Connecting Family During The Pandemic: Hospice Patient Eleanor Cebuhar

patient "I can see you other than just in my dreams."
That was Eleanor Cebuhar's reaction the first time she was able to FaceTime her daughter Susan who lives in Washington state.
The virtual face-to-face meeting was made possible in part by Eleanor's EveryStep Hospice team in Centerville, which acquired a mini iPad to improve Eleanor’s quality of life during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When the pandemic began, the fairly active lifestyle Eleanor lived came to a sudden halt.
She was no longer able to take walks or trips to Walmart with staff from her assisted living facility in Centerville. But maybe most difficult to accept were the restrictions on visitors and attending her long-time church.
This has been particularly difficult with one of Eleanor's daughters, Susan, who lives in Washington state. While Susan would love to visit her mother during this time to ease her anxiety, it's simply not possible.
Even if Susan were to make the trip to Iowa, she wouldn't be guaranteed to see her mother with current restrictions in place.
"At this time nobody but essential staff can get in to see residents," Mary Jo McLain, EveryStep Hospice social worker says. "Eleanor has started to get restless. Quarantine has taken away many of Eleanor's life enjoyments."
One shining light for Eleanor came when she learned that her church, St. Mary's Catholic Church, would be streaming their services online. However, Eleanor had no way of actually catching a service. Instead, she was relegated to watching another church’s services aired on TV.
That's when Mary Jo came up with the idea to gift Eleanor an iPad mini through EveryStep's Quality of Life program, which grants wishes to patients and clients served by the non-profit.
"She had verbalized to staff and her children that she would like to view her parish mass, not just a random mass on television," Mary Jo recalls. "The staff at Homestead have agreed to help Eleanor get connect to WiFi to access her church mass recordings and visit with family over FaceTime. This would really improve her quality of life."
Eleanor was ecstatic to recently receive her new refurbished iPad mini through the Quality of Life program.
Susan, Eleanor's daughter, noted that her mother was "so happy" and immediately stated "Oh, I can see you" when the duo began to FaceTime.
"It's like you are in the room, this has been such a gift, I can not explain," Eleanor exclaimed.
EveryStep strives to provide clients and their families with compassionate care. One way EveryStep does this is through a Quality of Life program that assists clients and their families, whether that be paying for utilities because finances are tight or fulfilling end-of-life wishes, creating lasting memories for patients and their families.
You, too, can contribute to EveryStep’s Quality of Life program by supporting the EveryStep Foundation. For more information on the EveryStep Foundation and donation options, click here.