At the age of 86, Carolyn Perrine still lived
independently, took daily walks, delivered meals to
homebound friends, drove to town to buy groceries,
played her piano, and quilted. This strong sense of
independence meant her family was shocked when
Carolyn called an ambulance for herself one day and
was admitted to the hospital.
Their world was quickly turned upside down when
Carolyn’s MRI showed a large, terminal, brain
tumor. Chemotherapy and radiation were scheduled
by her oncology team to help extend her quality of
life. Carolyn’s children took turns staying with her
in her home to help provide care and coordinate
Once Carolyn completed her treatment, it became
clear that she would need consistent care that
couldn’t be maintained where she was. The decision
was made to move Carolyn in with her son, Gary,
and daughter-in-law, Kristin.
After the move, Kristin was able to more easily
recognize the need for hospice care and called
“Instead of waiting for a callback from the doctor,
we could have a hospice nurse on the phone
immediately,” said Kristin. "Instead of spending hours
trying to find the equipment we needed to take care of
her, it was delivered to the house.”
She continued, “All the medications came by mail.
Instead of going by ambulance to the ED to take care
of emergencies, the nurses were able to do all those
things in our home.”
For 40 days, Caring Circle reduced the burden of
taking care of Carolyn’s physical needs and helped
transform what had been caregiving time into quality
family time. Together, Carolyn and her children made
cookies, finished one of Carolyn’s quilting projects,
reminisced, and connected with family and friends
both in person and on the phone.
One of Carolyn’s final wishes was to not spend
the remainder of her life going to doctors’ offices.
With Caring Circle, the Perrine family had support
in place to not worry about taking her to appointments
anymore. Kristin and Gary said that their only
regret was that they were not able to have hospice
"We had help figuring things out; we weren't alone,"
said Kristin. “The difference between struggling on
our own and having hospice was huge. Any medical
supplies we needed were just a phone call away.”