A family’s story of their experience at the Shanti Niketan Hospice Home
We are grateful to David Coomer and Jon Coomer for sharing their family’s experience while their father, Willard Coomer, was a patient at the Shanti Niketan Hospice Home.
Our dad was diagnosed with lung cancer, and he battled that as long as he could. We kept him home and took care of him as long as we were able to. His last treatments knocked the wind out of his sails, and he was hospitalized for a week. We did not think he was going to make it through that. We were faced with the decision of what we were going to do next.
We started to look at long term care, because there was just no way we could bring him home, and there was no one we could hire to look after him. We were going to be discharged from the hospital, so the social worker there gave us some options and put us in touch with the Shanti Niketan Hospice Home. We worked out the arrangements and went straight from the hospital to the Hospice Home.
Before his last visit to the hospital, dad was living alone, and we were checking in on him quite a bit. He was very independent and was cooking his own meals for the most part. He was driving up until he went into the hospital. He had never been to a facility before, and he was always a homebody. The Hospice Home felt like home to him.
From the get go it was such a wonderful experience. We were very impressed as soon as we walked in. What impressed us even more what just the care that he got from everybody – from the nurses, administrators, doctors, nutrition staff, housekeepers. Everyone seemed to know what they were doing.
When faced with a loved one having to go into hospice care for a terminal illness, we felt like the Shanti Niketan Hospice Home was the best option we had in south central Kentucky. We were satisfied with the treatment plan, medication, meals, and the level of treatment he received. The facility was so nice and clean, and the visitation policy was wonderful.
Anything we asked for or about they would do. Anytime we called they would stop what they were doing and give us an update – good day or bad day. The nurses and staff would also call to give updates or check on if he could receive pain medication, especially when he was clearly hurting but did not want to ask for anything.
For the month that we were there, it felt like home. If I had food to eat I could go to the kitchen area and eat. I could make phone calls or sit with dad and watch TV. If he pushed the call button, the nurses were right there. They really kept his spirits up. Either myself or my brother were down there every day. He had lots of visitors, and no visitor was ever turned away. We were very pleased with the level care that we had.
They were all very professional and all very candid when we talked with the doctors and nurses about his treatment and diagnosis. They were very honest about what we could expect as far as the timeline of events that would take place with dad’s death.
The staff was great at reminding us about the use of the kitchen, prayer room, meditation, etc. One of the nurses would come and sit and chat with Dad about anything. They were always there – like the perfect customer service – if you needed them they were there but they weren’t hovering.
His ending was very peaceful. A lot of people feel guilty not being able to keep their family member in their home. We knew he needed to be taken care of, and we knew that he was not going to be able to come home, so this option gave us peace of mind.
The staff at Shanti Niketan Hospice Home adopted dad as their own. His nurse even came to the funeral home – crying right along with us.
We told some family friends who were in a similar situation about the Shanti Niketan Hospice Home, and they took their mother there and they also loved the facility.
If we encounter a family facing a similar problem we were facing, we are quick to tell them if they haven’t been down to the Shanti Niketan Hospice Home they need to go visit and check out the facility. This is the best place you can go for end of life care. Shanti Niketan Hospice Home gave us the peace of mind that we didn’t know we needed.
Moving dad to Shanti Niketan Hospice Home was the best decision that we could have made during his entire sickness. The care that he received there was top notch. The nurses all took care of dad – they loved him, and he loved them, too. The whole experience was really great.