4/2021: Our family received wonderful care when my father was on service five years ago for seven months. EVERYONE from Hospice Austin provided him and my entire family care that was above and beyond during that time. I would like to commend Hospice Austin once again, this time for the services provided to my mother. The reason we got her on service is because she had quit eating without assistance, was becoming barely responsive and sleeping all the time. Once Katie worked with her doctor to get her meds managed, we discovered that her meds were what was causing her confusion. Ever since she has been on service AND off her meds, she is now feeding herself, is alert and happy, and even walking with assistance, which we thought we would never see again. So thank you, once again, for making a difference!!
4/2021: Loved my entire hospice team. Even when my dad had to go to memory care facility. I trusted their evaluations more than the facility. They were my peace-of-mind and I never could’ve made it through this experience without them! They are all beyond amazing in their care of my dad and also my family.
4/2021: I can’t imagine having a better team and can only hope that when my time comes, I receive the same level of care.
4/2021: I am forever grateful for the help we received from Hospice Austin. Every single hospice representative was compassionate, caring, and helpful. It was a very sad and scary time for me to watch my mother die. She was in so much pain, and as a caregiver it was conflicting to see her and to know she needed so much medicine. Hospice helped me!
4/2021: Equipment my wife needed was delivered in hours not days. The hospice team made my wife comfortable during her final days and for that, her family is grateful.
4/2021: My hospice group was the best. I was totally lost. Diane Wagner, with Hospice Austin and Radhika Nayak, with Austin Palliative Care, was my lifesaver. Very thankful.
4/2021: My loved one was very fond of and particularly enjoyed the Spanish-speaking aides who bathed her, two ladies who were very friendly and kind. Their assistance was very helpful.
4/2021: Hospice Austin is the best! No one else even comes close to the quality of care we receive. Hospice Austin will always be our first and only choice.
4/2021: John Beaver was an excellent nurse and a fine human being. He established rapport with my husband immediately, and this wasn’t an easy thing to do. We looked forward to John’s visits. His personal care aides were all good. He especially liked Jack. I think it was a guy thing.
3/2021: As an oncologist, I am dedicated to the excellent care of cancer patients. Although we work tirelessly for cures, sometimes this is not possible and patients die of their disease. I believe every patient and every patient’s family should have the support and care they need through the dying process. Hospice Austin is a non-profit organization in which every person is dedicated to the same goal: the relief of suffering. They provide outstanding and compassionate care regardless of the ability to pay. We in Austin are privileged to have them as a resource in our community.
3/2021: My parents both received care from Hospice Austin at the end of their lives. The support they gave our family made a lasting impact on me. Our parents were proud of their home and built it when they were young newlyweds. We were able to give them the gift of dying at home because of Hospice Austin’s services. Everyone we dealt with from Hospice Austin showed compassion towards our family and treated Mom and Dad with the utmost respect and dignity. Helping someone you love die is incredibly difficult, heart-wrenching, and stressful. I am not sure we would have made it without Hospice Austin. They were there from the beginning and walked the journey beside us until the end.
3/2021: Growing up in Austin, I heard the names “Hospice Austin” and “Christopher House” many times. It did not mean much to me personally until I was 22, a recent college graduate, and my mother had been given two weeks to live. As an only child of a single parent, I was overwhelmed with fear and sadness. The staff at Hospice Austin gracefully stepped in, and over the course of four weeks, prepared me as much as possible for what was to come and, in the end, walked me through what would happen as my mother passed on. The day of my mom’s passing, I called for a nurse early that morning. I had some concerns and wanted to make sure she wasn’t in any pain. A nurse arrived shortly thereafter, made my mom more comfortable and went on to see her other patients. A couple of hours later, the phone rang. It was the hospice nurse. She asked if she could come back to check on my mom. She returned, and within 10 minutes of her arrival, she came downstairs to tell me it was time to say goodbye. As I walked into my mother’s bedroom, expecting the grim and frail woman I’d grown used to seeing, I noticed the nurse had taken special care to prop her up, brush her hair and move her closer to light coming through the window. She looked so much more peaceful and dignified. In those very last moments, I was so thankful to have her there with me. I was able to have a peaceful, powerful and final experience with my mom before she was gone. It was the hardest few minutes of my life. But, instead of fear and uncertainty, I felt sure of what was happening and could better process it all. About 18 months later I was battling some grief and sadness I needed to work through. So, I turned to the only place I knew: Hospice Austin. I began seeing one of their bereavement counselors and continued it for eight months. My first six sessions were complimentary because my mom was a Hospice Austin patient, and the subsequent sessions were based on my income, making it affordable to me. My counseling with Hospice Austin was absolutely life-changing. It provided me a sense of peace and allowed me to grow in ways I couldn’t have expected. It was one of the best things I have ever done. It was also, yet again, an example of how they help those in need regardless of their financial position.
3/2021: I’m proud to support this organization because it sets a standard for end of life care for other hospice programs to aspire to.
3/2021: Hospice Austin has the best staff that deeply cares for their patients and their families. They live their mission.
3/2021: As an exhausted caregiver, Hospice Austin helped me to survive a devastating era in my life. They were a Godsend with care for my late wife and to me as well. Their counseling services also helped me to get back on my feet and back into this life.
3/2021: I am proud to support the Christopher House because they took in my mother, Cecilia Puentes and took her pain away when no other place could. The care they show is like no other facility and I will forever be grateful to every staff member.
3/2021: I love the people that work here. My Mom was in their care and left this Earth 2/23/21. I loved each caregiver that came into the room with us, the level of love, care, and compassion shown is more than I could ever explain. I appreciate that love that was given not to just my Mom, but to me in a very emotional time.
