Hospice Care Provided by Knute Nelson: One Patient's Story
March 21st, 2022
By Danielle Andersen
Hospice Care at home allows David Peters to thrive and enjoy time with friends and family
Hospice care is an invaluable service for those facing an end-of-life illness – something no one wants to ponder, but also something that provides immeasurable comfort to those in need precisely when they need it. Count David Peters and his family as among those who have found comfort in hospice’s end-of-life care. Peters is a stage four cancer patient who was released from the hospital and, with his wife, sought hospice care for at-home living assistance. While the hospital provided a critical level of care, he said in an interview, hospice caretakers allowed him to rest at home, remain healthy, and be with his family.
Knute Nelson Hospice Care Was Recommended by a Friend
During the discharge process, when the family was contemplating hospice care, a trusted friend recommended they contact Knute Nelson. Peters said he was not sure what to expect, but the Knute Nelson hospice team had everything set up to care for him at home by the time he arrived.
“I felt lucky,” he said. “I felt like we were blessed to have someone like the hospice who knew how to take care of us because when you're in our situation and you've got health issues, you're not thinking about, ‘Who can take care of me on this issue, this issue, and this issue?’ You just want to be home and have somebody take care of you, and Knute Hospice did. And so here we are a couple of weeks later and I'm so glad we made the decision.”
Hospice care providers visit Peters at his home on a regular basis, and the family found them to not just be professionals, but people who truly care.
“They give us hope in a time when it's hard to find a place for hope,” he said. “It allowed us to come home, spend time with family, which was very important.”
The Power of Being at Home with Friends and Family
Not only is Peters now in a better place, but he is receiving top-notch care and true human compassion. In addition to that, there are people coming in to handle daily needs – a critical piece of aid at a time when the family needs it the most.
“I thank God for people like Knute Hospice. I truly do,” he said. “So if anybody out there is in a situation where you have a tough time taking care of yourself, don't hesitate to give them a call because they are truly people who care. They not only know what they're doing, but they care what they do.”
One of the surprising things hospice care workers did was provide the family with speaking teddy bears that Peters could use to record messages with. With 10 grandchildren, he has recorded messages that each of the grandchildren can listen to for years to come. Knute Nelson’s hospice program is not only taking care of his physical needs but his emotional and spiritual needs, too.
Knute Nelson Hospice: Helping Patients Confront Fear of the Unknown
What is hospice? And what is hospice care like? Hospice workers have been on hand to help Peters and his family work through some of the difficult aspects of his cancer diagnosis – contemplating what comes next. He has questions about what to do, how to plan ahead, and how to make the most of his moments. Hospice workers have helped immensely, he said. Those questions, he said, are about the here and now – funeral planning, for example, as well as existential questions about facing life’s end.
“We all deal with these spiritual questions when we're growing up and going to church, but until you're actually looking God in the face, it's just not quite the same,” he said. “And they were there, was a hand held out ready to help. And they were well prepared. Well prepared.”
The other unknown to confront, he said, was what would happen by inviting people into their home during this delicate time.
“I think everybody has a fear of bringing on someone they don't know about or has never used before,” he said. “So yes, there was a fear, but it went away almost immediately upon when we arrived home. They take their job, not only professionally, but they take their job as something that helps people. And like I said, that little bit of fear that I did have, the fear of the unknown went away. The people ... you can tell they're not doing it just for a paycheck. You can tell they're doing it because they're there to help people. You can tell that, at least I did. When they walk in their front door with that smile on their face, it just makes it all right.”
Dave’s wife, Karen, said Knute Nelson is providing a valuable service.
“I don't want to lose Dave. It makes me sad to even think,” she said.” But the Lord is calling him and I know that day is going to come. So it's really nice for me to be able to have Knute Nelson Hospice work with us so that I can have David, I can hold his hand as he goes to heaven and I can make sure that he does it with dignity, compassion.”
“Facing death is not an easy thing to do, but when you have people like hospice who have their beliefs with you, it definitely will make it easier,” Peters said. “There isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank God for him giving me what I have to get me through this.”
Dave passed away peacefully at his home on March 23, 2022. He asked Knute Nelson to share his story to educate others on the benefits of hospice care. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.