Hope Cook: Thanks to the angels at Doak Walker Care Center

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In a town that prides itself on access to its uniquely beautiful, natural surroundings, there exists another treasure in which this town ought to take great pride. That treasure is the Doak Walker Care Center. This long-term care facility, attached to Yampa Valley Medical Center, cares for our elderly and those recovering from surgeries or physical trauma. From the perspective of my nursing experience, the staff at the Doak is one of the finest I’ve encountered. Their philosophy, called Eden Place, is present in all they do. The staff’s basic physical care and rehabilitative activities focus on keeping residents’ minds and bodies engaged. The innumerable acts of kindness and compassion from the entire staff brings a genuine sense of family and home to the residents and their visiting families.

My mother, Jean Galusha, had been a resident at Doak Walker for more than five years. Two days before Thanks­­giving, she suffered a stroke. My sisters and I spent a week camped at her bedside. The staff was wonderful. They showered us and our mother with love and concern. Their acceptance of the dying process helped us to also accept the process. The staff helped us to feel that our presence there was as important as any of the other care for our mother.

Our ability to maintain our composure was bolstered by their strength and sensitivity. Even in the middle of the night, they brought us tea and offered us shoulders to cry on. Their “anything we can do, don’t hesitate to ask” attitude was unquestionably sincere and affirmed their mission to include family as an integral part of the dying process.

So please, Steamboat, take note that within our community exists a jewel that offers top-quality senior and rehabilitation care. And, as our family discovered, its end-of-life care for patients and, concurrently, the families, is unparalleled.

Thank you to all the Doak Walker Care Center staff from the individual and collective hearts of Jean Galusha’s family.

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