Helen and Nurse Jenn Smith at the Pat Roche Hospice Home in Hingham.
Alex Jones / www.alexjonesphoto.com
Helen and Nurse Jenn Smith at the Pat Roche Hospice Home in Hingham
Her grandchildren call her “Sunshine” and it is easy to see why. Helen is a fountain of positivity. Helen came to the Pat Roche Hospice Home for a short 5-day respite stay while being cared for by NVNA and Hospice’s community Hospice nurses. What she found was that she enjoyed the social interaction with the staff and volunteers and the ability for her family and friends to pop in to visit whenever they liked. She decided to stay.
“Don’t wait [to come to Hospice or the Pat Roche Hospice Home] until you need so much [care] that you can’t appreciate it. It is better than being at the hospital or home – I have been in both.”
After growing up in Watertown, Helene moved to Marshfield and then Duxbury. As a young
waitress at the Milepost Restaurant in Duxbury, she met her husband. They went on to build a great life and have three children and three grandchildren. She talks about her family with pride and her room is adorned with their photos and artwork.
Helen had a number of careers including college secretary, daycare owner (she recommends using closed captioning on TV to help children learn to read), home health aide, cake baker (she recommends buttercream frosting) and even lunch lady at Duxbury High School. She worked into her 70s and said that everyone should keep working and keep active.
After moving into The Pat Roche Hospice Home, Helen was able to get enough rest to be able to walk down the hall with a walker. She enjoys the downstairs rooms (tea room and music room) and likes that her grandchildren can visit and talk to the “spa girls” (nurses). Helen describes the view from her room as her “cathedral.”
She said “I love seeing the animals. I see turkey and rabbits and deer. The sunset is great. I can see both Boston and Hull from my room. I grew up in the city, so, being here is special.”
Helen has a beautiful ability to see the good in the world. She also has a strong faith and a clear love for her family and friends.
When asked what she would say to a person or family member considering going to the Pat Roche Hospice Home Helen said, “They should have no hesitations. This place will meet more than your expectations. Maybe try it for a 5-day respite. You can spare your loved ones a lot of work and they can come and visit you. This is part of the journey in life. I could not ask for a better way…Tell my story to take away the fear.”