2/2021: I have a hard time finding adequate words to describe the loving care provided by Hospice Austin. They provided care for my friend for almost a year, first in her home and later in a skilled nursing facility. I was extremely impressed by the professionalism and compassion. The staff spent extra time with her when she felt fearful and anxious, providing emotional and spiritual care that helped her through the most challenging days. They were responsive to her needs, easy to reach, and kept her as pain-free as possible. They administered an abundance of love, respect, and dignity every step of the way. In the darkness of a painful terminal illness, the Hospice Austin staff provided a shining light of care and compassion.
2/2021: I’d like to express our sincere gratitude for the care provided to our Mother by Hospice Austin. Everyone with whom we have interacted there has always been exceptionally helpful, kind, and patient. Hospice support has been invaluable as we cared for my mother both at Buckner Villas and in my home. In particular, I would like to thank Regina Graham for providing my mother with phenomenal nursing care over many years and for the skilled calm she brought to many situations. I’d also like to thank chaplain Katrina Shawgo for her consistently gentle reassurances, social worker Emily Dow for offering her services where appropriate, and multiple CNAs who ably assisted my mother. The compassionate care that my mother received by Hospice Austin did not go unnoticed and was greatly appreciated. We have taken the liberty of requesting that donations be made to Hospice Austin in my mother’s name in lieu of flowers.
2/2021: Hospice Austin helped me to take care of my Mum during her final weeks. I shall never forget the staff’s kindness; I shall continue to donate in her name.
2/2021: The entire team was a blessing to work with both medically and emotionally.
2/2021: The hospice care was amazing. He liked all his nurses, doctors, and helpers while receiving at home care.
2/2021: They were very loving to me and my mom.
2/2021: The nurse practitioner and team nurse ended up being a fantastic team.
1/2021: When it was dark enough, I could see the stars, the stars of Dr. Frellsen, of Tanya Watkins, of Mudita, of Nurys, of Chelsey. They were a constant stability in times of need. They provided utter compassionate care to my mother. If there were angels on earth, they would be it, too. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
1/2021: My husband was delirious and desperately sick when Hospice Austin came to the rescue. They restored his well-being, giving him good times with friends and family that he enjoyed, and he got to be at home.
1/2021: It was the best care I could have asked for. They were excellent. Anything I needed or wanted they provided. Never hesitated. It was always that day or the next. I couldn’t have done this without them and they were always there.
1/2021: Paula Pratte was the RN most directly involved with my wife’s care. Paula’s medical skill was first rate but she also recognized my wife’s spiritual needs. Paula made arrangements for her to receive last rites the last afternoon of her life.
1/2021: I will forever be grateful to his nurses and chaplain who were with me from the moment he started passing until we wheeled his flag-covered body out to “Taps” with all the doctors and staff saluting a US Navy veteran at 2 am in the middle of a pandemic.
1/2021: Patricia Smith, our nurse, was extraordinary! She gets all the praise. Patricia understood our family culture and was truly insightful about our interests and needs.
1/2021: Princess Diana was loving and kind! She is a terrific person. She did all she could to make us all feel comfortable with the process. She nicknamed herself Princess Diana because Mom had a memory issue and she was from England. My mother loved calling her Princess Diana!!
1/2021: Our nurse at the Christopher House, Keisha Jones, was amazing. She was truly an angel that made this difficult process easier. She was very attentive to my husband and made sure my whole family was cared for physically and emotionally.
1/2021: All the staff at Hospice Austin was amazing! The director facetimed Mom to answer what’s next in her dying process, Greg was always very positive and patient to my thousands of questions, every day of Mom’s last 2 weeks, Rebecca patiently listened to me as I voiced my doubts and reassured me, Katrina’s support, encouragement and checking to see if Mom and I were okay. The night nurse on call every night of Mom’s last week patiently helped me brainstorm on what we could do to help Mom. The day Mom died, she called to tell me how sorry she was and that I did a good job helping Mom die the way she wanted to. I’ll never forget what she did!
1/2021: Thank you, Hospice Austin, for caring for my Dad. These are very trying times and we appreciate all your team did to help us with Dad’s transition — Paula, Jack, Mike and Chaplain Reynolds. God bless you and keep you all safe!
1/2021: I am so grateful for every employee at Hospice Austin. Real heroes work there and make a difference in the lives of so many. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
12/2020: I can’t begin to thank you and your team enough for all the care you provided my mom. And the incredible support to my brother. Your kind words, continued support, and immense care has been outstanding. I also thank you and your team for working so hard in what has become an unbelievable situation with Covid. I pray all the time for all care workers as you folks are really being put in a difficult situation. I am so thankful that god blessed you with this incredible gift of caring for those facing death. Your strength, care, and compassion is exactly what we all need. Thank you again for EVERYTHING you have done. I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
11/2020: Hospice Austin is a true blessing to our community. Everyone, from the intake staff to the caregivers, goes above and beyond to make sure that not only the patient but the entire family is well cared for. Our loved one has been paired with an incredible nurse practitioner, Brian, who has truly been making the very best of our situation. We are beyond grateful. Please continue in your great work.
10/2020: The care we received at Christopher House was such a gift and blessing to my family. I hope all who work there know how important they are to the people they help through the worst time of their lives.
9/2020: Hospice Austin, and the staff were angels during a very difficult time for my family. It was amazing how they worked. When I look back, there was definitely a system in place, because it ran flawlessly. From the nurses, social workers, chaplain…….even paying my mom’s utility bills. It all was there just in time. We were not waiting for help. The people are what made it special. His last days were not chaotic, but was a process and a time for healing for my family. My mom still talks about it today, and raves about Hospice Austin to anyone who will listen.
8/2020: The picture on this card reminds me of all the kindness, loving care, and support my husband and I received from the amazing professionals of Hospice Austin, both at our home and at Christopher House.
The many branches are holding different beautiful birds, like your staff (Patricia Smith and Imelda Salazar) who helped both of us during his three weeks in our living room hospital bed. Despite his advanced Parkinson’s, Patricia’s wisdom and suggestions helped him during his last conscious frustrating days and Imelda’s skilled ministrations helped him stay clean and comfortable when I no longer could.
