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Caring For The Caregiver As Well As The Patient

“They were like family to my Dad.”

That is what Randy Bevins valued about Bluegrass Hospice Care. Randy’s father, Everett, 86, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018, ultimately spreading to his leg in July 2020. It metastasized from there into small cell cancer. He was in the hospital when he was introduced to hospice - which Randy stated was a blessing. Randy was grateful for his family coming in from Ohio and other local family who assisted as well.

Randy and Everett both felt relieved with the support and care they received while Everett was in hospice care. “Betty and Jim were his nurses, the practitioners, bereavement, a minister, social worker – we were on a first name basis,” Randy said. “If I had a question, I never had to wait more than 10-15 minutes for a call back. They were always right there.”

Betty Robinette was one of his nurses. “Everett was such a sweet and humble man. He always took pride in sharing his life stories and he was so proud of his accomplishments. We would joke with each other and he would just light up with joy,” she said.

Evert also looked forward to seeing his certified nursing assistants, Alex and Taylor, who came to the house every Monday through Friday to help with his personal care needs. Randy said, “They were wonderful. My dad called them his angels. They were like his kids. He loved them all and he looked forward to the conversations. They didn’t rush…you can’t rush the process when you are taking care of someone.”

Taylor, his CNA, said of Everett, “He was a blessing to take care of because he considered us more like family than caregivers. He always told us his day never started until his “girls” got there. We loved hearing about his life stories as a truck driver. He told us we always put a smile on his face because we said or did things to make him laugh. His way of telling us goodbye at the end of our visits was to hug us, kisses on the check, and tell us he loved us...we loved him!” Alex, his other CNA, said, “Everett and his son were always so kind. Everett would always be making jokes with us. He thought us as family and would tell us he loved us every time we leave. It was a pleasure taking care of him.”

For people like Randy, who was helping his dad and trying to manage his business remotely, hospice provided vital support and help with the needs of his father’s end-of-life journey. Hospice not only takes care of the patient, but the caregivers as well. Randy acknowledges the education and support he received throughout this journey. “Bluegrass (Hospice Care) taught me, they educated me,” he says.

“My father had three goals – one, to live to his 86th birthday; second, be here Christmas Day; and third, finish out the year 2020,” Randy said. He accomplished all his goals.

And when the time came on the second day of January 2021, Randy was up all night holding his hand. “Betty helped me – her and Jim – to know what does this look like? How do I know? They walked me through the signs and everything they told me was happening." Everett passed on January 3rd with family by his side.

“At 6:09 a.m., he took his last breath. I called him my superhero. I knew he could hear me, and faintly his head turned,” Randy said. “I told him ‘Daddy, you are my superhero. It is ok to go home’.”

“My experience was remarkable with Bluegrass (Hospice). I felt a great bond, a great family. I built a relationship with them - we built a great relationship.”

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