Jackie's Caregiver Story

Mom heard about Hospice of the Western Reserve through The ALS Association’s Northern Ohio Chapter. She was about 10 months into her time living with ALS. She wanted my dad and our family to have support.

Obviously, living with a terminal illness is extremely stressful and heartbreaking. But we as a family went all-in together. Hospice of the Western Reserve supported us in creating a care strategy to take care of Mom and enabled us to make many memories.

Mom was scared. Everything about her disease was causing her to lose her autonomy. While she became trapped within her own body, she could still decide who she invited into her home. She welcomed the team from Hospice of the Western Reserve into our family. Having them there gave us comfort in our greatest time of need.

Our family needed this time with my mom. All of us. I was so afraid I would sink without her. We all agree that she was waiting for us to be ready. We did so much work as a family and in our individual relationships with Mom. As she continually lost more of her physical abilities, she would have little “funerals” to mourn each of the losses. We grieved these losses together. Yet through these losses, we all grew in our faith. We all became better people.

In our time together taking care of Mom, I learned to trust and rely on Mom’s hospice team. In the last few months, the expert clinical care they provided allowed me to be a daughter. They enabled me to get the emotional, social, and spiritual support I needed to endure the unimaginable heartbreak of saying “goodbye.”