His last night at home he was in overwhelming distress. Patricia quickly arranged a transfer to the wonderful Christopher House. There, 24-hour care and attention for him, and verbal support for me by all the professional branches of the inpatient staff continued for the rest of his days….
Your skills, your love, your wisdom sing!!!
With love and appreciation.
7/2020: Hospice Austin is a blessing to our community. The dedication and kindness they provided my mother made her struggle, and ours, less painful. Thank you to all the employees and volunteer angels at Hospice Austin and Christopher house.
6/2020: I wanted to reach out to you to express my gratitude for the heartfelt support I have received from Social Worker Rachel Poppers. The care that she and John gave my husband during his last days here with us was incredible and very supportive. Since his death, Rachel has been there for my every need and has gone beyond my expectations. Every brick wall I hit trying to tie up his death records, Rachel was there for me. She was able to provide support for me for things I could never have accomplished on my own. During this difficult time with Covid 19, every place I needed to contact was closed and not answering their phones. She provided me places and numbers to call that have helped me tremendously. She was able to get me exactly what I needed during this very stressful time. I could not and would not be as far into this process without her, so I just wanted to take a few minutes to let you know what an ASSET she is to your company. She is the perfect person for her position. Her calming demeanor and willingness to help me with whatever I needed — I just can’t put into words how grateful I am. She has made my life better during this unbearably difficult time. I will always hold her in my heart for being there for me.
5/2020: My sisters and I would like to tell you about our positive experiences working with Mom’s nurse, Tania Watkins, over the last few years.
Tania has always been a very kind and caring nurse to our Mom, and in fact, Tania also took care of our Dad before he passed in April of 2016. Over these years, we saw Tania about once a week while she visited our parents at Highland Estates, then our Mom at Covenant House, and more recently at my sister’s home in Cedar Park.
Our parents always felt comfortable and well cared for when Tania would visit them, talk with them, check their vitals, listen to their concerns, etc. Our parents trusted Tania and looked forward to her weekly visits. Tania has a great bedside manner and was always very professional, extremely courteous and caring and provided our parents, and our entire family with a sense of comfort that our needs and concerns were always heard and taken care of. Tania encouraged open communication between all of us and any of us were able to reach out to her with any specific concerns or questions. If Tania ever needed to re-schedule an appointment, which was very rare, she would always notify us and let us know and Tania always responded to our emails in a timely manner.
Tania always made sure we had whatever supplies or equipment we needed, as the needs of our parents changed, and often made recommendations or suggestions to help our parents stay safe and comfortable. Tania always orchestrated the receipt and return of equipment and helped make that part of the process easy and stress-free.
Tania took great care to discuss different medication options for both of our parents when needed, and always followed up closely, especially with our Mom, as we learned that our Mom did not tolerate many medications very well. Tania worked closely with Dr. Fredholm and was very attentive when we had concerns or questions about medications. Tania was especially helpful in guiding us in how to administer medications in different ways once swallowing became difficult (crushed and mixed with applesauce, using a syringe, etc.)
After my sister brought Mom into her home last summer, Tania talked to us about the respite options we could use to give my sister and her husband some much needed relief since they had become full-time caregivers, 24/7. We all appreciated and welcomed all the suggestions Tania offered us over the years to make the extremely challenging job of caring for our aging parents manageable.
We give Tania much praise for all the work she does for Hospice Austin and, especially, for all the comfort and support she has provided for our parents and our family over these past years.
4/2020: A friend of mine was recently admitted to Hospice Austin’s care after she and her husband decided it was time. Her mom was able to make it into town before flights shut down, but the family has been physically isolated for a while now. They are so grateful for the support the hospice team has given them, now more than ever when their friends can’t be there. Please pass along to all the teams how grateful they — and all their patients I’m sure — are for the support they are giving. My friends truly appreciate that hospice workers are putting themselves on the front line to ease their burden, and I personally am so thankful that someone is able to be there in their home for them right now, when we cannot.
3/2020: I have been in touch with [the patient’s] caregiver regularly for the last week or so, and so I know how present Hospice Austin has been in their home over last few days. I have heard about all the kind ways that RN Jason Snedgar-Hernandez and CNA Brenda Maul-Diaz have shown both the patient and the caregivers so much love and care, and how helpful the visit by Juan the chaplain was yesterday. I believe that Jason even brought dinner over last night when he visited. Please let them know how much their work was appreciated by the caregiver and admired by me.
2/2020: This place was an incredible blessing to our family during my grandmother’s final days with us. They kept her comfortable and it allowed us to be with her 24/7. Also, it afforded us the privacy we desired as a family to say our goodbyes and for her to pass from this life with dignity and grace!
1/2020: I felt the team was always professional, always attentive to my mother’s needs and patient with me. Debbie Cooper, RN, is so present and so helpful. The RN who came to pronounce my mother was kind, respectful, and got everything taken care of. The chaplain was so helpful in making my mother’s memorial service just right, and Amy offered to sing, which was so appreciated. I have written cards to all of them. The difference between for-profit and not-for-profit hospices is night and day!
12/2019: Hospice Austin’s Christopher House is absolutely outstanding. It is spotless, beautiful, and peaceful. Best in the USA. The loving personnel showed tremendous caring for family members. Hospice Austin’s bereavement program and counseling is equally outstanding.
11/2019: Hospice Austin’s Christopher House was an incredible blessing to our family during my grandmother’s final days with us. They kept her comfortable and it allowed us to be with her 24/7. Also, it afforded us the privacy we desired as a family to say our goodbyes and for her to pass from this life with dignity and grace!
10/2019: You provided wonderful caring comfort for my mother, who passed away in September. The care and compassion you provided made the whole experience very special and the care you showed for our family was truly appreciated. You provide a very critical service for the community. We only hope our donation can help provide for more family moments to experience your care and comfort. Keep up the good work.
