Jeff Koehler’s Experience with GRMC Hospice Care

The Koehler name is certainly well-recognized and appreciated in Seguin and the surrounding region, as Charlie Koehler made a wide impact with his larger-than-life personality and statewide reputation for quality cabinets and construction work through The Koehler Company. His son, Jeff Koehler, kind and gracious like his father, agreed to share his family’s experience using GRMC Hospice to care for Charlie earlier this year, prior to his passing in May 2021.

Though my dad had become increasingly sick over the past year, the process was gradual, and he continued to be physically active and involved with the family, work and the community. My two brothers, sister and I never really considered hospice as a logical service for him, as we weren’t thinking or talking about his death. But by spring, he was needing more and more assistance, and we decided as a family to meet with the hospice director to learn more about their services.

Once we understood all that hospice could offer him and our family, it was an obvious choice. We certainly never considered any provider other than GRMC — Dad was always so very proud and supportive of our community hospital. The nurses were phenomenal, taking care of his personal needs and making sure he was comfortable and safe. The doctor assessed and adjusted his insulin medication and diet, which made a huge difference in controlling his diabetes and making him feel better.

As time progressed, the team was quick to provide a hospital bed and wheelchair. Through hospice, all of his medications and equipment were provided and delivered at no charge. Dad really appreciated the many hospice staff members who came to take care of him— he looked forward to every visit. Hospice helped our whole family. They provided education on identifying certain signs and helped us know what to expect and do as Dad’s illness progressed. They were frank, well-versed, good communicators, readily available and always kind. Their work and involvement helped my family dedicate ourselves to simply being with Dad, and with each other, reducing our stress and maximizing our time to say goodbye and appreciate each day.

Through this experience we learned firsthand that hospice is not about dying. It is about making sure the patient’s needs are met with dignity, comfort and enjoyment and about making it easier for the family to go through the farewell process from an emotional, spiritual, physical and practical point of view.
—Jeff Koehler