NORWICH – The forecast is calling for yet another beautiful day of sunshine Wednesday, and organizers of the Chenango County Hospice annual flower sale – slated for tomorrow – couldn’t ask for a better day.
Most stories would have a clever segue into a back story about the organization, but the topic of Hospice, palliative care and death in general is a sensitive one worthy of careful navigating.
Chenango County Hospice operates out of small office on Hayes Street in Norwich, performing tasks for – and giving comfort to – those who are facing death, something many choose not to think about until those service are needed.
The goal of the Hospice organization is to bring an overall sense of comfort to patients while they navigate their journey out of life and into death. Often, Hospice caregivers assist families, not just patients, and find the closure necessary for surviving loved ones to move on.
Bob Oehme's father passed away about a year ago after he and his family were confronted with the fact that there was nothing more physicians could do, aside for some experimental procedures. The family had already been though a courageous battle that included radiation therapy, and the elder Oehme made it clear that he wanted to live out his remaining time in comfort.
“He wanted some quality of life before he died, and nothing to do with any sort of lengthy stay in a hospital,” said Oehme of his late father.
While visiting with an oncologist at the V.A. Clinic, it was suggested to the elder Oehme that he seek Hospice service. “They were at the house within the week assessing dad's needs and talking with my mother see what they could do for her as well, and they always included my wife and myself as we are a very tight-knit family.” said Oehme. “His first nurse visit was with Cassandra, and she was wonderful and very caring.