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David Lowrey and his wife, Sue, enjoy a visit from fellow Rotarians during a trip to the Dr. Bob Kemp Hospice. Also pictured is Bill Armstrong.

Care and compassion

Hospice helps when living at home becomes difficult

 It was an overcast, rainy morning but by 7:15 a.m., 20 members of the Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club had made their way to the Dr. Bob Kemp Hospice for their weekly breakfast meeting. The early rising Rotarians travelled to the hospice to allow one of their own to enjoy the camaraderie and share in the local news.

David Lowrey, a longtime Dundas resident, has been at the Kemp Hospice for the past month and thoroughly enjoyed visiting fellow club members.

Jan Nichols, the hospice’s director of development, spoke about Dr. Bob Kemp and the residential hospice he worked so hard to see completed. A short video, featuring David and his wife Sue expounding on the many virtues of the hospice was shown before the couple gave a guided tour of the residence.

Since David has been at the hospice, the couple has celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary with a dinner for two, complete with white tablecloths and napkins and a glass of wine. Chinese food was brought in by the family for an Easter dinner and again for their son’s birthday. David, 71, was diagnosed with prostate cancer six years ago.

“I was never sick, never missed a day of work in 25 years,” he said.

Although an operation helped David for a few years, in January 2014 the family had to accept there was nothing more that could be done.

“It is what it is,” said David.

Living at home with his disabilities became very difficult and took their toll on Sue. Although David received help from St. Elizabeth nurses, VON and a son who lives at home, Sue had the ultimate responsibility. Since he has been at the hospice, David appreciates that his wife can now have some semblance of normalcy.

“Sue can enjoy more of the everyday things that we all take for granted without the feelings of frustration and failure that were part of our daily routine,” he said.

David grins from ear-to-ear as he talks about the simple pleasure of being able to have a bath at the hospice. With special equipment, patients are lifted into the bath tub and enjoy low lights and soft music designed to provide a relaxing atmosphere.

David described the bathing experience as “pure joy.”

Most of the Rotarians who visited David had not been to the hospice  and comments ranged from, “beautiful, enlightening and impressive.” For more information on the Dr. Bob Kemp Hospice, 277 Stone Church Rd. E., Hamilton, call 905-387-2448 or visit kemphospice.org.

 

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