“Hospice is all about living,” said Art Bousquet, the partner of one of Franklin County Home Health Agency’s hospice clients, Leora Lemnah. Franklin County Home Health Agency was honored to help Leora meet her goal of living her life through hospice. Leora want to share her story with others about how embracing the philosophy of living helped her live life to its fullest.
Before Leora went on hospice, she slept almost all the time and fell frequently. “Once she got on hospice,” said Art, “she got the medications that helped her get around better and a walker to keep her from falling. The big thing was all the information we got from the Home Health hospice workers about how to make her life more comfortable.”
Soon Leora was feeling a bit better and decided, “to see my friends out in Oklahoma and New Mexico before something happens.” Her doctor advised against the trip, she said, “but I thought, if I’m going to die, I’m going to die. So Art put a foam mattress in the back of the car and we took off.” She added, “I have a strong mind and I’m not giving up.”
“We had a lot of support out there, especially from the Home Health hospice team,” Art added. “They put us in contact with the local hospice in Oklahoma just in case something happened and had her meds sent out to us. We called her Home Health nurse, Katie, several times. Everything worked out well. We didn’t see the bad side the doctor had predicted.”
“We spent three weeks out there,” said Art. “She went to the casinos twice with her daughter-in-law. We saw everybody on her list. By the time we came back, we’d put about 6,000 miles on the car.” Along their route, they visited many family members and friends.
“I’d recommend hospice to anyone who needs it,” Leora said. “All the Home Health people are really nice. I can’t stress it enough. They bend over backwards to help you.”
“We never knew how much the hospice team would do,” said Art. “Even helping her take a bath. I said I’d do it, but they said they’d like to get to know her, get her comfortable with them so that when it got too hard for me to do, they would be there.”
“Everyone (at Home Health) is so upbeat,” said Art. “But they definitely don’t sugar coat anything. They are here to help her enjoy every day that’s there. You can tell this isn’t a job for them. They really take it personally.”
A few days after Art and Leora returned from their three-week trip, they took a drive out to the Islands to see the apples. “We spent about six hours driving around, seeing friends,” said Art. “Leora grew up in Alburg so it was fun to see how things have changed,” said Art.
“When I die, I die. Until then, I’m going to live,” said Leora. The day after their Islands trip, Leora was up early making apple bread.
Leora Lemnah spent approximately three months on hospice before dying peacefully surrounded by her family and her beloved pup in her home.