9/2019: My Aunt is a retired hospice nurse. When we found out my dad was terminal, I called and asked her who she would recommend and who to stay away from. She said your first choice is Hospice Austin if you can get them. We were in shock still but called and someone came out and truly just spelled out next steps, here is what you can do etc. Then we got our team. Krista was just amazing. She was SO compassionate but matter of fact. First thing she did was tell us what equipment she thought we might need. They delivered it before dad was even released from hospital. Everything we asked for was delivered so quickly. She would advise us on what was happening. When the end was near, she checked on us several times a day. We had private home health 24 hrs towards the end to help. Hospice Austin worked so well with the coordination between them. When the end came (early hours of the morning) they had someone on site within 20 min of us calling them to say he had passed. I cannot say enough about how wonderful the entire team was with my entire family.
8/2019: It was a Hospice Austin on-call nurse who came out to the house for what we thought was a minor issue for dad but when she got there she quickly determined he was actively dying – we had no idea. Because of her, we were able to get the whole family over or on the phone by early morning when dad peacefully passed away surrounded by family. She stayed with us for a good part of the night and another on-call nurse came out early in the morning and was there when dad passed. I don’t know what we would have done without them! Not just for the diagnosis but for knowing what to do to provide dad the most comfort through the night. Because of them my kids got to say goodbye to their granddaddy. When they arrived and he heard their voices he smiled for the first time all night and then went on to heaven.
7/2019: I am a patient and I love their caring people. From my nurse down to my CNAs, Socialworker and Chaplain. If I need something they are right on it. I am so grateful to have them.
6/2019: We had a lovely experience with in-home hospice. Nurse Debbie Cooper will forever be a part of us. We are so grateful for her and the experience with Hospice Austin.
5/2019: So thankful I was holding my Dad’s hand when he walked into Heaven‘s doors. He smiled and chuckled once right before taking his final breath as if he saw a friend he has known forever. Dad, you’ll be missed but how can I be sad when I saw that look of relief and joy on your face? I know you’re walking with brand new legs now and no more pain. See you again one day.
4/2019: Dear Hospice Family, We wish to thank the Red Team, especially nurse Jamie Wilson and CNA Jack Harrison, who treated [our loved one] with absolute respect. The rest of the team were most helpful as needed, but Jamie and Jack were especially wonderful. From beginning to end, they worked with our family for his care and finally, a comfort-filled death. Our family greatly appreciates your team helping [our loved one] to finally achieve his A+ in dying.
3/2019: Thank you to the wondrous place called Christopher House and Hospice Austin. Dr Galusha, all the nurses and certified nurse assistants are very caring and dedicated to their patients. Her final nine days felt like Angels were caring for her. A very special place in our hearts will always be the people of Hospice Austin and its facilities.
2/2019: How do I even put into words the love and care that Hospice Austin provided for our family. On 04/17/2017 I gave birth to my son Noah, through the whole pregnancy nothing was ever detected through sonograms or the basic genetic testing that they do at the beginning our pregnancy all we knew we were having a healthy child. But on 04/17/2017 the day he was born, they noticed my son had a breathing problem. It took about 10 weeks before our son was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Rett Syndrome which is terminal in boys and at the time there was only about 20 boys who had ever been diagnosed with the disorder and we were told none had lived past the age of 2. In that we knew we could not give our son time but we could provide him a quality of life and make the best of that time. It is true when they say it takes a community to raise a child but it’s even more true when you have child who needs a lot of care. That’s when Hospice Austin was introduced to us, we were blessed to have Katy and Bethany as his nurses. We live in Bastrop but they would come out every week to check on Noah and check on us as well, we had great social workers Rachel and Melinda who always gave us resources to get through, whether it was HEB gift cards, bags of food during the holidays, or even arranging a visit from Santa, they shared our son’s story where donors can choose who they will provide Christmas presents for. Our family was picked and Noah and our whole family received Christmas gifts and they even repaired our roof, It was a blessing. We couldn’t get out much due to Noah’s illness so Christmas shopping and finances that year were hard but Hospice Austin made our Christmas possible. We also got visits from Hospice Austin’s Chaplain Brother Juan, who always prayed with and for us through all our challenges and got us through spiritually. On the morning of Aug 22, 2018 our sweet Noah passed peacefully at home. Hospice Austin came to be by our sides, allowed us to be with Noah for about 14 hours we were able to bathe him and spend those last moments saying our goodbyes. They never rushed us or pressured us and they helped make all the calls for us to the funeral home so we could just focus on those moments which helped so much. Hospice Austin was God-sent. They continue to be a part of our family and forever will be a part of our family, they helped us give our Noah a quality of life. In all of Noah’s pictures he is smiling and that reassures me we gave him the best life possible and God sent us the help and the hands we needed to get through. God bless Hospice Austin Always!!!!
1/2019 Thanks to everyone at Hospice Austin for helping Mom complete her journey. We are grateful that she is no longer in pain and rests in serenity. It was such a blessing to see her have a good day on Tuesday. Mom ate foods that she enjoyed, savored delicious coffee, visited with friends, received a hand massage and got to see Martha the therapy dog on her best day there at Christopher House…. There will be tough days ahead but we will get through them because of her example of strength, love and faith. Peace and blessings to each of you.
12/2018 So grateful for the loving hands and hearts of Hospice Austin’s pediatric hospice team. Dr. Case and all of our daughter’s nurses were a part of our sweet girl’s triumphant 373 Days.
11/2018: (From the daughter of a patient to Hospice Austin RN Sara Templeton): Dear Sara, We want to express our deep thanks for the kind care and help you provided to our dear father during his final weeks of life. Your sweet smile and upbeat attitude combined with deep caring helped us so as we said our goodbyes to this loving and sweet family member. Thank you for all you do as a hospice nurse and helping families say goodbye to loved ones.
