Published on October 26, 2020

November is National Home Care and Hospice Month

Al and Julia Fontaine of Augusta dance at their wedding receptionThis November, during the pandemic, we recognize the dedicated people who provide critical services and support to families needing home care and hospice, and all those they serve.

Here’s one personal story we’d like to share about those we care for.

Julia Fontaine and Family

Julia Fontaine was from a big family and had a big life. Growing up as one of 10 children in Augusta, there was nothing she loved more than being surrounded by her family. Holidays were full of grandchildren, home-cooked meals and songs sung around her parlor piano.

Julia was always on the move – often walking several miles a day. Even a stroke in 2016 couldn't slow her down. After her right side was immobilized, she still could be found using her good side to propel her wheelchair several miles each day. Her family reflects on her attitude, saying, “Julia wasn’t going to slow down for anything, not even a stroke, and she knew how to make the best of everything. Wherever she was, she made it feel like home.”

Always smiling and always on the move – that’s how Julia’s family remembers her.

In December 2019, the long-term care staff caring for Julia talked to her family about the need for hospice services. Her family remembers, “Julia’s time with hospice was short – but, boy were they there when we needed them.”

Julia spent her last few days surrounded by the warmth of her family, her cognition waning. On the morning of her last day, a hospice chaplain arrived. Julia’s family was shocked to see her laughing and smiling as he spoke French with her and sang familiar French songs. For a moment, they had their Julia back. Later on that evening, she was gone.

Hospice is here for families like the Fontaines – making last moments count and working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure every patient is cared for and that difficult transitions are seamless.

Learn more about MaineGeneral HomeCare & Hospice at https://www.mainegeneral.org/medical-services/home-care-hospice/.