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Gaiana and John Tapscott: From long-term volunteers to

posted on Wednesday, August 1, 2018


Gaiana and John Tapscott were no strangers to HCI Care Services & Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa. The couple served as long-term volunteers for the non-profit organization’s HCI Hospice Care Services program.

When John became ill, requiring in-home care of his own, the couple knew where to turn.

Pictured: Gaiana Tapscott with her late husband John Tapscott

“We were both very strong believers of non-profit organizations,” Gaiana recalls of the decision to seek out HCI Hospice Care Services. “They provided excellent care as far as physical care and they were good to talk to when we needed support.”

John would spend two-and-a-half years as a patient of HCI Hospice Care Services, receiving care primarily at home. When it became clear that John’s time was running short, Gaiana remembers the support and help she received.  Even when Gaiana could no longer take care of him at home alone, HCI Hospice Care Services made it their goal to help John stay at home.

“Because it was so important to us, it was important to HCI Hospice Care Services,” Gaiana recalls of John’s wish to die at home.

Gaiana’s journey with HCI Care Services and VNS of Iowa didn’t end when John passed. Instead, she continued to lean on the organization as she dealt with her grief and adjusted to life without her husband. Over time, Gaiana learned how to deal with her loss, thanks in part to her time in HCI Hospice Care Services’ grief support group.

“There’s no way to explain your ever-changing feelings, yet the people in the group just seem to understand there is often no explanation to justify the existence of those feelings,” Gaiana says about the support group.  “We were each there to care for ourselves, yet everyone was gentle and reassuring with one another.” 

Pictured: Gaiana Tapscott


Learn more about hospice care and grief support resources at

This story is an edited excerpt of a piece written by Drake University student Calista Tonnesen.