For decades, Providence had been walking with people throughout their retirement, often including difficult health issues. We also wanted to serve people at the end of life, when they need spiritual comfort as well as physical help. Made up of a team of nurses, physicians, therapists, aides, chaplains, dietary experts, and volunteers, Providence Hospice offers services to Indiana and Illinois to meet the progressing needs of the older adults we serve.
“Hospice is important because everybody deserves dignity, respect, and compassion at the end of life,” Sarah Hutchinson, Providence Hospice social worker says.
She has worked in her position for 15 years, guiding patients and families during this final transition. “You don’t always have that if you don’t have a hospice team. For us, it’s not just a job; it’s a calling.”
The Providence Hospice team offers the care and hope people need in order to prepare for eternity with dignity. Our team’s professional qualifications are remarkable, but what sets Providence Hospice apart is the personal commitment our staff have to offer hope and help when people need it most.
“Our mission statement alone makes us special. We enhance the lives of those we serve in the name of Jesus Christ,” Marilyn Melf says. Marilyn has served as a registered nurse with Providence Hospice for almost 25 years, and she has seen firsthand the families whose lives have been changed for the better. “It’s in knowing Jesus and the kindness and compassion that shines in us through Him that makes us stand out.”
Hospice services are covered completely through insurance, and that coverage includes all supplies. The team seeks to meet the needs of both the patient and the entire family. Sometimes our team sees unconventional needs, and they see the importance of meeting those needs as well.
Cliff Fitch’s wife Willow needed hospice services after an accident caused paralysis. He had initially signed up with hospice services at a for-profit organization, but he was quickly dissatisfied.
“I hadn’t really thought about it before, but the for-profit place was cutting costs everywhere,” Cliff says. “I knew this wasn’t the care she deserved. I started looking for something else.”
As soon as Cliff changed to Providence Hospice, the difference was overwhelming. He says what meant the most to him and his wife was that the hospice team really listened to what they needed. “The first time they met Willow, they asked her if there was anything special she would like,” Cliff says. “She told them she wanted a bed big enough so that we could sleep in the same bed at night. I didn’t think anything would come of it, but I thought it was nice of them to ask.”
But the next day, an extra-large hospital bed was delivered to the Fitch’s home, and for the next seven months, they could go to bed together, just as they had for almost 62 years. “It may not sound like much,” Cliff says, “but to us, it was everything.”
Truly for families, the Providence Hospice team is there to be a listening ear, a comforting hand, and a compassionate voice.
“Building relationships with the patients and families has a lot to do with consistency,” Marilyn says. “Because we see patients so frequently, we are familiar to the family and it builds trust. We can bring comfort to them, not only in physical and emotional ways, but in spiritual ways as well. They can find peace in the end of their lives.”
After the patient passes away, Providence Hospice continues to serve the family, offering bereavement services for 13 months. The team is committed to standing alongside the family as they process the loss of their loved ones. Our hospice team members are uniquely called to the work they do and consider it a privilege to be serving others at the end of their lives.
“There’s nothing more rewarding than coming in at the end of life and being there for a person,” Sarah says. “I think that’s just something with the Lord and with that person and with the family all working together. It’s our honor to be able to help.”