Shirl Rollins, wife of Rich (USNA 66, 2nd Company), shares her personal experience as a caregiver to her spouse who has Parkinson’s disease. Shirl describes their journey, from the initial diagnosis to seeking support through the VA caregiver support program. Classmate Don Jackson (19th Company) describes his experience in caring for his wife, Maureen, through two bouts of cancer to palliative and then hospice care. Finally, Colleen Shields from Hospice of the Chesapeake presents the differences and benefits of hospice and palliative care. See additional resources below.

Though it’s not a pleasant subject to consider, planning for our final days is a task too often left unattended. This can cause additional consternation and stress for your family in a time of great sorrow. Being prepared can alleviate that stress, and it’s not difficult to do. The phases of preparedness are planning; recognizing the signs of failing health, getting health care, and obtaining hospice care; reporting a spouse’s death; setting up services and burial; and how to carry on after the loss of a spouse.

Click HERE for a Class of 1966 “Preparation Brief” on steps to consider as we age.

Below are links to resources that may be helpful to support our Classmates and their families at the end of life.