often, it’s the small moments of comfort that we remember most. The photo of Joe and Grace is one of those moments. Thank you for helping to make this possible.