“When I thought I was losing everything, they showed me I wasn’t,” reflects Greg Moates of Black Hawk, about Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice. When Greg came into Mount Evans’ care, he’d been though a lot. He’d lost his partner of 33 years, Tommy, suddenly in 2020, then his dog had passed, and he’d just been diagnosed with three aortic aneurisms. Greg explains, “The doctors explained to me what they could try to do and what the expected outcome would be and it seemed like a whole lot of work for not a whole lot of reward, and so I said ‘no’ and they suggested the best course of action would be to explore hospice care.”
Greg continues: “At first, I was very much against it, because what I pictured in my head was not what the reality was, and it took a lot of convincing to get me to even consider it. And once I did, it all just fell into place.”
Julie Billingham, Mount Evans Social Worker, explains, “I knew coming in that he was reluctant, so I prepared myself that we’re just going to sit and talk, and I’m going to answer his questions and hopefully dispel whatever myths he had.” Greg explains, “I was so afraid of losing what little control I had left, and I didn’t want all of a sudden anyone telling me what we were going to do. And there was none of that.”
Greg remarks, “I can be in my own home where they check on me frequently and take care of anything that I need done. Teri McLaughlin [Mount Evans Registered Nurse], I just love her. She notices things that I might miss and fusses over me. I’m still able to take care of myself, it just makes it easier. They’ve done an outstanding job of preparing me to deal with anything else that is going to come along. I’m very calm, happy, and at peace. And it would not be that way if it wasn’t for Mount Evans. I’m eternally grateful for them, it’s just been phenomenal.
“They’ve helped me with a lot of things and being able to speak with Nancy Nelson [Mount Evans Spiritual Care Coordinator] has been a tremendous help. The kindness and the caring have made a difficult and lonely experience a little bit easier to handle. And I couldn’t do this without them.
“The peacefulness, the peace of mind, the peace of it all. Even over and above my physical needs, there have been many times where I’ve been able to talk about the events that happened and how difficult they were to deal with at the time.” Both Nancy and Julie provide supportive counseling, helping Greg process anticipatory grief as well as his grief over losing Tommy. Greg continues, “I wish that Tom could have met them because Tom would have felt the same way about how they care for me. This is whole-person care and that’s what makes it the best thing for people in this type of situation.
“I tell anybody and everybody what a wonderful organization it is, what wonderful care, what wonderful people. A friend of mine had pancreatic cancer, and the first thing I said was did you call Mount Evans and they said, ‘we didn’t know anything about them,’ and I said, ‘here’s who you call.’ And they did and Mount Evans jumped right on it and helped him. It’s that kind of action and caring – these folks are just virtually angels.
“It’s the best thing I ever did. It really is. At this point, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”