Staff assists with hospice patients’ final wishes
When the team at Good Samaritan Society – Hospice (Brainerd Lakes) in Nisswa, Minnesota, received a call to see if they could help a woman in Florida spend her last days at her lake home in Minnesota, they didn’t hesitate to say yes.
The woman’s daughter let them know her mom would have to be flown 1,500 miles to have her final wish come true.
Travis Weber, hospice administrator in Nisswa, and his team had six days to line everything up. It took a lot of communication with the family, the hospital and the emergency air company.
“This was a total team effort and was something that was completely new for our agency,” says Travis. “The family had so much grace in knowing this was not the easiest thing to facilitate.”
The planning included checking in with the emergency air company and getting updates on weather and changes to the flight itinerary.
As the days progressed, Travis says the team was in a constant state of readiness for the patient’s arrival.
When they got confirmation that the flight was happening, the patient was flown directly from Florida to Brainerd, Minnesota, and then transported by ambulance to her lake home. A hospice nurse was ready and waiting at the patient’s home to help her get settled.
“Within 10 minutes, she was sitting in front of the lake, so it was good,” says Travis. “She got to be where she wanted to be.”
The patient’s family members were there with her and a nurse and home health aide came to the home each day to support her and her family.
“She was content and comfortable,” Travis says. “She and her family were able to relax and enjoy their final days together where she wanted to be.”
The patient used hospice services for four days before passing away.
“It was heartwarming for me that we could be there for them when they really needed it and take the planning off their shoulders,” says Travis.