Skip to content

Hospice – Are You Kidding Me?

We have all heard the stories before… and we may have said the same thing in our own homes; “I don’t want to go to hospice, or please don’t make me go to hospice.” The word hospice still has that mysterious and scary ring to it. It signifies to many “a place” to go and die. This misconception, that Hospice is a place resonates for many. We desperately need to continue our efforts to do a better job of educating our communities and physicians.

I pray that this article will help! Hospice is NOT a place… it is a concept of care. It is not about giving up and dying, but it is about living life fully, right up until that moment that a person dies. Hospice care is for those with a diagnosis of a terminal or life threatening illness. Hospice provides end-of-life care to meet the physical-emotional-spiritual needs of patients and those who love them. There are many hospice programs across the country with fabulous in-patient facilities to allow patients an alternative to hospitals, or to staying at home. These in-patient facilities provide symptom management and/or a place to be when death nears if that is what is desired. Most people would prefer to die at home, but when that is not feasible, or desired, there may well be a hospice facility or hospital unit that provides the care. Hospice respects the individual choices of those they serve and strives to honor those choices.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross was one of the first pioneers in the hospice movement and many programs began as a result of her work. She is also the first person to define the stages grief and grieving that we know today. Dame Cicely Saunders an Anglican Nurse, physician, and writer, is probably best known in her work in the early hospice movement in England; making sure that people were comfortable during the last days of their lives. She will forever be known by her quote, “care of the body means nothing without care of the soul.” She emphasized the role of palliative medicine for those who were dying, and the importance of dignity and quality of life. Hospice was and continues to be a concept of care. Hospice provides a means of enhancing care to the patient to ensure they receive the best pain management possible, along with comprehensive physical and emotional support.

Getting hospice involved “sooner rather than later” means maximizing benefit to the patient and those who love him or her. Being cared for by hospice allows a team of professional caregivers to provide much needed services. Freeing the patient and their loved ones to ” be” and not have to “do”. You can be the patient, the family member, the friend. You can trust hospice to “do”. Hospice care is available to anyone who has a terminal/life threatening illness regardless of their ability to pay. Thus, Hospice care is affordable, and includes medications, durable medical equipment and supplies when these services are not covered by Medicare or other insurance. Many hospice patients live well beyond that magical six month certification period that you have heard about. These survivors can be re-certified. Hospice care continues as long as is necessary. Hospice is about living well.

Remember that great book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”, hospice in los angeles  well don’t sweat this, just breathe. Let your hospice team deal with those details. Hospice care is provided where YOU call home, that’s the beautiful part of “concept of care.” You are in control of this most important journey, it is about you, and your life. Hospice is committed to work with you on making it what you want and need it to be.

Maintaining hope for a cure in the face of uncertainty and a time when you have been told that your disease is incurable is devastating. Trying to wrap your thoughts around what to do, how to choose, whether to give up, give in, or choose hospice may all seem like too many things to even think about to be sure. It just may be that choosing hospice is one of your easiest steps along the many choices you will find yourself making. They might be able to help with the many choices you face down the road and the many questions that loom large on your wheel of life once you feel safe enough to trust them. One thing is certain, hope never dies; it may change from hoping for a cure to hoping for the opportunity to live each moment fully until that moment when death comes peacefully. But hope… it is always there, and it is there for you to choose. I wish you enough and I wish you peace. Spread the word as to what hospice truly is… It is about life. Perhaps you will be able to help someone choose hospice now that you know.


Published inUncategorized

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WC Captcha 2 + 2 =