Al Stein’s father Arthur was a strong yet easygoing person, not given to complaining. It was when the World War II veteran began wincing in pain that the family knew something serious was wrong.
Arthur was transferred from a senior living facility to a nearby emergency room. There he was diagnosed with a perforated colon, and surgery was not an option. With guidance from a Samaritan nurse, the family chose to move Arthur to The Samaritan Center at Voorhees for inpatient hospice care.
Pictured: Top, L-R – Al Stein with his sister Francine and brother David; Bottom, L-R – Al’s late parents, Arthur and Nannette
The move was executed quickly and seamlessly – Arthur was admitted within two hours of the family’s wishes. Al’s wife Vicki, a 14-year volunteer with Samaritan who visits patients and serves on the advisory committee for the Sukkat Shalom Jewish hospice, knew it was the best option for Arthur. “People think they want to be home or somewhere familiar, but that isn’t the case for everyone,” she says. “The Samaritan team reminded us that family are your four walls.”
At The Samaritan Center, Arthur’s loved ones could visit effortlessly. “The facility is soothing and calm,” Al says. “It was easy for the kids and grandkids to say their goodbyes and have alone time with him.”
It was especially moving for Al, his sister Fran and brother David when several Samaritan staff members read a presidential letter thanking Arthur for his service. This was followed by a Samaritan Veteran’s Ceremony, where a veteran’s blanket was ceremoniously draped over Arthur as all in attendance gave him a final salute. Several hours later, Arthur passed away comfortably and peacefully.
As a volunteer, Vicki couldn’t be prouder of the care her family received from Samaritan. “It was a wonderful tribute to my father-in-law,” she says.
“It was best for dad, and best for the family,” Al adds. “You don’t want to walk your kids through the ER every time to visit. My advice is, when you reach the point when you realize there won’t be an improvement in your loved one’s health, get hospice involved as quickly as you can.”