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Here’s how Agrace lights up the lives of our patients and their families—and how you can, too.
Jeanne, a 97-year old Agrace Hospice Care patient, is well-known for her lively energy. But after several months of the pandemic, she felt isolated, anxious and missing the life she once knew. In August, her care team coordinated with Agrace’s Wish Program to give Jeanne a ride back to her roots.
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There comes a time in our lives when it’s natural to yearn for familiar places and times. That’s how Jeanne, an Agrace Hospice Care patient, was feeling this summer.
Jeanne has spent much of her 97 years in the Janesville area, where she grew up on a family farm and raised a family of her own. When Agrace provided her husband’s end-of-life care, she knew she would want that support for herself someday. In Fall 2019, Jeanne and her family knew it was her time for Agrace.
Jeanne says she deeply enjoyed the regular visits from her Agrace care team and volunteer throughout the winter. Her family soaked up extra moments with their mother, knowing her care was well managed. “It’s difficult to put into words how much Agrace helped,” says her daughter, Deb.
Then in March, the COVID-19 pandemic struck. With the elderly at high risk, assisted living facilities like Jeanne’s stopped letting families visit. “I felt anxious and isolated,” Jeanne says. “I had never felt that way before the pandemic.”
With Jeanne’s usual lively energy dwindling, her Agrace nurse and social worker staggered their visits with her family’s virtual visits to give Jeanne as much daily interaction as possible. Although this helped, there was still a void.
Jeanne told her Agrace team she wished she could visit a recently installed bench honoring her family. It sits along the Ice Age Trail, on land that had once been her family farm—where some of her fondest memories were made.
Then one Friday in August, her Agrace team pulled up to Jeanne’s residence in a utility vehicle and beckoned her to join them. For the first time in months, a huge smile lighted up her face. “I couldn’t believe it was for me,” Jeanne remembers. “It was certainly a moment I’ll never forget.”
Driving along the Ice Age Trail, they arrived at the bench, where Jeanne’s daughter and son-in-law were waiting to surprise her. They reminisced about days on the farm and looked out at the pines her family planted together many years ago—still growing strong.
This simple ride lifted Jeanne’s spirits by taking her back to her roots: “I just want to say how thankful I am for Agrace—that you’re here for me and here for other people, too.”