November is National Hospice & Palliative Care Month and here at Seasons Hospice & Palliative Care we are celebrating by highlighting the wonderful legacy projects that our hospice team provides for our patients and their families.
Jo is 86 years old and currently resides in Oak Park, IL. After a few months of being on our service, she began visiting with our Art Therapist, Kate Gilbert. Kate found out that the one thing Jo always wanted when she was a child but never received was a dollhouse. Jo’s daughters bought her a Swedish cottage dollhouse and from there the legacy project began to unfold.
At first, the making of the house was something that brought Jo joy – choosing colors and anticipating the rooms looking like a Swedish cottage. But as the rooms began to fill, a different story was being told- Jo’s story. She was telling her daughter stories she had never shared before about her Swedish heritage, her days as a singer with The Village Players , and the journey her life took when she married and started a family.
Each room is decorated with something reminiscent of Jo. Whether it is a childhood picture, a Swedish saying written on the wall, or even an old train ticket of her father’s from the 1903 hangs on the wall in the upstairs hallway. The dollhouse will one day be given to her two granddaughters. Jo even hid pieces of jewelry and coins throughout the dollhouse for them to find, as well as hidden messages behind the furniture.
This legacy project has given Jo’s family the opportunity to discover their Mom in ways they never would have imagined before this legacy project began. Hospice not only offer patients clinical care like pain management, but is also able to provide emotional and spiritual support that families need most when facing the end of life. Through this specialized quality care, we see many patients and their families experience more meaningful moments together. Hospice helps them focus on living despite a terminal diagnosis.