Gaiana and John Tapscott: From long-term volunteers to clients

Gaiana and John Tapscott were no strangers to EveryStep Care & Support Services. The couple served as long-term volunteers for the non-profit organization’s hospice program.

When John became ill, requiring in-home care of his own, the couple knew where to turn. 

“We were both very strong believers of non-profit organizations,” Gaiana recalls of the decision to seek out EveryStep. “They provided excellent care as far as physical care and they were good to talk to when we needed support.”

John would spend two-and-a-half years as a patient of EveryStep Hospice, receiving care primarily at home. When it became clear that John’s time was running short, Gaiana remembers the support and help she received.  Even when Gaiana could no longer take care of him at home alone, EveryStep caregivers made it their goal to help John stay at home.

“Because it was so important to us, it was important to [EveryStep Hospice],” Gaiana recalls of John’s wish to die at home.

Gaiana’s journey with EveryStep didn’t end when John passed. Instead, she continued to lean on the organization as she dealt with her grief and adjusted to life without her husband. Over time, Gaiana learned how to deal with her loss, thanks in part to her time in EveryStep’s grief support group.

“There’s no way to explain your ever-changing feelings, yet the people in the group just seem to understand there is often no explanation to justify the existence of those feelings,” Gaiana says about the support group.  “We were each there to care for ourselves, yet everyone was gentle and reassuring with one another.”

This story is an edited excerpt of a piece written by Drake University student Calista Tonnesen.