Michelle Nichols, MS
AHELP Project Director and Co-founder
Most of us don’t wish to think about the approaching death of our pet. How many of us have tried to conveniently forget that it won’t happen (denial) or that NOT thinking about their declining health will make the reality go away (avoidance)?
Elaine Lam and Mone Mone enjoy quiet time together. (photo: Elaine Lam)Read more
When the goal of care shifts from cure to comfort, tools and guidance from our AHELP Comprehensive Care Team will care for you as you care for your animal. Our “care for the caregiver” will allow you to adapt to twists and turns in the end-of-life journey. Quality of life for your dog, cat or horse is maximized as we work within the veterinary care plan with regular check-ins, tools for planning, tips for home care and strategies to help you navigate as issues come up. We ensure communication through interdisciplinary teamwork principles. Professional Network family service providers help you cope with daily challenges, assuring your confident caregiving. Professional counselors offer your family grief and bereavement support. Your Care Team is there for you with "A Help" when you most need it with 24/7 weekday availability and on weekends, too.
Comfort. Choices. Empowerment.
Help your animal companion achieve COMFORT by building a solid plan with a veterinarian, or vet tech who first consults with your regular vet. AHELP's Comprehensive Care Home Visits are centered around your animal companion and your entire family's circumstances. Your AHELP Care Team will include an AHELP Care Coordinator who is a professional counselor, an AHELPer volunteer who is assigned only to you and a veterinarian best suited to your situation. You will have access our spiritual counselor through personal phone visits and our monthly Seattle Support Circle.
What you can Expect
With veterinary recommendations from your animal companion's quality of life assessment, you and your Care Team will evaluate your choices and build a plan according to your wishes. When the appropriate times come, the AHELP Care Team will support you in your decision making and assist while you enact the steps in that plan. You will feel the satisfaction that comes in knowing that you paid a worthy tribute to the life shared with your animal companion. You'll likely describe the experience of providing this care as transformative, empowering, and true to your love for them.
Through this process of achieving comfort and quality of life, weighing your choices, visualizing your journey, and being empowered to act on your plans at the appropriate times, you will be most likely be able to follow your "path of least regrets." Healing from the inevitable loss of your animal family member comes naturally and at your own pace.