Putting a Face on Hospice Patients

Conversations about hospice often focus on hospice staff and the care that is provided to patients and families. Much is said and written about hospice procedures and policies. Explaining how hospice works is a big part of the story of hospice.

That’s why it is refreshing to read about the real people who are hospice patients. Their stories in their own words provide an intimate glimpse of these individuals and how they are experiencing end-of-life. When a patient is generous enough to share his or her story, it gives us guidance regarding decisions to be made about loved ones in our own lives. These profiles and comments remind us that hospice is a vital part of our health care system and delivers care that is unique and special.

The article on the front page of the August 19, 2012 edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch included comments from Hope Hospice patient Jeanne Lampe of St. Louis. She talks about the difficulty of her condition: “Death itself doesn’t bother me, but emphysema is a crappy death. You’re basically gasping for breath.” She also reveals her sense of humor: “When I’m ready to go, I want morphine and a margarita.”

The front-page photo that accompanies the story shows Jeanne Lampe having her breathing monitored by Hope Hospice nurse Jason Winfrey. This photo is touching and moving. It is an example of the real people who receive hospice care from Hope Hospice everyday. We tip our hat to the Post-Dispatch for including the photo of Jeanne, as well as photos of patients served by other St. Louis hospices, with its article about hospice.

The article helps inform the community about the services that hospice care provides and delves into the business aspects of hospice care in St. Louis. To read the entire article, click here. But more importantly, the article and the photos show that hospice patients are real people.

At Hope Hospice, patient care and patient comfort are our primary goals. We treat every patient as an individual—a real person with real needs and concerns. We offer special thanks to Jeanne Lampe for telling her story and putting a face on the story of hospice.

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