Catherine Vlasto

Hospice: The Birthplace for Connection

The word Hospice often makes us stop in our tracks because it suggests that we are leaving all connection to friends, family and ultimately ourselves. But a Hospice experience can be the birthplace for a significant connection…

Catherine VlastoMy client was a widow who lived alone. She was fortunate to have a neighbor who periodically checked in on her, and a dear friend who dutifully accepted the role of Power of Attorney.

I affectionately called her “The Judge” because she played that role on a very successful television crime show. She had a terrific sense of humor, which she used to make sense of the changes that were happening in her life. But most of the time she was guarded- almost suspicious of my presence until we had ‘the conversation.’ She asked me to help fulfill her wish to die at home.

During the next few months, our Hospice team worked together to add new services, such as additional caregivers, and visits from our spiritual counselor. We worked with a local attorney who appointed a conservator to manage her finances and who also made funeral arrangements. In short, we did those things that typically fall into the hands of a family member.

When she died, she was truly connected to her family at New Milford VNA & Hospice, holding the hand of her favorite aide.

Catherine Vlasto, LCSW
Hospice Social Worker, NMVNA & Hospice Team