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Grateful for care of family member

To the Editor,

On behalf of my sisters and myself, I wish to thank the staff of the Weirton Geriatric Center for their professional and loving care of our mother, Lucille Miller, during her residency there during the past four and a half years.

Our mother passed away peacefully at the Center on Nov. 25, the day after Thanksgiving, at the age of 98.

When it became necessary to place our mother in a nursing home, we asked a friend who is a nurse for her recommendation. This friend, who has long experience with local hospitals and other health care agencies and institutions, said Weirton Geriatric would be her first choice for her own parents, adding that the staff treats patients as lovingly as if they were their own grandparents. We found that to be absolutely true.

Our mother resided in three different nursing units during her stay at Weirton Geriatric. In each one the staff not only delivered excellent nursing and dietary care, but would kiss and hug her and tell her that they loved her. We witnessed them expressing this same loving attitude to their other patients as well. In addition, the staff extended every courtesy and hospitality to us as visiting family members and friends.

Caring for the elderly and debilitated in nursing homes is a hugely demanding job. Patients can be unresponsive, difficult and even combative, testing the patience and physical stamina of nurses and aides. Those who have chosen this occupation earn every penny of their wages, and deserve much more.

We also wish to thank the staff of Valley Hospice for easing the passing of our mother, allowing it to be a dignified and natural event with her loved ones keeping vigil, as opposed to being in a hospital bed tied to tubes and monitors. People may not know that nursing home patients can simultaneously be under hospice care. There are a number of advantages, including sparing those patients with limited life expectancy from needless, upsetting and expensive ambulance trips and medical procedures.

Our mother’s life was given to serving and sharing her love with her husband, family, friends, extended family and church family. The staff at Weirton Geriatric became her last family, and we forever will be grateful for the loving care given to her there.

Fred Miller

New Manchester

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