10/2018: “Dear Hospice: To the many hands and hearts with whom my beloved mother spent her last months, I would like to extend my most sincere and heart-felt gratitude. Her team changed over time, but the love and care never wavered. To each who blessed my mom, we as a family, thank you. To her team: Grace, Melissa, Patty and Lisa and also Jamie and Charlotte, there are no words to describe the impact you had on her life. She freely declares that the last year of her life made her dream of becoming whole realized. You are part of that process. Your visits and concern for her well-being meant the world to her. How she looked forward to each visit! She truly loved those that came to her bedside. We gratefully acknowledge those unseen that made this all possible–the administrative staff and clerical as well. Those lovely women that were always there when I called with questions or concerns. You all matter. You all make a difference. You, quite simply, change lives–of those that live and those who pass on. Thank you!”
9/2018: “My mother passed away at Christopher House. The round-the-clock care that she received from the kind, compassionate nurses was more than I could ever ask for. My mom was a kind, gentle, very sweet woman and you helped provide her with a place of comfort to pass on. Thank you for allowing me to stay with her every night, and for answering all of my repetitive questions. Thank you for providing good food, music, and a generally peaceful and safe environment.
Thank you for the after-care and the counseling, it helped bring me peace.
You make a difference every day that you go to work. You have inspired me. This world needs more people like you. Thank you for everything.”
8/2018: “I cannot even put into words how amazing the Hospice Austin team has been to my grandma and family.
Every single doctor, nurse, and team member is truly a gift. From Bryan who goes above and beyond to make sure she is as comfortable as possible with managing her pain to Suzanne who sat with her for as long as she needed to every single doctor who provides such comfort to her and our family- we are just so in awe of what you all do!
While I thought I understood how special Hospice Austin was for our community, I now have a much deeper understanding. When things settle down a bit I would welcome the opportunity to learn more about how I can personally advocate and or help in any way to further the important work you all do.”
7/2018: “I am writing this letter to express our deep appreciation for the excellent care that our mother received during the last 11 months of her life. We are particularly grateful for the skilled, gentle, kind, attentive care that she received from her two hospice nurses, Sally Dykstra and Sara Templeton. Our mother was a pediatrician, one of few female physicians of her generation. She had very high expectations of health care and those expectations were certainly met and exceeded by Hospice Austin. I appreciated the fact that both Sally and Sara were very conscientious about updating us on a regular basis and were always accessible if we had a question or concern. Both did a wonderful job of tailoring their care to our mother’s specific health needs and to figuring out ways to minimize discomfort and to maximize her quality of life. Sara was present at the time of our mother’s death. It gave us great comfort to know that our mother passed away peacefully, in the presence of kind caregivers.
We are also grateful for the help of Rev. Peggy Stoll, who was a kind and cheerful visitor and for Nadia Velasquez, MSW, who was able to find conversation topics that she and my mother could share. A very big thanks to the amazing aides, who came to bathe our mother several times a week. They were skilled, cheerful and persuasive. I am sorry that I do not know their names, but they were wonderful.
Thank you again for the excellent care that your team provided to our mother.”
6/2018 (From the niece of a patient to Nurse Practitioner Brian King): “I don’t know where to begin, Brian. All I can say is that you represented all that my Tia though was fabulous about ‘Los Estadus Unidos:’ (very) tall, kind, smart, generous, sense of humor and loving. Thank you for being with my Tia, my mom and me every step of the way. Tia was forever grateful (and amazed) at the depth of love that you and Hospice Austin gave her.”
5/2018: “My father has been on hospice care since back in January, with Paula as his main nurse. THANK YOU for the incredible job that Paula has done. My father is having one good day after another after another after another. It’s amazing!
I’ve been here two months, and this weekend I’ve decided I can allow myself a chance to go home (to North Carolina), although I will be ready to come back as soon as Paula tells me that I need to do that. My dad feels really comfortable with Paula, and I know they will be able to talk about any worries or concerns as they come up. Paula’s careful attention to each of my dad’s major problems has been very effective, and everything has worked out really well, so he and I are both feeling confident about me going home for a break, knowing that he has really good hospice services in place and good 24-hour homecare also.
When Paula called me to come back in January, she and I were both thinking that it would just be a matter of weeks, but here we are, two months later, and my dad is feeling better than he has felt since back in the fall. So, before I leave on Saturday, I wanted to make sure to send a quick note to say thank you for the great job that Hospice Austin has done. My dad and I are both very grateful!”
4/2018: “My mother passed away at your facility Sept. 13th, 2017. The round-the-clock care that she received from the kind, compassionate nurses was more than I could ever ask for. My mom was a kind, gentle, very sweet woman and you helped provide her with a place of comfort to pass on.
Thank you for allowing me to stay with her every night, and for answering all of my repetitive questions. Thank you for providing good food, music, and a generally peaceful and safe environment. Thank you for the after-care and the counseling, it helped bring me peace.
You make a difference every day that you go to work. You have inspired me. This world needs more people like you.”
3/2018: “I can’t thank [Hospice Austin] enough for the outstanding care they give!! I’ve never been so overwhelmed, lost and scared, they held me up and held me in their arms in my most desperate moments. When we arrived, they opened their hearts to our entire family & welcomed us with a comfortable place for our loved one to pass in peace surrounded by his entire loving family. THANK YOU ALL for every moment and I couldn’t think of a better place to be in such a time of GREAT NEED!”
2/2018: “Hospice Austin- there are not enough thank you’s in the world to tell you about our journey with our Mom. Kathleen Floyd, our nurse, is incredible! Her compassion, care and love for our Mom was amazing. Without her, our family would not have been able to give our mom the passing she wanted. We shall always be grateful for her care for our mom and for us. Whatever we needed — equipment, information, resources, reassurance — was provided quickly. Our mom spent her last days at Christopher House, and it really was a beautiful, peaceful experience for her, and us the family. We are so grateful there are people in the world that can provide services such as Hospice Austin for the dying and the family. Thank you so very much.”
