After an acute episode of pneumonia, Cheryl Kellett decided to leave the nursing home. She wanted to spend the last days of her life at home in the care of a hospice team. Her family supported her decision. Home is in Kalihi, where the loving family reconfigured their living room so Cheryl can look out into the street through the picture window and see who’s at the door. ALS is an isolating disease; situating the ill person in a place where she is able to participate in home life is a strategy to keep the ill connected with the people around her. Strategies like this promote the patient’s growth and development even while transitioning to death.
Divina Robillard visited Cheryl at home. Anuhea, the family dog, was at her usual place on Cheryl’s lap. Mel, Cheryl’s husband, hovered around her bedside responding to her needs. Bristol hospice RN Sheena Erice dropped in to check on the family, assessed Cheryl’s condition, suctioned her, and started Cheryl’s feeding for lunch.
When Sheena left, Robillard administered a method of healing called “M” technique to her hands and feet. Robillard also shared her family’s experience of Britt’s passing in their home with family and friends in attendance.
ALSFH provides friendly visiting as a secondary service to clients at home or in nursing facilities. Its primary mission is to establish an ALS Residence in the state.