A father is often a first source of strength, comfort, and security for a daughter. The special bond they develop is unlike any other, and it’s one which is rarely outgrown. As life evolves and changes, so does this relationship, and many daughters find themselves caring for their fathers as they once did for them.
Rachel Boudreau, daughter of Paul Boudreau, Hospice & Palliative Care of Northeastern Connecticut patient, always had a close relationship with her father. She has countless memories and stories of her dad, who she describes as kind, caring and loyal. The care Rachel provided for Paul through a lung cancer diagnosis, and ultimately, his end-of-life journey, is reflective of his love and care of her.
With her mother, Monica, at her side, Rachel advocated for her father’s health care wishes through surgeries, countless medical appointments and eventually hospice care. After 7 years of battling cancer, Paul’s health finally began to deteriorate, and Rachel knew it was time to forgo any additional medical treatment and prioritize his quality of life and spending valuable time together.
With the decision to focus on comfort, Rachel enlisted the help of Hospice & Palliative Care of Northeastern Connecticut to keep her father at home and surrounded by loved ones during his final days. While the weight of that decision was initially tough to bear, Rachel and her family immediately found the support and comfort they needed.
“The Hospice & Palliative Care team helped us feel empowered and confident in taking care of my dad the way that we did,” Rachel said. “I don’t think we could have done it without them.”
Rachel hopes others who are faced with a similar situation — the serious illness or approaching death of a loved one — will be able to experience the same support they received from compassionate, experienced experts in hospice care.
“I can’t stress enough to people who are going through this with their family members how important it is to make that call to Hospice & Palliative Care of Northeastern Connecticut as early as possible,” Rachel said. “If we could do anything over again, I would have called Hospice sooner.”
Even though Paul’s time on hospice care was brief, those days were the most critical in ensuring his final wishes were honored and allowing his family to focus on making the most of their time with him. A few short days after celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary with Monica, Paul died peacefully, surrounded by family, in his home in August 2021 at the age of 77.
Rachel will always remember the care, compassion and empathy demonstrated by the Hospice & Palliative Care of Northeastern Connecticut team. She truly believes they equipped her with the strength and skills necessary to effectively care for her father, just as he had done for her.
Hospice is a specialized form of medical care that seeks to provide comfort and maintain a patient’s quality of life for those facing a life-limiting illness, disease or terminal condition. It helps patients and their families address the complex issues related to serious illness — including medical, emotional, psychological, social and spiritual needs. The earlier hospice services are initiated, the more time available for the individual and family to benefit from the services.
Hospice & Palliative Care of Northeastern Connecticut is a Medicare certified hospice program, licensed by the state of Connecticut and is accredited by The Joint Commission. To learn more about Hospice & Palliative Care of Northeastern Connecticut, and other home care services available at Day Kimball Healthcare At Home, please visit www.daykimball.org/athome.
PHOTO CAPTION: Rachel Boudreau of Eastford, Connecticut, and hair dresser at the Strand Hair Salon in Putnam, reflects on her father’s final days on hospice care.