1/2018: “Amazing and very special team of nurses that helped my dad live a pain-free life. They traveled to his hospital every day (even during Hurricane Harvey) and made sure that the staff at his hospital had the pain medications precise and his quality of life and comfort were the priority. Thank you for being a blessing in my life. Not only was my dad taken care, they sat with me and helped answer questions about my dad. Even though my dad couldnt talk, he loved every nurse that came to see him. They spoke to him peacefully and I know he heard them. Special and gifted staff!!”
12/2017: “You guys really know what you’re doing. My wife is doing so much better, it was a blessing she was discharged from the hospital and came to Christopher House. I am really thankful for everything everyone has done and for every day I have with her.”
11/2017: “I want to thank Hospice Austin and their team for the caring of my mom. I knew from the beginning they were the right choice from day one. The love and support my family received was just outstanding. A special kind note for my mom’s nurse, Shelly and her team. Shelly was my guardian angel though all of this and I’m forever grateful beyond words.”
10/2017: “On February 26th you transported my wife from Scott & White Hospital in Round Rock to our home where she died.
Years ago, when we were talking about such matters, I promised her that when she died, I would be sitting at her side, holding her hand. Thanks to Hospice Austin, I was able to keep that promise.
We had one last night alone, together. She passed away about fifteen minutes in the morning before any of the other family got here. That memory will be important to me for the rest of my life and I thank you for it.”
9/2027: “Thank you all so much for your thoughtful words and card in regards to my grandmother passing. She meant the world to me, I’m so glad she is not suffering any longer. We are having her “celebration of life” tomorrow. We are looking forward to a happy day. I appreciate all of you and your kindness as I have joined the Hospice Austin family.”
8/2017: “My sweet aunt passed away this past Sunday after a 7-month stint in the care of Hospice Austin. During that time, I got to interact with some awesome hospice staff: nurses Sheri Holmes and Patty Almond, social worker Grace, and Melissa the chaplain. My aunt got such wonderful care and so did her children and her husband. It was not an especially easy road, but it was made so much better by Hospice Austin. I’m sure the immediate family will express their gratitude, but I wanted to let you know how much respect, kindness and patience the Hospice Austin staff exhibited.”
7/2017: “Hospice Austin answered our prayers for end of life care for our mother. We were a bit set in our ways since we had cared for her for years, but found our team of caregivers extremely accommodating. They provided everything we could possibly need, and answered every call and question thoughtfully and promptly. The most surprising gift was the level of compassionate care we all received during this most stressful difficult time. The end of mother’s life was a peaceful, painless, drift away in her own home, surrounded by family prepared for all that follows. We can never thank Hospice Austin enough.”
6/2017: “Dear Hospice Austin Team – It’s hard to believe it’s been almost two months since my mom died. Time hasn’t been functioning properly since her passing. Remembering the past 6 months and all its changes and challenges brings to mind the amazing care your entire team provided her – and our entire family – before + after her death.
Sarah, I’ve never come closer to understanding the term “angel of mercy” until meeting you and watching you in action. We couldn’t have so calmly navigated the craziness of these seeming 1,000 stages of death without your benevolence and grace. Thank you for sharing your love, all your knowledge, experience and humor with us. It meant so much to me and my sisters that you found time to attend the memorial. We will never forget you.
Candy, we always looked forward to your visits, none of us more so than Mom. Thank you for the loving care you took every time you cleaned, clothed, comforted her, and refreshed her bed and her spirits. “It’s a Candy Day!” she’d say on the mornings you were coming. We all were – and are – so grateful for sharing your loving spirit with us.
To Beck, who stepped in when Sarah was away, and Cathy, who was such a great comfort to us the night Mom died – as well as the rest of your STELLAR team – we wish all the best, grateful that all of you are doing the hard and amazing work you do – work that’s too often underappreciated, I think. My family and I stand eternally grateful for making Mom’s passing joyous, painless, and trauma-free as possible. On behalf of all of us, I send our love.”
5/2017: “You came into our lives, and with your expertise and wisdom and steadfast kindness, you helped me provide [a gentle and loving] environment for [my husband]. You treated him with deep tenderness and respect for his privacy and dignity. You helped me stay clear so that I could care for him. You and the rest of your wonderful staff took my frantic calls day and night and never once made me feel foolish or demanding for reaching out for help or for making silly, sleep-deprived mistakes (like accidentally giving him a sauna by being a little over-enthusiastic with the humidifier!)
I want you to know that your care for [my husband] and for me during the last weeks of his life has changed me. It has rearranged my cells and opened my heart. I kept feeling that I was being split in two by the pain of watching my big, beloved man become so heartbreakingly tiny and vulnerable and fragile. You all created a big, open and loving space for me to be split wide open without falling to pieces. What a beautiful gift!
I know that, in any job, there are daily frustrations and exhaustions that can sometimes make it hard to see the larger goodness of what we do. I hope that my letter will remind you today (if you’re needing this reminder) that you’re all doing sacred, healing, life-expanding work. I will never forget your kindnesses. They are alive inside my broken heart, and they will live on as a treasured part of the beautiful story of my life with an extraordinarily goodhearted and funny man.”
4/2017: “All of the nurses, aids, volunteers at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House are simply amazing. I have such love and respect for everyone there. They all cared for my grandmother and helped me through. Sending my ❤!”
3/2017: “Dear Hospice People, I could never have survived without you. You made it do-able for me when I felt entirely incapable. You gave me strength and skills. You held me up with your loving care. And you were my partner in giving the nicest, kindest, sweetest, bravest man the care he needed and deserved. Together we were partners in seeing him through. We were worthy of this fine man in his weeks of direst need. Thank you with all my heart.”
