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Personal Reflections: End of Life & Private Duty Care

Sadly, we just lost one of our favorite and oldest clients. He was with us for a very long time. He was 102 years old. I interviewed him months ago for a post I was working on. The entire Comforcare staff became very attached to him and his lovely family. He died peacefully at home, just slipped away. I began to think and reflect about my days working at a hospice as the bereavement counselor. I would be involved as a clinician from the start of the case to the end. Often being the last clinician, after the nurse, to be present. Private duty is different. After the initial assessment I do not often get a chance to see the client or family, unless they would like me to visit. Our office staff and caregiver maintained constant communication with the client, spouse and family and developed a close bond and relationship. While employed as a hospice clinician it was a gift and honor to care for patients who were at the end of life. I never had an opportunity to know them before they were seriously ill. Private duty allows me the opportunity to meet clients and family at a different stage (even though they need help at home). We want to encourage a meaningful life and improve quality of life for our elderly clients. Like hospice, it is a gift and honor to meet and care for the clients and families we serve. Knowing that we make a difference is deeply rewarding. Caring for someone over time allows for connections and relationships. It's hard to let go of someone who has passed...letting go is the hardest part. While reflecting, I quietly said a prayer and recognized that many of these connections we develop touch our lives in unexpected ways. Everyone has a story. And everyone matters. I love what I do...

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