Blog

Comfort and compassion: How hospice care helps the whole family

Last year, Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care joined together to create Advocate Aurora Health, the 10th largest not-for-profit health system in the country. Your generosity will continue to make health care more accessible and compassionate for each person we serve. Here, we’re sharing stories about people, just like you, who are making a difference.

When Ardelle Baur fell and broke her back for the second time in two months, physicians at Aurora Lakeland Medical Center told her family that another surgery would be too risky at her age. She was 95 years old.

Ardelle Baur

“She was in a lot of pain. In addition, she was developing early stage dementia and refused to eat or drink anything,” explained her son, Martin Baur.

That’s when Martin and his family began to consider hospice care at Aurora Lakeland Medical Center, which partners with the Aurora at Home Hospice program to provide 24-hour end-of-life care.

“The staff clearly explained what hospice was, along with the process of how she would be cared for. This made our decision much easier,” he said. “My mother could also stay in the hospital, which was important to us. Moving her to another site would have caused additional pain.”

Ardelle would remain in hospice care for nine days.

“The entire staff made my mother comfortable by providing medication to mediate her pain. They also instructed our family members on how to give her additional medication as needed.”

There were other steps to ensure the family’s comfort as well.

“There was a space next to her room where we could relax,” Martin said. “And they provided us with snacks and beverages.”

Martin and his family also appreciated the educational materials that were available to help them understand what was happening.

“Beyond being there for us and being very compassionate, one of the most important measures was the brochure explaining what our family would observe while my mother was in thpe process of passing.”

Ardelle passed away peacefully on December 18, 2018, with her family by her side.

“We are very appreciative of all that the hospice and hospital staff did for my mother and our family,” said Martin.

In fact, Martin was so grateful for the care his mother and family received, that he made a generous gift to support hospice care services at Aurora Lakeland Medical Center. If you’d like to support compassionate end-of-life care, please call Tiffany Tannhauser at 414-219-7376 or email tiffany.tannhauser@aurora.org.

About hospice care

Sometimes, patients at the end of their life have such intense medical needs that they require 24-hour care by medical professionals. Aurora Lakeland Medical Center has a dedicated hospice suite complete with a family lounge. The hospitalist, hospital nurses and hospital nursing assistants provide 24-hour care, while the specialized skills of the Aurora at Home Hospice team assure the patient’s symptoms are managed. The patient and their loved ones are also offered the support of a hospice nurse, social worker, chaplain and grief support specialist. Hospice care is supported by donors like you.