Literally one of the most viewed faces in the community over the years, Gayle Sierens Martin is a well-known icon throughout the Tampa Bay area. She is gracious, funny and informative. As the former anchor at WFLA-TV, News Channel 8, we welcomed Gayle for 30 years into our homes to bring us news that we could trust.
Read on to learn more about Gayle’s personal hospice experience…in her own words.
People come to hospice in so many different ways, from physician, hospital, assisted living facility referrals to one by family or a friend. Some people think of hospice as a place or of giving up. I know and trust hospice, specifically LifePath Hospice, as a way of providing the best quality of life for the remainder of life.
First Touched by Hospice
I was touched by hospice the first time when my beloved grandmother, Beulah May Myers, who helped raise me, passed away. My grandmother came to live with us when I was six shortly after my father died. My grandmother, my mom and I were very close. I can still picture the nurse who came and gently wiped her mouth with wet cloths and kept her comfortable.
I will never forget the tender touch of the nurses and aides who came to our home.
On the day my grandmother died from a brain tumor, I remember coming home to see her between the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. broadcasts. She died shortly after I got home after the 11 p.m. news.
I think my grandmother waited for me.
My Mom’s Journey
During the last decade or so, I watched my mom’s decline from Alzheimer’s disease. She deteriorated to that dreaded point of not knowing me, her own daughter. But she always knew I was someone special, someone she loved.
When my mom needed hospice care, I turned to LifePath Hospice to provide her with in-home care when she needed it most. For the final months of her life, my mom was able to remain in her assisted living “home” with the help of hospice care provided by LifePath Hospice.
You come to a point that you just want them to be comfortable and know that they are loved. And LifePath Hospice does just that.
My mom was extremely private, so I didn’t want to become the person she fought with over bathing or other needs. I was very clear that my mom’s hospice care was far more than bathing and medications. I appreciated being a daughter rather than a caregiver.
My mom was cared for by the most compassionate and loving LifePath Hospice team who came to the assisted living facility where she lived with my step-father, to take care of her.
In April 2014, complications of Alzheimer’s claimed my mom, Betty Jean Myers Sierens Self.
My mom was the most unselfish person I’ve ever known. Everything was always about me, my grandmother, my kids. She was my kids’ nanny while I was doing the news, and she never missed a game or a performance.
Unfortunately, the loss of my mom was not my most recent hospice experience. In June 2014, my step-father was placed into hospice care after years of battling congestive heart failure.
Food for Thought
I would urge people to not be afraid of hospice. I find that people don’t understand all hospice does, or what it’s like to go through the end of life with someone you love.
Hospice just takes what is the most sad, horrible time in your life—losing someone you love—and holds the pieces together. Your loved one can die with dignity due to the care, support and love LifePath Hospice gives. It’s priceless.
Trust LifePath Hospice to make the most of life for your loved ones and dear friends. For additional information about LifePath Hospice, please call the helpful team at 1.800.355.8170 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Hospice means different things to different people.
For me, it means trust.
Just as you invited me into your homes for many years to bring you the news, you too can trust Chapters Health System. When my mother needed hospice care, I turned to LifePath Hospice and entrusted them to provide my mom with in-home care when she needed it most.” – Gayle Sierens Martin, long time broadcast journalist and retired television news anchor for WFLA-TV in Tampa
What does hospice mean to you?
How has hospice affected you and your family? We are always looking for Good Shepherd Hospice, HPH Hospice and LifePath Hospice stories that we can share on our website or on social media. If you are interested in telling us your hospice story, please fill out the form below.