Lights, Camera, Action! Yes, we filmed a commercial with a real hospice patient, Arline Perrizo at 95 years old, her daughter, Mary, and her team of “hospice angels” from Hospice Care of the West in Orange County, Calif. Arline is star. Check out the commercial. It’s now airing. Thank you Arline and Mary! Like a real movie star, Arline started the day in hair and make-up with professional stylist and hospice volunteer, Nancy Johnson.
Jay Gianukos, the director of the commercial, filmed Arline in the spotlight. She basked in all of the attention.She then joined me on the film set equipped with lights, video cameras, sound equipment and a crew in her living room. I interviewed Arline, who was an elementary school teacher and by doing this commercial she had a chance to teach one last time. This lesson would take place on a film set instead of her classroom and her students would be our community in need of learning how much hospice benefited her life and her daughter’s. Mary wanted her mother to stay at home but her mother had taken a bad fall that landed her in hospital. When she was discharged, Hospice Care of the West came on to help Mary care for her Mom and provide a safety net of support that has brought them so much relief and peace.
Hospice is a team approach to end-of-life care in the home, or wherever a patient calls home, for the patient with a life expectancy of six months or less to live. Mary and Arline have support from a nurse, social worker, spiritual care counselor, home health aid and volunteer. Read more about hospice care here. Also, the volunteer services at Hospice Care of the West brought Mary and Arlene so much joy. Shannon Sirovy, the director of volunteer services at Hospice Care of the West, had already filmed a life review video of Arlene reminiscing about her life that she can now pass on her wisdom and legacy of memories to her children and grandchildren. The life review video is a gift from Hospice Care of the West created with volunteer hours of a life review interview that is then edited with family pictures and music. Read more about life review video here.
Thank you Arline and Mary for sharing your experiences with us and for other families to learn the benefits to choosing hospice that focuses on comfort care. Many people don’t realize that you have a choice in hospice. And choosing the right team to care for you in the most vulnerable hour is vital to living with peace and comfort even when time is limited. My most favorite moment of the commercial shoot was when Dave Boyle, the spiritual care coordinator, sat down with Arline and Mary. He asked if he could read a passage from the Bible and Arlene agreed. Then he placed his hand gently on Arline’s hand and said, “You can read it with me, if you know it.” And in an instant, a peace fell over the room as Dave read the 23rd Psalm and Arline joined him. After he asked if she wanted him to pray for her, and she smiled “yes” and sighed relief. I witnessed each of the team members Cheryl, the nurse, Angela, the social worker, Dave and Shannon had such a gift to give and together surround them with everything that they need to make this journey that is often wrenching for families instead be a time of peace, joy and reflection.