From the moment you walk into Doug and Beth Annino’s home, you know that family is the most important thing to them. Their 19th century converted one room school house in Mansfield is the epitome of a family home; filled with mementos of long ago trips and pictures of children, grandchildren and parents. It was from this house more than 25 years ago that Beth Annino, the self-proclaimed “family organizer,” learned first-hand the benefits of Community VNA Hospice. “When my dad was dying, we used Community VNA Hospice and we couldn’t have been more pleased,” she said. “The staff was amazing and made a difficult time much easier.”
Flash forward 23 years, when Doug’s parents began to fail. They were living independently in Rhode Island, but the time came when Doug and Beth convinced them to move closer. They originally moved into a local assisted living facility because Doug’s mom was coming out of a nursing home after a hospital stay. At the time they did not realize that Doug’s father, Ray, was also ill. Within a year, Ray was diagnosed with advanced lymphoma. It wasn’t long after that Beth knew that it was time to call hospice. Having previously experienced the care offered by Community VNA Hospice, Beth immediately knew who to call. “It was another very positive experience,” said Beth. “They helped us navigate the waters of who was responsible for what aspects of Ray’s care.”
“They came in and took charge during a very difficult time in our lives,” said Doug.
About two years later, in the fall of 2017, Marie’s health also began to fail. “COPD started to get the best of her,” Beth recalled. “We had just had a very positive experience with Hospice and Doug’s dad, so we knew exactly when to make the call.”
““We were lucky to have the same team from Community VNA Hospice take care of both Ray and Marie” said Doug. “Eileen Pinoos, Katherine Henderson, and Pat Broulette all did a wonderful job. They came in very organized at a when you can’t think, your completely confused, and you can’t make decisions.”
Although he has three siblings, Doug, an architect, is the only child who lives locally. As a result, Beth took on most of the day to day care of Doug’s parents. “To be able to make a phone call and know that within a matter of a short time you are going to have the support you need. It took the pressure off me as Doug’s wife,” Beth continued.
For more than 35 years, Community VNA Hospice & Palliative Care has been providing caring and compassionate care to families like the Annino’s. Colleen Swihart, Community VNA Hospice & Palliative Care manager adds, “Hospice is about helping families and loved ones live life as fully as possible, for as long as they have to live. If we can take the pressure off a family and keep their loved one comfortable, and symptoms under control, that gives the family and their loved one more quality time together, hopefully making the end of life process a little easier. That’s why we are here.”
This article was featured in the Community VNA 2017 Annual Report – View the rest of the report here.