Delgado makes the case for hospice giving.
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“I would love for people to not be afraid of the word ‘hospice,’ says Cathy Delgado, nurse supervisor of the Good Samaritan – Marley House, an inpatient hospice house in Prescott, Ariz. “People hear the word and instantly think ‘death.’ It’s so much more.”
It’s this “something more” that is at the heart of why Delgado is involved with the Marley House. The Marley House provides general inpatient care to people 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 Delgado urges support for its mission.
“A larger endowment will mean that we can care for patients and do what is right for them without worrying about the bottom-line,” Delgado explains. “Inpatient hospice care is an absolute necessity if patients are going to receive the best care possible.”
The Marley House also offers respite care, which means they take patients for a short time – a few hours to a few days – when their family caregivers need a break.
Delgado has been with the Good Samaritan for nearly five years, coordinating the Marley House care team. A trained nurse, Delgado came to this career later in life; she didn’t start her training until her 40s.
“Best decision I ever made,” she says.
Hospice adds quality to final days
Delgado explains that when someone qualifies for hospice, she assigns the team that works with the patient and their family. At the Marley House, this team includes a medical director, nurses and nursing assistants as well as a social worker, a chaplain, volunteers and a bereavement coordinator to care for the body, mind and spirit.
Volunteers are critical, Delgado says, because they provide comfort by sitting and listening or by simply holding a hand. Some play an instruments for patients and others sing, read, do crafts, or bring a therapy dog.
“The Marley House changes the playing field,” Delgado explains. “Hospice care is not about curing a disease. It’s about adding quality to the patient’s final days.”
“A larger endowment will mean that we can care for patients and do what is right for them without worrying about the bottom-line,” Delgado explains.
"Little Things Matter"
To create the best experience, Delgado and her team look beyond a patient’s illness. What are their likes and dislikes? Who are they? She gives an example.
“Sometimes, male patients come in scruffy, and we find out that they are usually clean-shaven,” she says. “So we make sure that they get a shave every day.
“We do this because it is important to the patient how he appears to his family. It may be the last time the family sees him. We focus on all the things that can make their memories of this time as good as they can be. Little things matter,” she says.
Deeply personal care is life-changing
For Delgado, hospice nursing is different because of the deeply personal connections made within the Marley House’s walls.
“I absolutely love working as in hospice,” she says. “We work together in community to make the best experience for the patient and family. That’s what we’re asking people to support: help us keep doing our best for them.”
You can support the work of the Good Samaritan – Marley House by making a donation to the Marley House endowment fund. 100% of your gift goes to help patients and their families experience loving hospice care provided in the light of God’s love.