Sometimes a simple friendly gesture can make all the difference, especially for someone who is living with a serious illness.
Recently, during Patient Experience Week, Care Dimensions provided carnations for clinical staff members to deliver to patients on our hospice service. My patients loved receiving the beautiful flowers, which helped bring spring into their lives after a long, cold winter.
One poignant visit I had was with “Maureen” at an assisted living facility on the North Shore. Maureen has been receiving hospice services from Care Dimensions for just over six months. Previously, we cared for her (now departed) husband and supported their only son, who is also Maureen’s primary caregiver. Maureen understandably is still grieving the loss of her husband and is dealing with some cognitive issues. At times I have found her to be somber, with tears coming easily to her eyes. As hard as I have tried, it has not been easy to get her to smile and laugh. Well… that is until I arrived with a beautiful pink carnation!
For the first time in months I saw Maureen smiling and her face aglow with joy. She absolutely loved the flower and thanked me in her very quiet voice. She kept staring at the carnation and it appeared to me that her smile became broader. Later in the morning the receptionist Karen told me that Maureen had been raving about the flower. Karen thanked me for brightening Maureen’s day – and in turn Karen’s as well! Karen also said that she hadn’t seen Maureen so happy in a long time.
It is amazing how a small gift like a flower can bring a huge feeling of love and joy to a person’s heart, mind and soul!