Liz was a resident of The INN Between for close to one year. She came in on the independent medical respite side of the program. Spunky, spirited and guarded, but quick to engage in the community and open herself up to the compassionate care she desperately needed. She was admitted to our program needing stabilization to access lung cancer treatment. She also had other comorbidities, such as HIV and COPD.
Upon admit, we were unaware this would become her final home, she was already at the end of life. Liz came in just before Halloween, and she was so excited to dress up for the costume party, as she had never dressed up for Halloween in her entire life. This can be seen with individuals who have grown up through intergenerational poverty, abuse, and addiction. The most basic and simplest family traditions and celebrations have simply not been had. She wanted to be a scarecrow and that is just what she was!
After a few medical setbacks shortly after arriving, she moved over to the Assisted Living side of the program. She was now needing assistance with activities of daily living; medication management, assistance with transfers and meals brought to her room. Then within a two-week timeframe, she moved up closer to the nurse’s station, to one of the hospice rooms. A sign that her transition was beginning. The symbolic blue butterfly was placed on the outside of her door. The staff worked to contact her children and the reunification of them was a blessing to all. Liz was able to meet her emotional and spiritual goals before passing away with the support of our entire staff, End-of-life Doula, volunteer chaplains, and NODA (No One Dies Alone) volunteers. Liz was exposed to dignity and compassion at the end of life.