Clarehouse is frequently described as “a loving home for terminally ill people”. Most people understand that we provide a warm, comfortable place to live, 24/7 care and a wide variety of assistance and support to people in their final days of life. All this care is offered to family and friends as well. But what of the loving part? The word love, overused as it is in our culture, is not usually associated with healthcare.
Clarehouse, from the beginning, has been defined by loving care. It’s a hallmark of who we are and what we do. This love is unconditional. We don’t know or care about a person’s failures or successes in life. We don’t know if we are offering loving care to a model grandfather or an absent parent. It doesn’t matter because for this moment in time, our priority is respecting the dignity of every human being. We don’t have years of history with a person; history that may inspire love and gratitude, or may invoke anger and resentment, either of which may make it difficult for a family member to provide care themselves.
Family members often say to our caregivers, “I could never do this job. I don’t know how you deal with it every day.” Our caregivers say the opposite; “I love this job – I feel good about coming to work every day.” The reason for that is simple; we come to Clarehouse to simply offer love – without restriction, without judgment, without limitation. We encounter a stranger, assess his or her needs, and offer loving care to make the most of the moments left. It’s an uncomplicated kind of love that is based on the recognition of the inherent worthiness of every human life.
Noted psychotherapist and author, Virginia Satir describes unconditional love:
I want to love you without clutching, appreciate you without judging,
join you without invading, invite you without demanding, leave you without guilt,
evaluate you without blaming and help you without insulting.
If I can have the same from you, then we can truly meet and enrich each other.
With your help, we can continue to provide this loving care to people in need. You can help us meet each individual that comes to Clarehouse for care with appreciation, as we join and help them on their final journey.
With grateful hearts,
Kelley Scott Rebecca Sherwood
Executive Director Board President