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Patient Stories

Bucket List Trip: Back to the Beach

Bonnie Landry, 66, of Beverly, MA, has fond memories of visiting Hampton Beach, NH, as a child with her parents, sister Karla and brother Paul. When Bonnie had her own family, she often rented a cottage at Hampton Beach for a week during the summer. Her three children – Michelle, Melissa and Steve – enjoyed playing in the sand, swimming in the ocean, and going into the shops and arcades along the iconic beachside “strip” that is Ocean Boulevard.

Bonnie’s daughter Melissa, who passed away from cancer at age 35 (while in hospice care with Care Dimensions), especially loved spending time at Hampton Beach. Visits there after Melissa’s passing brought Bonnie and her family comfort and peace.

Bonnie is now receiving hospice care at home from Care Dimensions. She has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with emphysema and is oxygen dependent. She occasionally suffers respiratory attacks and becomes tired easily.

Making a wish come true

Bonnie told her RN case manager, Nicole Ouimet, that she wanted to return to her beloved Hampton Beach one last time with her children and their spouses, her four grandchildren and her sister. Nicole and other members of Bonnie’s hospice care team made it possible for Bonnie to cross this item off her bucket list.

Care Dimensions awarded Bonnie a $250 grant from its Family Fund, which supports hospice patients’ basic and social needs. Bonnie called the Ashworth by the Sea in Hampton Beach to explain her situation, and the hotel provided a deep discount on two ocean view rooms for a two-night mid-week stay in late September.

Nicole arranged medical coverage with a New Hampshire-based hospice in case Bonnie needed emergency hospice services during the trip. (Care Dimensions’ hospice license is limited to care rendered in Massachusetts.) Nicole also gave Bonnie’s daughter Michelle instructions on what to do if Bonnie experienced a respiratory attack during the trip. “We had a plan in place so we knew how to manage her symptoms and my mom could enjoy herself,” recalls Michelle. “It gave us great peace of mind and it put my mom at ease.”

With help from the Care Dimensions Family Fund, Bonnie (back row, third from left) treated her family to a special dinner at Hampton Beach, NH.

Bonnie says, “One of the first things I did upon arriving at Hampton Beach was eat fried dough and drink a non-alcoholic pina colada.”  Her family got many of her favorite treats including fudge, saltwater taffy, and nonpareils to enjoy and share with everyone. She used her sister’s electric scooter to visit shops up and down the strip.  Bonnie chose a few souvenirs including Hampton Beach sweatshirts, tote bags and a coffee mug to add to her collection that commemorates trips she’s taken.

Cherishing time with family

Bonnie notes that while it was great to return to Hampton Beach when it was not crowded and temperatures were in the mid-70s, the trip was about family.

“My family and I spent a lot of time talking and laughing with each other and recalling all of our great memories at Hampton Beach” says Bonnie. “I enjoyed sitting on the balcony enjoying the ocean view and sipping my coffee, putting my feet in the sand while watching my two younger grandkids play in the ocean and hanging out with my kids, my two older grandkids and my sister.”

Bonnie used the Care Dimensions Family Fund grant to treat her family to dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. “The mother in me wanted to give a final gift to my children, grandchildren and sister,” Bonnie says. “It was important for me to pay for that dinner and I’m glad Care Dimensions helped make that happen. I was able to thank everyone at the dinner, including my brother-in-law who couldn’t be there, and tell everyone I love them.”

Later, around 11 p.m., while Bonnie was still up talking with her family, the hotel’s fire alarm rang, and although it turned out to be a false alarm, everyone was forced to evacuate briefly. Bonnie and her family moved past the glare of the fire trucks towards the ocean and caught a peaceful view on a crystal-clear night. “To be able to look at the ocean, see the waves, see the moon reflecting off of the water – for me, who knows my time is limited – it was so touching, almost spiritual,” recalls Bonnie. “It was an absolutely perfect trip.”


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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.

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