“Would you like to go visit?” That’s all it takes to get a reaction out of Maggie, Melinda McGrath’s 12-year-old greyhound. Her eyes pop open, she tilts her head, and she’s off.
Maggie is a therapy dog who volunteers with McGrath at the Good Samaritan Society ‑ Marley House, an inpatient hospice house in Prescott, Ariz. She even has her own business card featuring her picture and a list of her favorite treats.
The Marley House cares for people in the final stage of life who need around-the-clock nursing services that cannot be managed at home. While there are other hospice houses in the United States, the Marley House is unique in the Prescott region. That’s why McGrath urges support for its mission.
“Medicare helps, and with the endowment, getting this care would be less of a financial burden on families. There are a lot of older people in our community who may need this service one day,” McGrath says.
The Marley House endowment provides unrestricted support for the work of health, healing and comfort that happens within its rooms. Having a robust endowment means that the Marley House is prepared for whatever its patients and families need.
Maggie makes her rounds
Maggie and Melinda make the rounds at the Marley House about once per week. They can spend anywhere from 15 minutes to more than an hour per week. It depends on how many patients are there and whether they want a visit.
They always start with the nurses’ station. “The staff are equally important,” McGrath says. “They have hard days too.”