Armand Maheux believed so strongly in hospice that he asked his care staff several times to give a testimonial. And we are so glad he did. What follows is a synopsis of a long visit with Armand and Central VNA’s Director of Development.
Armand is a charming man. With his hair neatly combed, and his pin-striped dress shirt crisply pressed, he was sitting up on his hospital bed waiting for my arrival. When his daughter Bonnie answered the door and showed me in, Armand was clearly glad I had arrived.
Surrounded by photos of his five children, 13 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren (and he rattled off all their names!), right away I knew what was most important to Armand. He spoke lovingly of his wife, who had passed away eight years ago. He pointed out her plate and mug collection – most of which Armand brought back to her from his many business trips. He said, “I could not have asked for a better wife or mother for my children.”
You may recognize Armand’s name. He managed many a store in the Laconia area for years, was a Distribution Manager for Aavid Engineering for whom he travelled all over the country and, at 22 years, was the longest serving police Commissioner in Laconia history. And for years he played Santa at the City’s annual Christmas party.
When I asked what he does for fun now, we had a laugh over enjoying The Price is Right. He also enjoyed Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy – he said he thought Jeopardy was the most wonderful show and he was always impressed with the contestants. Sports occupied his time, especially hockey. Right there on the wall were Bruins photos, so it was pretty clear who he rooted for.
But what he really wanted to talk about was hospice, and how much he wanted to get the word out about this very, very important program. He was sad that his wife had not had the experience he was having – he said that he didn’t have one caregiver that he didn’t like. His wish had always been to die at home. He said the doctors no longer have a say, “they can’t stick me in the hospital.” But he had never given it a thought that someone would have to help him at this time of his life.
Since the arrival of Central VNA, Armand was comfortable and felt respected. He knew that his choices were his alone, and . HIS FINAL ACT OF SERVICE WAS TO MEET WITH ME – HELPING TO GET THE WORD OUT ABOUT HOSPICE. His two final wishes were to walk his niece down the aisle on September 29th, and to get the word out about Hospice. Armand died on October 8th, having met both those goals.