At this time last year, Dede Mogck and her daughter Jordan were bingeing baking shows and decorating their home for Christmas. The special family time was made possible thanks to in-home hospice care from Sanford Health.
“We knew that was our last Christmas, so we tried to make it really special for her,” Dede, who shares another child with her husband, said tearing up. “Jordan was our holiday person. We’re struggling right now going through the holidays.”
Fighting what Dede calls a degenerative neurological disease, Jordan received care from a hospice nurse and home health aides from October 2022 until her death in February 2023 at the age of 26.
“She was a very active, social young lady. Everybody loved her,” Dede said about her daughter through adoption with Down syndrome.
“It truly was a gift to have that service and keep her home.”
Hospice staff provided caregiver relief
It’s what Jordan wanted after being in and out of clinics and hospitals since 2019.
“Every time she’d end up back in the hospital we’d notice regression,” said Dede, who retired from social work to care for Jordan.
The regression included trouble breathing and loss of function in her arms and legs. A devastating diagnosis for someone who loved dancing, acting, cheerleading, riding horses and participating in the Special Olympics.
“We came home from the hospital (in October) and within a day or two we already had hospice out there,” Dede said.
Hospice staff immediately brought relief, reducing Dede’s caregiving load. Not having to communicate with doctors anymore or order medications and supplies saved a lot of time.
“I was doing everything. I was a caregiver, but I wasn’t really able to be her mom because I was doing caregiving. I was ordering supplies,” Dede said.
Dede remembers the nurse making the entire family feel respected, supported and cared for. During this time, Jordan was on a ventilator and didn’t often leave her bed.
“Having the home health aides and Jordan’s nurse Kelsey, they’d come in and help wash her hair and change bedding and spend some time talking to her. That was the other thing that was so helpful,” Dede said.
The frequent visits were social hour for Jordan, who loved hosting her new fast friends. Jordan’s nurse even helped her find a Christmas present for her mom – a travel mug featuring her favorite cardinal.
‘It was very peaceful’
When the Sanford team wasn’t around, Dede felt empowered to take over.
“I don’t even know how to express the appreciation,” Dede said about her gratitude for Sanford Hospice. “I felt like part of the team.”
As Jordan’s life neared the end, that team relied on each other.
“It’s very isolating what you’re going through because it’s your child and they’re dying,” Dede said.
She adds the nurse “was family going through that with us. We were able to all say our goodbyes and she could be home and it was very peaceful. I don’t think I could have kept Jordan at home without hospice.”
While Dede doesn’t want other families to go through what hers did, she wants people to know how Sanford Hospice can make a difference during a tough time.
“When you lose a child, you’re always going to be sad. It doesn’t bother me to talk about it. Keeps her memory alive,” Dede said.
“I was able to be her mom and I was able to be her caregiver that could spend time.”
Sanford Hospice staff can be with you every step of the way in the home, in a hospital or at an inpatient hospice location.
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- Sanford trainer assists at Special Olympics World Games