2/2017: “Sara Templeton was my mom’s main nurse during her time in hospice, from Sept. through Dec. 2016. From the very first day to the very last, Sara was compassionate, knowledgeable, attentive, and genuine. She brought humor and life-giving energy to what was often a stressful situation, and she was a very calming presence to my mom. Throughout the whole ordeal, she gave us options and ideas about medicine, but never made us feel like we had to do anything Momma didn’t want to do. In short, she was a Godsend to my mother, to me, and to our whole family. I can’t imagine going through Momma’s last days without Sara, and I thank God I don’t have to. She was a light in our darkness and I can’t thank her enough. We are also grateful for Candy, who came twice a week to bathe and care for my mom, and for Bec and Kathy, two other amazing nurses who helped us during the last days. You have an incredible crew working there at Hospice Austin and we were so blessed by them.
I have already recommended Hospice Austin to two friends whose parents are likely to need services soon, and I will continue to do so whenever the need arises. Thank you so much for the important work you all do and for the gift you are to the Austin community.”
1/2017: “My husband was on Hospice Austin’s care and everyone — Dr. Frellsen, his nurses Debbie Cooper and June Fitzpatrick, social worker Jessica Sather, chaplain Peggy Stoll, volunteer massage therapist Pete Deckinga and certified nurse aide Mudita Tuell — were incredible. They knew what we needed before we did. Each of them brought a different skill set to minister to my husband, me and our teenage daughter but the quality they all shared was compassion. We had a very different experience recently with my mother-in-law, who lives outside the area and was cared for by another hospice. Her certified nurse aide came a few hours before my mother-in-law died. My mother-in-law was in a very light coma and the CNA was so different with her than Mudita had been with my husband. This CNA was very quick and business-like and had my MIL bathed and her sheets changed in under 15 minutes. She yanked her around, hauled her from one side onto the other, wasn’t careful to keep her covered and warm as she was bathing her, and didn’t warn her before performing an action. My poor mother-in-law’s eyes kept flying open in alarm. It was not restful or soothing at all, and caused her needless agitation just a couple of hours before she died. It made me appreciate my Hospice Austin team down to my bones! I’m so grateful that my precious husband was under their gentle, loving care. What a gift they are to their patients and families.”
Reviews prior to 2017:
“Absolutely amazing, healing environment. Whether you get better (or not), Hospice Austin’s Christopher House is incredible. The second I allowed myself to be cared for and relinquished control, the minute I felt at ease. Their staff and volunteers are truly amazing, caring for each patient and family member as if they were their own! The facility is zen-like, each suite large and accommodating for up to 2 overnight guests (& family dog with up-to-date shots). They let you hang pictures and allow visitors anytime. The food is very good and served three times a day. There are all types of superb volunteers: massage therapists, acupuncturists, singers, jack-of-all trade volunteers, piano players, and dogs to pet! Whole Foods delivers flowers here for free also, very kind….I love this place!”
“Words cannot express how very grateful we were to have had the services of Hospice Austin take care of our dear mother over the past few months. When we started on this journey, we were more than somewhat overwhelmed with not really knowing what we were about to embark on. All of you made this so much easier with your true compassion for the patient and family members. It was because of you that we were able to take care of Mother here, in the comfort of our home and the reason, I believe, that she was able to live beyond those first few weeks. You treated our mother with such respect and care, and for that we are so deeply appreciative. Thank you for all that you did to make the end of life journey as comfortable for us as you did for our mother.”
“Dear Wonderful People,
I can’t begin to thank you enough for all that you did for my husband and myself. I would have been so lost without your help and guidance. We live so far from town but you more than met our needs. You came when we called and gave us everything he needed.”
“No amount of money could ever represent the appreciation and love each of my husband’s team, along with the rest of your staff, meant during his final six weeks. It’s been one and a half years since he died, but still each of you remains in our hearts and will always. Your care for all of us helped us spend those final days with my husband in our home where he wanted to be. Thank you so much.”
“Your help and support over the many months that Mom battled cancer will not be forgotten and we know her days were significantly extended by the excellent treatment and attention she received while in your expert care.”
“I wanted to let you all know how much my family appreciates the care you give my mother and me. Everyone has been so nice and supportive – I’m really at a loss for words. But, words fail me now anyway, how can I express how big you’ve made my heart?”
“We were only fortunate enough to have the amazing help of Hospice Austin for a few days, but what a critical part you all played in helping our mom experience the kind of death she’d always hoped to have – a “good death.” Your kindness and caring meant everything to us, and we can’t imagine how her home-going would have gone without your expert work.”
“Wonderful organization. They were integral in our family healing. The people we met during Families-in-Grief have become friends for life…..Thank you.”
“Words cannot express what y’all mean to me while I was on hospice all last year. Keep doing what y’all do – there are so many Stage 4 cancer folk/terminal folk depending on y’all. Thanks for rising to the occasion and coming to my house and my rescue. I’m still living thanks to God and stronger than ever.”
“How you do this work, day in and day out, is utterly beyond me. It’s the hardest job in the world, and yet everyone on your team whom we interacted with thanked US for the privilege of being part of our family’s journey to the end. Awe-inspiring. Best decision we ever made, trusting you to accompany us down this path. Thank you.”
“Hospice made my dad’s final journey pleasant, his last evening before he left was the most peaceful he had in six weeks. Thanks to all who give care at a hospice.”
“If ever I felt the presence of angels, it is here at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House. With all the pain, sorrow and physical death, being displaced from my home, I see LOVE. I see it dwell richly in the doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, social workers, chaplains and priests, those that prepare our food and the COUNTLESS volunteers. Volunteers who have voices of angels, hearts of gold and a special love to help those unfortunate enough to need their help. Everyone takes care of my brother and his end-of-life needs, respectfully, lovingly and no concern is too big or small. They also take care of me and my other brother who are here to support him and each other. They support and encourage us. They give us emotional and spiritual care. Whole Foods of Austin donates fresh beautiful flowers to all the patients and common areas. Each room is like a suite where we can feel at home as we are away from our own homes. We can stay here with our brother 24/7, at no charge to us. Every life here is special. This does not feel like a place of death, but of celebration and love of life. Everyone involved here has a reason to be proud of the work they are doing and of how they serve every patient and family. Thank you, Hospice Austin’s Christopher House. “
“I can’t thank the doctors, nurses and caring staff enough for everything they did for my sister. I had never been to a hospice house, nor did I truly understand the severity of what I would be stepping into. Not only did the staff speak to our family on a level we could understand, they were silently present with hugs, when our tears fell.”
