‘John Kelsey’s daughter shared her personal experience with Suncoast Hospice and how it helped her family navigate the end-of-life journey of her father,’ said Karen Davis-Pritchett, M.Ed.
BY KAREN DAVIS-PRITCHETT, M.Ed. | Empath Health Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
PINELLAS COUNTY — For more than two years, I have been privileged to inform readers about the care and services Empath Health and its affiliate organizations provide to the community. I thought it might be meaningful for the next few articles to let those who have benefited from those services share their stories.
Today, I’d like to introduce Sylvia C. Kelsey, a realtor who lives and works in Pinellas County. She shared her personal experience with Suncoast Hospice and how it helped her family navigate the end-of-life journey of her father, John Kelsey.
Davis-Pritchett: How did you hear about hospice services for your loved one?
Kelsey: My mother worked in healthcare and had knowledge of hospice.
Davis-Pritchett: Which hospice support was the most helpful for you or your family?
Kelsey: The nurses who cared for my father. We started with three days a week, but my mom, being 83 years old, could not lift my father. We did our best, but it was difficult. We asked for five days a week, and they immediately said, “Yes.” This was a huge weight off our shoulders, knowing my father would be dry and comfortable every day.
Davis-Pritchett: What do you want to share with our communities about your hospice experience?
Kelsey: Suncoast Hospice was the support my family needed in day-to-day care. It gave my mother a break from physically caring for my father, but it also gave her an opportunity to take a mental break from being concerned about his well-being, even if for a short time. The nurses were very kind and communicative. They always wanted to know how they could do more.
Davis-Pritchett: What was something that you learned about Suncoast Hospice that you didn’t know until they started taking care of your loved one?
Kelsey: We found out that once hospice comes in, you no longer have to deal with the doctors and insurance (in most cases). Hospice took care of all the logistics and gave my mother peace of mind of not having to call or take calls from the insurance companies.
Hospice made the transition easy and stress-free—everything from his medical equipment, such as a hospital bed and oxygen tank, to his medication. Nothing was ever a second thought. They really made our family comfortable and trusting in their services.
Davis-Pritchett: What would you like to share with families that may need Suncoast Hospice services?
Kelsey: I would tell them they are missing out on the best care they could ever receive for themselves, but also the best support from dedicated and qualified people who care. In most cases, you do not have to pay a dime to hospice. It is definitely the best experience for anyone caring for a family member or friend at home.
To learn more about Suncoast Hospice, visit SuncoastHospice.org or call (727) 467-7423.