From Lawyer to Hospice Social Worker at Alive

Sheila Lachs, Alive social worker, with her mother who was an Alive patient.

Her mom lost a long, grueling battle with cancer, her marriage was falling apart and she didn’t love her job. That’s when her mom’s hospice social worker made a suggestion.

“It was the kind way that the young nurse looked at her dying mother. The way the nurse sat and talked with her. The way the nurse listened to her and connected with her mom in so many areas besides the battle against cancer. “I saw the compassion that nurse had for her,” said Sheila Lachs, “the compassion of seeing my mom as much more than her disease. “The staff at Nashville’s Alive Hospice didn’t just show her mom compassion in 2016; Lachs herself bonded with hospice social worker Theresa Carrington, assigned to help Lachs process grief.

Alive social workers, hospice patients and families
Alive social workers, Theresa Carrington and Sheila Lachs.

But soon, Lachs, 53, was opening up to the social worker about all areas of her life. “She was going through a lot at the time,” Carrington said. “She was going through a divorce, in between jobs, not real happy as a lawyer, going through losing her mom. In the course of our discussions, I could tell she had a good heart; I could tell she cared about people.” So Carrington planted a seed. Have you ever thought about being a social worker? she asked Lachs. “That started me thinking,” Lachs said. It ended with the lawyer going back to school and becoming a hospice social worker for the very same facility where her mom died.”

Sign up to read more from the Tennessean about Alive Social Worker, Sheila Lachs.

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