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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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September 23, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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September 23, 2015
 

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Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015 3A Debra Moore Staff Writer dmoore@plumasnews.corn Ysabel Martinez wanted to die at home. The 65-year-old had battled breast cancer that spread to her bones, and her spouse, Pat Sweeney, wanted to honor her request. But Pat was facing back surgery and wasn't sure how she could care for both Ysabel and herself. That's when Plumas Community Hospice called after receiving a tip from a counselor at Plumas District Hospital. "Immediately people began coming over," Pat said. They helped set up a bed for Ysabel, and stayed with her while Pat went to the doctor or grocery shopping. "I don't know if I would have made it without them," Pat said. Pat had cared for her partner for over four years by the time hospice help arrived in March, and she was tired. When Ysabel died in May, Pat was prepared for her last moments -- also because of hospice. "I knelt exactly what to expect," she said. "It was all in the information that they gave me and it happened exactly that way." Pat was alone with Ysabel when she took her last breath,• but "Lori (Davis) was here in no time at all," she recalled of the director of Plumas Community Hospice arriving quickly at her East Quincy home. Pat's experience is typical of the services provided by Plumas Community Hospice, a program that provides respite care and other assistance, but not medical care. "Most of our calls come from doctors," Davis said of the referrals they receive, but sometimes patients or their families ask for help directly. Davis immediately calls Kerri Landy, who operates Quincy Home Medical Service, Ysabel Martinez, left, and Pat Sweeney share a moment together. The couple had been together 10 years when-Ysabel died this past May. Pat credits Plumas Community Hospice with enabling Ysabel to die at home, which was her wish. Photo submitted to see if the family is receiving "We have great volunteers," in-home health care. Davis said, "and will assign "Three-quarters of the time two or three to one family:" they are," she said. Each family receives what is Davis then schedules a visit referred to as an intake to assess how hospice can package -- not only does it assist the family and which provide hospice with volunteers would be the best necessary information, but it fit. provides the patient and their Plumas Community Hospice families with booklets that is a volunteer organization, detail what to expect as death with only one paid staff nears, forms that the sheriffs member, department will need, medical "1 don't know if I would have made it without them." Pat Sweeney Quincy resident directives and what to do following the death of a loved one. For example, it's not necessary to call 911, and the funeral home will arrive when the survivors are ready to let their loved one go. Hospice workers will respond immediately and will help the family through the process. "We sit and let them settle in," Davis said. "Sometimes we're there at the death -- sitting, talking, holding hands ... assuring them when something happens. Shortly before death the breathing changes." Even after death, the hospice volunteers remain in touch with the families. Pat still talks with Davis. "I want to keep them going," Pat said of the hospice group. "I had no idea that they weren't funded." Plumas Community Hospice relies on fund-raising events and donations to maintain its services. "We're always running on the edge," said Rick Foster, president of the board of directors for hospice. "We do what we can to raise money." It's largest fundraiser, the Hospice Benefit Concert, is held every two years and is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 14. The event raises about $8,000 from ticket sales and prize drawings. More details about this year's concert will be available soon. Hospice keeps its costs to a minimum and is housed in Quincy Home Medical Service at no charge. But there are still basic expenses, and the board would like to cover those as well as have a fund to help its clients. "I used to be able to pay for medicine if they couldn't afford it," Davissaid. ,'And I would like to be able to pay for lunch when the volunteers attend training sessions." A gofundme campaign is now underway to ensure that hospice can continue to offer its services. Go to Facebook and type in Pltunas Community Hospice to make a donation. For more information about hospice, to make a donation or become a volunteer, call 394-7225. DEATH NOTICE Ron Fleck Ron Fleck passed away with his family by his side on Sept. 13, 2015, after 83 years of life. He enjoyed living in the area and the time he spent on Nelson Creek gold mining. Ron is survived by his wife, Paula, of 45 years; and children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 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