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Published on May 08, 2018

Augusta (Tootie) Jensen

Uplifting Hospice Care

Augusta (Tootie) Jensen passed away peacefully surrounded by her family who have given permission to share her story with the hope that her experience with Gundersen Hospice will be a comfort to others.

"I've had a wonderful life. I will say that I couldn't ask for anything more. I've done everything I want to do and it's been wonderful." At age 83, Augusta (Tootie) Jensen enjoys life at her assisted living facility in West Union, Iowa. Several years ago, she moved here from Arkansas to be closer to family. As her health declined, she was relieved to hear that Gundersen Palmer Hospice would be available at the place she now considers her home. Tootie's niece Caroline Bemiss explains, "I saw such a great improvement in Tootie once she moved to the assisted living facility. Having hospice care there for her is a blessing. Without that, Tootie would have had to move elsewhere."

The assistance offered through hospice care at Gundersen Palmer include increased nursing services, a bath aide, social work, massage therapy and a hospice chaplain.

Tootie says, "The care I receive is wonderful. The nurses, social workers and chaplain are all so outgoing.They visit with me. We talk about everything from their families to sports. I'm sports-minded and I like that we have the same interests. They are all so cheerful." She continues, "I'm happy that I am able to continue with the activities available to me here. Every morning I attend exercise class. I enjoy the afternoon music performances. We have all kinds of entertainment here."

Twice monthly, Tootie meets with her Gundersen Palmer social worker, Janell McElree, LBSW. "My favorite times with Tootie are listening to her reminisce about the amazing things she has done in her life. She enjoys talking about her time in Arkansas and the home she and her husband had on a lake. Her nieces and nephews are very important to her, also."

Caroline adds, "After Gundersen Palmer Hospice visits with Tootie, they call and fill us in. They really do care. It has to take a special person to do that job because you are faced with losing people and a lot of emotions. Not just anyone can be in the hospice profession; it takes someone remarkable."

Tootie says, "When they come to visit with me, they are not down; they are always positive. You better believe that when you are in the position in life that I am in now, it is wonderful to have people like this around you. They are all so
uplifting. It's not a downer. It's an upper."

It seems that Tootie is the one uplifting others. Janell says, "I admire Tootie's positive outlook on life. When faced with her own death, she is very positive about the things she has been able to do and how good her life has been."

For more information on Gundersen Palmer Hospice and the services offered, please call (563) 422-6267.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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