When Annie met her husband Paul Conti in Brooklyn, New York 65 years ago, she never could have imagined where life would take them. Her family and his were close, and she lived in the unit below his. Paul had returned home from the Korean War and became a baker before going to work for the City of New York. He invited Annie to the movies and 18 months later they were married. Their courtship was not without a little Italian family drama, but “I don’t want to get into all of that,” Annie chuckled. A year later, they welcomed their first of three children.
Ultimately, Paul and Annie relocated to Vero Beach. Paul, who had previously experienced heart problems, began seeing a cardiologist to regulate his medications, enabling him to stay active doing what he loved, spending time with his family, drawing, painting and creating stained glass.
Eventually, his heart disease progressed, so Paul and Annie requested the help of VNA Hospice. However, in the last few months of Paul’s life, being his primary caregiver became too much for Annie to handle alone, and she did not want to burden their family. They were unable to pay for additional help through private in-home care. One evening, things took a turn for the worse, and that night, Annie realized she couldn’t care for Paul at home any longer.
Paul transitioned to the VNA Hospice House, where he was greeted by a team of caregivers. Over the next five days, Paul received one-on-one
care and was able to experience the benefits of music therapy. In addition to personal care and nursing assistance, Paul and Annie received counseling, volunteer support, spiritual care and music therapy, both at home and at the hospice house. Support was also provided to their grandchildren while they were visiting to assist in the grief process.
After 63 years of marriage, the two were inseparable. At the VNA Hospice House, Annie could stay comfortably every night and Paul was never alone. Even, when he passed,
Paul was surrounded by loved ones, including, a VNA music therapist singing “Ave Maria.”
The VNA does not want to provide basic hospice services; we want to elevate the level of care by offering resources, like the hospice house, to our community. The VNA Hospice House is unique in that it gives a solution to patients and families when they can no longer receive end-of-life care in their homes, regardless of their ability to pay. Many hospice organizations cannot offer their communities this resource because of the cost associated with maintaining the facility. However, generous donors and partners, like you, understand the significant role the VNA Hospice House plays with patients and families in need of around-the-clock care. Charitable giving allows the VNA Hospice House to be available to hospice families
who can no longer maintain quality of life by receiving care at home.