Providing Comfort at the End of Life
“Without the exceptional people at Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Home, I simply don’t know how I could have managed with my wife’s final illness,” said Brooklyn resident Ted Spangler. “Their exceptional care and emotional support meant the world to us and to our children.”
Ted’s wife, Helen, spent the last four months of her life at Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Home before passing away from complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), a progressive lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. Ted also has COPD and other medical conditions that caused him to be hospitalized at the same time Helen’s health was deteriorating.
“It was really hard not being physically able to help Helen when she needed care, but Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Home provided all the support we could possibly need,” Ted said. “The staff was outstanding, from the receptionist and the cleaning people to the nurses and supervisors—and Helen loved them all.”
Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Home was designed to feel like home, with high ceilings, rich, warm colors and soothing artwork. Large windows bring in natural light and look out onto a serene wooded landscape that often includes deer, Sandhill cranes and other wildlife. Helen was able to find comfort and peace there. “She enjoyed sitting out on the patio when the weather was good,” Ted said. “There really isn’t a better place to be at the end of life.”
“Helen received the best care in the world, which is what all of us deserve at the end of life.”Ted Spangler
By giving over Helen’s physical care to a staff he trusted, Ted said, he was able to spend meaningful time with his wife. “My job was to be there and keep her company, and I was able to focus my attention completely on her. I am grateful for the time we had together.”
Ted passionately believes that everyone should have access to the kind of care Hospice Home provided for Helen in her final months of life. “As we get older, most of us struggle financially, and health care is expensive. Even with our private insurance, Helen wouldn’t have been able to have residential hospice care without Medicaid coverage,” Ted said. “I was shocked to learn the Medicaid benefit for room and board at a hospice residence has since been eliminated. If everyone in our community would make even a small donation to Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Home, it would help a lot of people at the end of their lives, when they need and deserve the best care.”
Need for Support Is Greater than Ever
As of October 1, 2013, Medicaid no longer covers room and board at any hospice residence in Michigan. Many people in our community are now unable to afford care at the Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Home, the area’s only residential end-of-life facility.
Hospice focuses on providing palliative care, which alleviates pain and symptoms associated with an illness, and offers emotional and spiritual support for patients and their families. Hospitals and nursing facilities are not equipped or staffed to offer such specialized end-oflife care.
Please consider making a donation to Henry Ford Allegiance Hospice Home to help ensure the best end-of-life care is available to everyone, including the most vulnerable individuals in our community.