“There are angels among us; they are hospice workers and volunteers.”
“Serenity in the midst of sadness…My mother was at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House around this time last year. The staff took such good care of her…and us. They were friendly, patient, extremely helpful and professional. Fresh flowers everywhere. Mom loved flowers. Beyond the windows in my mother’s room, there was a painted mural on a brick wall. She thought that was a clever idea. There was a quaint quiet place, maybe a chapel, where I would go to pray, meditate, reflect. Yoga was offered to family members. I could go on. Bottom line, the Christopher House exceeded my expectations of what a hospice facility provides.”
“The quality of care and concern we received from Hospice Austin was more than excellent. They took care of needs we did not even know we had. I plan to be an avid supporter as long as I can.”
“Every caregiver and patient needs access to hospice. Makes all the difference in the world to know you have someone to call 24/7.”
“Christopher House was the best experience under the circumstances. They treated our Mother and family with compassion and respect. They provided the right balance of interest and support while giving us the privacy that we needed. It felt like home, as much as possible, and we are so grateful to have been able to receive care at Christopher House for our Mother.”
“Your organization represents the very best of human society.”
“Your care for all of us helped us spend those final days in our home, where he wanted to be. Thank you so much.”
“You made it possible for us to be together when we needed it most.”
“Your teams made my husband as comfortable as possible and my life bearable as I watched him fade. Everyone I met from Hospice Austin was full of love, kindness, and compassion. I saw it clearly as a mission.”
“I wish I would have contacted Hospice Austin the moment our doctor said to, but I waited two weeks out of fear. Most amazing and compassionate group of people I’ve ever known. They are angels.”
“Every single person who assisted us was extremely caring, compassionate, and supportive. My partner felt so much more at ease once Hospice Austin became involved. Your organization and everyone who works there provided the most thoughtful service. You are all angels. You helped make this experience bearable – before, during, and after death. Now that my partner is gone, I am finding I need more support and have registered for counseling. I am so happy you are still there for me. The guidance, comfort, and support your organization provided is priceless! Thank you for being there for us during the most horrible time of our lives.”
“I am grateful to Hospice Austin. Making the decision to use your services was difficult, but once mom arrived I knew she was in safe and loving hands. Whenever I doubted my decision, the team was there to ease my mind and reassure me that what we were thinking and feeling as a family was normal. We were empowered, validated, encouraged, cared for and loved, just as Mom was. I felt safe at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House because Mom was safe. I’ve been in health care 33 years; what I experienced over 14 days at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House far exceeded my expectations. All staff – from housekeeping to medical to administrative – have left a beautiful footprint in my heart. “Thank you” isn’t enough. If I win the lotto, you’re getting another wing and a hotel next door!”
“My father and my family were treated with respect, caring, and kindness. You all were a huge comfort.”
“Hospice Austin saved me, took charge of my situation, and allowed my mother to pass away in peace. Thank you.”
“This was my first experience with Hospice Austin and I had no idea of the many services you provide for the patient and family. Without Hospice Austin, my husband would not have been able to spend his final days at home with his family. I have never witnessed such compassion.”
“The result of your great support was that my wife was able to spend her last days as she wanted, sharing her love with her dogs, horses, friends and family. Thank you.”
“I never felt I was alone since I knew you were only a phone call away.”
“It was the perfect conclusion to my mother’s time on earth. She was given exactly the tools she needed and afforded the greatest dignity.”
“We could not have asked for better care by loving individuals that came to our aid at the most difficult time in our lives. My family thanks everyone at Hospice Austin that makes this system work so well.”
“…her words of encouragement gave me the strength to continue caring for my father at home as he wished.”
“The compassion and care he received both at Hospice Austin’s Christopher House and at home made this stressful time more bearable.”
“Because of Hospice Austin, we received the gift of more time with our mother, and we will always be grateful.”
“Our family found the assistance provided by Hospice Austin far more generous in both time and skill than we had expected. We are grateful for the expertise and support.”
“My burden was made lighter. Wish we had done it sooner.”
“I could not have gone through this without Hospice Austin helping me. They are wonderful. They prepared me step by step so I would know what to expect when the time care. Even after Mama’s death they have been there for me.”
“Hospice Austin’s Christopher House is a blessed place. It is full of dignity, courage and peace. I speak for my whole family when I say we’ll be forever grateful for spending my mom’s last days with you.”
“The team was simply awesome. They were kind and courteous. No one was pushy or rude. Everything we needed was provided in a quick manner despite the fact that we live in a rural part of Williamson County. Thanks so much.”
“The Hospice Austin team became part of my family. Emotionally supportive, medically knowledgeable and with a great ability to see humor and laugh with myself and my husband. They all helped me deal with a very sad time.”
“The care my father received while on your service was brief but exemplary. The services we received as a family were outstanding……Although it is never easy losing a loved one, I will be eternally grateful for the wonderful services and support you provided for my father.”
“…most of all let me thank you for helping me help my dad leave this world with respect, dignity, and most of all with loving peace. Words cannot express our heartfelt gratitude for each and everyone one of you.”
“I think it is a relief to know that there is support when there is a terminally ill person we are caring for at home.”
“The entire staff was understanding, very competent and compassionate of our situation. Not only were his needs handled in a professional and caring way, I was treated in the same manner.”
“My family and I are satisfied that the care we received could not have been any better.”
“My heart has grown larger. It can hold both the greatest grief and the greatest gratitude.”
“I truly did not think I could ever receive any meaningful comfort at the loss of a woman I have loved since she was fourteen years old. You’ve done it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”