It's not the big things that stand out. It's the small things that make a world of difference.
They talk about how nice it is to be treated with compassion and with dignity. They compare a sterile hospital room to the home-like decor in The Residence of Arbor Hospice or to their own home.
More often than not, families express gratitude for the little things Arbor Hospice clinicians do - not always about pain and symptom management.
I've heard a husband express how grateful he was that his wife's chin stubble was trimmed like his wife trimmed it herself before she became too weak.
A mother recognizes the Arbor Hospice nurse for taking time to understand her non-communicative daughter's expressions and movements.
A son raves about how staff at The Residence of Arbor Hospice gave his father's favorite food - ice cream, in his final few weeks.
A wife talks about the comfort of knowing she can call at any time - day or night - and receive support.
It's these small things that make an impact on patients and families at the end of life - things we don't often think about.
I think this is true in all aspects of life - not just at the end of life.
I've recently created a "Gratitude List." Each night, I add things from the day that I am grateful for. While my list includes large things - my family, friends, health and safety - there are a lot of small things too. A smile, simple call, email or text just to say hello, note or someone saying "thank you" makes my list.
Knowing how much I value these things, I try to return the favor each day. I challenge you to go out of your way to do something extra - it doesn't have to be big. It's the simple things that matter.
Think about it - what has someone done for you that made such a big impact?
This blog post was written by Jaclyn Klein, Arbor Hospice Communications Specialists. You may contact her by commenting below or emailing her at email@example.com.