Close to Home

Close to Home

Howard and Sheri Evans dated nearly 10 years before marrying in 2003. They had only been married six years when his declining health changed their lives. Howard’s illness was not a surprise; he says he was diagnosed with COPD in the mid-1990s.

Howard continued to be active after his diagnosis. He’d golf regularly with a buddy and participated in a bowling league. Howard’s current health and physical limitations prevent his participation. Howard says his diagnosis includes emphysema and arthritis, and he has been oxygen dependant for five years. In the later part of 2011, his health began deteriorating more significantly and Sheri became his caregiver.

At the time, Sheri was working part-time post-retirement. Due to Howard’s failing health, she had to quit working. “I couldn’t go to work when Howard was having severe breathing problems. That meant I’d be late and then worry about him the entire time I was gone. It was better for everyone that I quit and stay close to home.”

Howard was hospitalized repeatedly, lost 50 pounds in only months, and his legs swelled so much he could barely walk. By January 2012, the doctors suggested Yolo Hospice. “This is not my life, but it is the life I have,” said Howard. “If I could choose, I’d still be bowling and gambling in Vegas and golfing regularly. Still, I have a life and plan to get as much out of it as I can.”

Yolo Hospice began caring for Howard in February 2012. As the Yolo Hospice team does for all patients, they immediately evaluated how to enable Howard to participate and actively direct his life to the best of his ability. Yolo Hospice helped him do that by being there for him and Sheri, providing comfort for the body, mind and spirit, through appropriate medications, emotional support and spiritual counseling. A Yolo Hospice nurse visits regularly to monitor Howard’s health, and to give Sheri support and information on caring for him. A social worker and spiritual care counselor visit to support them emotionally and spiritually. The other members of the Yolo Hospice team (volunteer, hospice aide and grief specialist) are ready when they are needed. “We have a unique closeness with the Yolo Hospice team. It is a great feeling to know that someone cares for you. It is a relaxing, comforting feeling,” said Howard.

Page 1 of 212

Categories

Social