Making an Impact

In the Making an Impact series, clients and services are featured to increase awareness of and support for the services offered at JFS.

As JFS client stories are told, we anticipate a positive outcome. A client’s death is not typically considered a positive outcome. But if JFS staff has helped a client by connecting them to the appropriate resources or just listening to what they have to say, have we been successful?

In this story, Eve was assigned to Miley Anderson, JFS Care Coordinator, for case management services by her health insurance provider. The first visit occurred while Eve was in the hospital, one of several admissions that year. Not long into the assessment, Eve told Miley that she was old now, had lived a long life, and was ready to go. She said she was tired of going to the hospital and was only doing it for her children.

Miley actively listened and heard Eve’s clear statement. She discussed it with her JFS colleagues and they agreed that it was appropriate to call Eve, discuss her thoughts further, and possibly suggest a hospice consult. But when Miley called Eve, she wasn’t feeling well and asked her daughter Anne to take the call. Anne was not interested in discussing her mother’s feelings or palliative care. Within one month, Eve was hospitalized again.

Four days before Miley was scheduled to make her annual visit, Eve was hospitalized again. Anne provided the assessment information. In the two months following the assessment, Eve was hospitalized three more times. During the last hospitalization, a nurse at the hospital called Miley to discuss Eve’s care and her frequent comments about living a good life and being ready to go. The nurse also indicated that they had discussed hospice with the family, but they were not ready. Perhaps after Eve was discharged and home.

Miley followed up with Anne who asked her to speak to her husband because “he understands it better.” Anne’s husband explained that Eve’s children still hoped and believed she would make a full recovery. They were aware that Eve had repeatedly expressed her desires.

Anne’s husband called back the next day and said the family was ready to begin hospice care. Arrangements began that afternoon for admission to Sholom Hospice Care. With her family’s acceptance, Eve was able to let go. She passed away the next day.

“To some, how they leave this world is just as important to them as how they live in it,” said Miley.