Angela Ruiz, Greenfield, CA

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VNA’s Hospice Services Makes Life Easier for 102-Year-Old Greenfield Resident with Alzheimer’s Disease

Before enlisting the help of VNA Hospice services, 102-year-old Greenfield resident Angela Ruiz had to have her daughter and primary caregiver Maria “Dora” Soria drive 30 minutes to Marina?? so she could be seen by her primary care physician.

“We didn’t have a problem driving her, but for Angela it wasn’t easy to get into the car,” says Dora about the drive to and from Marina. “It was difficult, and we would see her get fatigued as we sat in the waiting room inside the clinic, she in her wheelchair.”

But in March 2018 (1 year and 6 months ago), Angela, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease was referred by Alisal Family Health Center and has been able to receive care and services through VNA Hospice.  She receives care in the comfort of her own home, tailored to her changing needs from Gabriela and Senorina, Hospice Nurses and Lupe, Medical Social Worker can give her one-to-one attention.

During the bi-weekly visits staff provide medical support, resources, advocacy for the patient, as well as companionship, and emotional support. On their visits, they encourage Angela and her family to talk and engage in conversation.

“The word hospice does not mean the patient is dying right away, it just means the patient will be comfortable,” says Dora. “Once on hospice, Angela did not have to wait at the clinic anymore, the patient won’t have to worry about struggles of getting in and out of the car, that for us is a huge benefit.”

Angela has had her ups and downs due to her health, but her family believes her faith in God and her family’s love and support is what gives her strength to keep going. Dora says that the delicacy and respect that the nurses bring to Angela is indescribable.

Under the hospice benefit of VNA, Angela receives not only frequent visits, but help in bathing, assistance with personal hygene, education on food intake, and many other services. “They offered us everything for my mother’s care, they brought us a hospital bed, they brought us an overbed table, and oxygen,” says Dora, who decided to share her personal story and experience with VNA Hospice so her community will be aware of the services that hospice care provides.

Angela is one of the few residents in southern Monterey County utilizing VNA’s hospice services. Dora says she wants to help eliminate the misconceptions people might have, especially the Latino community. She hopes her personal story will encourage her community to seek information and learn about VNA services.