Passages Hospice Helps Bring Patient 'Home'

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With her perfectly curled hair, manicured nails and jewelry, it’s obvious that Wilma takes pride in her personal appearance. “Wilma is cute as a button,” LPN Tara Sorrells says, “and she likes pretty things.” For Wilma, the standard white room she lives in at Dixon Healthcare just didn’t feel like home. So Wilma’s nurses and other staff from Passages Hospice started brainstorming ways to make Wilma feel at home and lift her spirits.

With her perfectly curled hair, manicured nails and jewelry, it’s obvious that Wilma takes pride in her personal appearance. “Wilma is cute as a button,” LPN Tara Sorrells says, “and she likes pretty things.” For Wilma, the standard white room she lives in at Dixon Healthcare just didn’t feel like home. So Wilma’s nurses and other staff from Passages Hospice started brainstorming ways to make Wilma feel at home and lift her spirits.

Passages staff came up with the idea of a room makeover, including Wilma’s favorite colors and designs. After Wilma chose her new bedspread, staff matched paint, linens, window treatments, artwork, furniture and storage. The room soon transformed from an ordinary off-white to bold shades of blue and pink. Family photos were reframed and given prominence on the walls, and fresh flowers now adorn the new bookcase that holds Wilma’s belongings.

The renovation happened practically overnight, with Passages Hospice staff completing the work themselves. Funding for the project came from the Passages Hospice Foundation, through the Dream Program. The Dream Program is available to all Passages patients, to help them fulfill a wish and improve their quality of life. Passages Hospice Admissions Coordinator Emily O’Malley submitted the request to the Dream program because she thought an updated room would help Wilma feel more comfortable in her surroundings and create some excitement in her life.

Wilma’s dream came true and was revealed at an open house for her family, friends and caregivers at Dixon Healthcare. While visitors enjoyed refreshments and marveled over her new living space, Wilma was the absolute center of attention. “I love it. It’s better than I expected,” she said.

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Charlene Sligting
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