Recently our philanthropy received an email from a gentleman named Mr. Yates and he was a little distressed. He went to our website to make a donation in memory of a friend and learned that Hospice of the Bluegrass is now Bluegrass Care Navigators. Mr. Yates voiced his sadness at this change.
I first met Mr. Yates almost four years ago when I asked if I could talk to him about his wife’s experience with hospice care. That was the day I first experienced his warmth and great love for his wife.
“Claudia was her name but anyone who knew her called her Bubbles,” Dan Yates said. When I asked where the nickname originated, Mr. Yates replied, “Well, it started out with her family calling her that when she was a baby, but it stuck. Everyone around town knew her as Bubbles, and it suited her. She was the kind of person who could magnetize a piece of wood,” he explained, “If you were around her for any length of time you were going to get attached to her, whether you wanted to or not. There was just a quality about her that made people fall in love with her. We were married for 29 years, and through good times and bad and she was wonderful to be around.”
Mrs. Yates battled COPD for fifteen years before being referred to Hospice.
“From the very beginning,” Mr. Yates said, “everyone was extremely professional, helpful and polite. We shared months of quality time we might not have had if not for Hospice.”
When Mr. Yates began talking about his family’s experiences with Hospice of the Bluegrass, his tone softened, and I could hear pride in his voice as he spoke, “The quality of care given to my wife wasn’t just five minutes here and ten minutes there. It was whatever amount of time it took to help her feel comfortable. The emotional support and the stability the Hospice staff gave us was incredible. And, when I say us, I seriously mean us because the whole time their concern was for our whole family. I don’t think Hospice singled us out; I think that’s just how the program is. That really means a lot to a person.”
After receiving his email, I invited Mr. Yates to meet me for lunch so we could catch up and I could hear his concerns about the organization’s new brand. He started our lunch by assuring me that he totally supports the organization, he was just a bit sad about the name change since Hospice of the Bluegrass meant so much to him and his family.
I assured Mr. Yates that hospice will remain at the heart of our mission. We changed our name to Bluegrass Care Navigators because we guide and provide care to more people in more ways at earlier stages of serious illness. We still have the same compassion and commitment that has always defined Hospice of the Bluegrass. Our new name reflects our growing range of services.
Mr. Yates once told me that his wife battled COPD for 15 years before she became a hospice patient. With the additional services, Bluegrass Care Navigators offers we could now have cared for Mrs. Yates long before she became hospice eligible. Our current services include:
- Bluegrass Extra Care – a private pay, personalized service for clients in their home, nursing or assisted living facility. Services can include homemaker/companionship, certified nursing assistants, sitters and skilled nursing.
- Bluegrass Transitional Care – a program recommended by the hospital or insurance to help patients after a hospitalization transition to care at home.
- Bluegrass Palliative Care – a physician consult service providing specialized medical care focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stresses of a serious illness, all with the goal of improving the quality of life.
- Bluegrass Hospice Care – a program providing expert care for the final months of life including, medical, nursing, emotional and spiritual support for the patient and entire family.
- Bluegrass Grief Care – a unique counseling service for support and guidance through anticipatory grief and bereavement.
I explained that Bluegrass Care Navigators is committed to delivering the right combination of care to meet the many needs of seriously ill and hospice patients – the right care, at the right time, at the right place.
Now that Mr. Yates understands that people at all stages of a serious illness can now receive the care and support his family once received, his initial distress has now turned to excitement and we ended our lunch discussing how he could help get the word out about these services.
We also agreed not to wait another four years before our next lunch.
For more information on supporting the patients and families cared for by Bluegrass Care Navigators, please contact Kim Livesay at 859.296.6867 or visit give.bgcarenav.org.