Support for the Journey

When Caroline first heard about Hospice SLO County in 2018, she wasn’t sure what to think. Her husband, Russell, had recently undergone hip replacement surgery and it was becoming clear that he would be wheelchair-bound moving forward. Until then, she had only ever thought of hospice as end-of-life care. Realizing the resources and support that were available even in the midst of Russell’s life-limiting illness changed everything.

“Learning about non-medical hospice care and Hospice SLO County really opened my eyes to the possibilities for us as we moved forward knowing that Russell’s illness would be life-long,” Caroline said. “From the resources their staff provides to the support group to our weekly volunteer – I had no idea any of that was available for us.”

Throughout the past two years, Hospice SLO County has walked alongside Caroline and Russell, providing assistance in three main ways: care management from a staff Care Manager; a caregiver support group that Caroline attends weekly; and in-home respite care from a Hospice SLO County volunteer.

“The support group is like a lifeline for me – that weekly hour is sacred time,” Caroline explained. “And our volunteer has become more like a family member. Between her, the members of my support group, and the Care Manager at Hospice SLO County, I know that I always have someone to call when I need help. It is so reassuring – not just to have tangible resources, but also to feel emotionally supported in this journey.”

“I don’t know what I would do without Caroline and I’m so thankful that Hospice SLO County is there to help her,” Russell added. “We know that we are safe and secure in this community and hope that others will be able to receive the same wonderful support we are receiving.”