The Circle of Care Award recognizes a staff member who is dedicated to helping individuals and families on their journey through hospice care.
Why did you choose hospice care as a career path?
"My interest in hospice care began 10 years ago as I headed home from nursing school for Christmas break to join my family at my maternal grandfather’s bedside. I cherish the memories, songs, laughter, and tears shared in the 24 hours before he died, with home hospice providing support through it all. This experience planted a seed in me. To this day, I believe it was a pivotal moment that inspired me to pursue hospice nursing. Ask any hospice nurse, and they will likely share a personal journey that opened the door to their providing hospice care. We are one of you."
How long have you worked at the Aroostook House of Comfort?
"I have worked at AHOC for almost 4 years and would be honored to work here for several more years."
How does your work help the patients, families, and your community?
"What a gift it is to be able to offer comfort for my patients in their final weeks, days, and hours of their lives. To be let in to their unique journey at such an intimate time of their life is an honor. If I can create one moment of light in their darkness while also preserving their dignity, then I feel I am making a difference for them and their families. It starts with establishing trust and mutual respect. As our community ages and we see a growing number of individuals being diagnosed with terminal illness, as well as hospitals and nursing homes reaching critical capacities, I feel my colleagues and I are prepared to continue our mission to provide care that focuses on quality of life in the remaining precious time of our patients’ lives. Our community members deserve the option of hospice care."
What is special about the Aroostook House of Comfort?
"Whenever I set foot in the House of Comfort, I feel like I am HOME. From the peaceful chapel and great room to the magnificent sunsets to the sweet aroma of freshly-baked cookies, this beautiful environment is just as comforting for me as it is for our patients and their families. Within these walls, we are family. We can share in both our grief and our joy."
What is most rewarding about your job?
"How do I sum this up? When I tell others that I am a hospice nurse, I often get a brief response such as, “That must be hard." I will not deny that some days are more challenging than others, but I truly feel that my work is beyond a job. It is a vocation, a service that humbles me. To be able to experience laughter, tears, and even occasional chills with my patients and our hospice team – what could be more rewarding? It starts with a kind smile and a gentle presence – sometimes that’s all it takes to warm my heart and theirs. I am beyond blessed."
- Rebecca Sirois, RN