Jacquelyn Overberg vividly remembers her first time coming up to the Care Dimensions Hospice House. It was this past April. Her father, Jim Jadul, was being transferred there from the hospital after a years-long battle with MDS, a form of blood cancer.
“What an unbelievable place,” recalls Jacquelyn. “Just going up the driveway, you feel you’re at some lake lodge and it is the most beautiful spot.”
Jim’s family wasn’t sure how long he would have there; doctors told them it could be weeks or days. Regular blood transfusions at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, on top of other treatments, had kept him going over the years. But those stopped after they made the decision to call for hospice when his health declined this past spring, opting to make Jim’s comfort a top priority.
Jacquelyn says it was not only immediately clear that Jim was in good hands at the hospice house, but that the family – including Jim’s wife Joanne, their three children and seven grandchildren – would also be welcome and taken care of.
“And it’s not just physical care. It’s emotional care. It’s grief support. It might sound strange to someone who hasn’t been on this journey, but that kind of support makes you really feel better at a time when there can be a lot of sadness.”
Originally from Ipswich, Jim was a lifelong boater who enlisted in the U.S. Naval Submarine School right after high school. After nine years, Jim continued his military career in the Coast Guard Reserve, serving for over three decades. He traveled the world aboard ships and submarines from Central America to Europe. The care team at the house hung certificates on his wall to thank him for his service to the country.
Jim died just nine days later. But the family treasures that time they had together, including being able to open the doors to the patio in Jim’s room, and sitting outside to listen to the birds & admire the view.
“I think the most important thing we learned through this journey is that hospice isn’t just about the patient,” said Jaquelyn. “It’s about family and friends. When we got to the hospice house, it allowed us to just be with my dad, without having to worry about all that is involved in caretaking. Everyone could come and visit, and we knew everything we needed was taken care of.”
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Since 1978, Care Dimensions, formerly Hospice of the North Shore, has provided comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals and families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. As the non-profit leader in advanced illness care, we offer services in over 100 communities in Massachusetts.