Bonnie Wismer smiles when hand delivered an arrangement of fresh pastel flowers at her home. She and many other patients cared for by Suncoast Hospice, a member of Empath Health, have enjoyed this gesture of kindness carried out by our staff on behalf of the Random Acts of Flowers Tampa Bay branch. The flowers have been donated to us monthly and given in vases supplied by our Suncoast Hospice Resale Shoppes.
“Thank you so much,” Wismer tells Chanta’ McLymont, Wismer’s hospice team spiritual care coordinator who made the delivery.
Hospice – A Major Relief
Wismer turned to Suncoast Hospice seeking comfort and support to ease her severe, advanced COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), including emphysema. “I didn’t know much about hospice. My friend, a minister who’s like a sister to me, gave me a pamphlet and told me all about hospice and how wonderful they were to her sister. I made a call and they were so helpful,” she said.
Many staff and volunteers help meet Wismer’s needs and take care of her whole well-being. “A nurse and social worker come to my home and are very nice. My team got me a wheelchair right away, put a chair in my shower and has brought medications seven days a week,” she explained.
One area of care that has calmed her pain is integrative medicine. Her services include Reiki energy therapy provided by specially-trained volunteers at her home or combined with acupuncture administered by Dr. Barbara A. Dobron, DNP, FNP-BC, DOM at our Suncoast Hospice Integrative Medicine Clinic. Volunteers transport her to the clinic if she’s unable to drive herself.
Wismer shared, “Patients with lung disease really benefit. I’ve had a lot of success. The clinic smells so good and the music is so soothing. Dr. “Barb” works on my pressure points while I receive Reiki at the same time. They bring my pain level down and I can breathe better without difficulty. Not to have all that pain is good. I relax and usually fall asleep; it’s a different, more tranquil kind of sleep. It’s one of the most beautiful things in the world.”
Reiki gives her a sense of warmth and peace. “We’re made from energy. With Reiki, the volunteers put their hands near me, without touching me, and I can feel their heat and energy. It’s healing.” Reiki volunteer Betty Phelps, one of Empath Health’s Volunteers of the Year, has come to visit this afternoon. “I’m so glad you’re here today,” she says to Phelps.
A Life of Caregiving and Faith
Born in Philadelphia, Wismer divorced years ago, moved to Florida in 2004 and has two children living out of state. She dedicated her life to caregiving. “I was a home health caregiver and a professional nanny for many years. I just love children of all ages. There’s something special about them and the elderly.
Her faith has kept her strong and grounded. “I go to church every Sunday. I’m going to go as long as I can and, if I can’t leave home, I can live stream it on YouTube. I’m taking life one day at a time,” she shared.
Discussing her spiritual beliefs with her friend is especially meaningful. “I like to talk about God and read the Bible and devotionals. That’s what keeps me thinking positive and on the right track.” She also invites McLymont to return for some spiritual discussions. “I have a ton of stuff and will get back over here to visit you,” McLymont replies.
Spreading the Good Word about Hospice
Wismer’s grateful for all of Suncoast Hospice’s assistance and care. “Everyone and all the services at hospice are so helpful. And the flowers brought to me today are so beautiful. I can’t praise hospice enough for what they do; they do a lot. It’s just wonderful,” she said.
She wishes more people would get to know hospice sooner so they, too can benefit. “A lot of people just don’t understand hospice. They think it’s the end. I tell them that hospice can make their life more comfortable.”
Call Us – Learn More
Are you or a loved one in need of care and support? Call (727) 467-7423 any time, day or night to speak with one of our care navigators who can guide you through our services or contact us today on our website.