Connecticut Hospice Celebrates Sending COVID-19 Patient Home

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For some, hospice is a last stop before the end of life. But for a Milford woman who beat the coronavirus, it proved to be the last stop before she got to go home.

"People hear hospice and they think it's a one way street into this place and I think we've proven it time and time again that's not the case," said Dr. Chris Gennino of Connecticut Hospice in Branford.

At 82 years old, a Milford woman beat the deadly virus, but in addition to having dementia, something about being at the hospital was holding her back.

"As soon as she came here the next day she was eating and drinking where at the hospital the last week she wasn't eating or drinking at all," explained her husband Lou Imperator.

Doctors and nurses in Branford had the perfect prescription.

"Hometime TLC is what they need," Gennino explained. "…letting the patients know they're human beings - that's what it's all about."

And that includes being close to family. The center allows two family members to visit in person and offers window and facetime visits for others.

"It makes all the difference to be able to be reunited with their family," Kelsey Cunha, a social worker said. "Through the window visits they get to see the water and the ocean and have a very peaceful visit."

Reconnecting with people you love just may be the most powerful medication.

"Getting away from here is great," Imperator said.

"I know my grandfather, her husband, is really happy to have her home he's lost without her," grandson Paul Swiderski said.

It's a loss he won't have to feel. Instead, it was a celebration for the whole family and caregivers at Connecticut Hospice.

"Every time a patient goes through the door here whether its COVID or not and they're heading home or going to an extended care facility it makes us feel very good. It has to. It has to," Gennino said.

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