Facing the final days, with Hospice at your side

I held Dad’s hand when he passed.

I held Grandpa’s hand when he passed.

Hospice held my hand during their last days.

I can’t say enough about how wonderful Hospice has been to our family!  The old stereotypes of Hospice care are no longer true.  Back in the mid 80’s when Grandma was dying of ovarian cancer they provided her with pain medication and tried to keep her comfortable.  That’s good, but today they provide more.

The doctors and nurses work with the patient and family to ensure comfort and quality of life.  Nursing assistants will come out a couple of times a week to help with bathing.  Chaplains come over to provide spiritual support and a sympathetic ear.  Social workers help you find the resources you need while caring for your loved one.  Volunteers come on board to provide respite care so you can run errands or just take a break.

Hospice will provide durable medical equipment (eg: hospital beds, wheelchairs, oxygen concentrators, bedside commodes …) and disposable supplies (eg: adult briefs, some medications, special pillows to prevent bedsores …)

They spend the time necessary to help you learn how to provide needed care.

Many doctors are hesitant to bring up the concept of starting Hospice care.  This stems from the idea that by suggesting Hospice they are acknowledging that they have failed to find a cure.

There comes a time where a decision must be made; continue to seek treatments that aren’t effective anymore or make the most out of each day.  Hospice is all about making the most out of each day.

If you feel you are at this point (or your loved one feels this way), speak with your doctor.

Grandpa was on Hospice for almost a year.  Until the last two months of that time he was able to; visit with family, go out for a meal, attend church services, and do many other things he enjoyed.  During his time on Hospice we held a huge party for his 95th birthday at an historic venue.  The only concession we had to make for his declining health was to bring his lift recliner so he could sit and be comfortable.

When we had questions, either about Dad or Grandpa, we could call the nurse helpline 24/7.  If we needed a nurse in the middle of the night, one was available to come to help.

When they passed, Hospice was there to provide support and care for our family.

Once your loved one passes, Hospice continues to offer support for the family.  They offer bereavement counseling and support groups for any family member.

To find out more about Hospice care click here.

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