BAYADA Hospice Helps Couple Celebrate Milestone Anniversary

In 1949, Tom and Gladys Stanley were two 18-year-olds meeting each other for the first time at a local dance. Two years later, they were husband and wife. They went dancing on their wedding night too. “We loved dancing,” said Gladys. “It was the highlight of our life.”

BAYADA Hospice patient Tom Stanley enjoys a smile and dinner with his wife Gladys as they celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary. Photo credit: Kristin Stein Saroyan

Now, 65 years, two children, three grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren later, the Bradford, Vermont couple is waltzing into the next and final stage of their lives together.

As they prepared to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary, they enlisted the help of their friends at BAYADA Hospice. Tom has been receiving end-of-life care from BAYADA for about a year. When his team of caregivers learned this milestone anniversary was approaching, they jumped into action.

They arranged for a special dinner from Jesse’s in Hanover, NH to be delivered to the couple along with a flower arrangement donated by Roberts Flowers. Tom chose a prime rib meal while Gladys went with fried scallops, and they had apple crisp for dessert. Given their love of music, Tom and Gladys also deserved to be serenaded. A BAYADA team member who also moonlights as a musician, arrived with his banjo in hand to provide the evening’s entertainment.

“It was absolutely amazing,” said BAYADA Volunteer Coordinator Christiane Dionne. “Tom was able to eat, to enjoy the music, and to enjoy a relaxing evening with his wife – the way it should be.”

The hospice philosophy of care means that not only is BAYADA caring for Tom, but also his family. While the patient receives medical care, the emotional, spiritual, and psychosocial care extends not just to him but also his caregivers. “Gladys takes such good care of Tom, cooking all of his meals,” said Dionne. “So it was also great to be able to give her a treat.”

With the help of their caring hospice team, Tom and his wife Gladys found the perfect way to mark 65 years of love and commitment, by enjoying life’s simple pleasures and creating memories they will always cherish.

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