Monthly Archives: April 2014

How Do I Know When It’s Time… To Ask About Hospice?

In some families, it’s easy to talk about sensitive subject matter. In others, one has to be extra careful about what is said to immediate family members.

Who should bring up the subject of hospice and when? Should the doctor or team of physicians be the first to broach the subject? Should the patient be proactive and ask questions? Or, should the patient wait for a spouse/partner, a sibling or an offspring to offer the first mention of hospice?

The answer is—there is no specific answer. If the patient is of sound mind and is in control of his or her healthcare, the patient may want to initiate the family discussion. The patient, however, may encounter resistance from family members who say things like, “Don’t even go there. You’re gonna beat this thing.”

Even if the patient is confident of recovery/remission, there’s no harm in asking about hospice now. None of us is going to live forever. When—at some future date—the information about hospice becomes relevant, the patient (and, presumably, caregivers) will possess the knowledge.

A concerned caregiver may want to make the first inquiry. Learning about hospice and sharing that information with the patient helps demystify the concept. It can also soften the starkness of a doctor’s suggestion somewhere down the road to contact a hospice agency.

Hospice personnel everywhere are acutely aware that while most adults have heard of hospice, many know little about what hospice is and what it does.

At Hope Hospice we answer questions every week from patients, family members and medical personnel about our services. Whether your questions are general or specific, feel free to call our offices anytime at 314-984-9800.

Hope Hospice is based in St. Louis county (Missouri) at Manchester and Barrett Station roads. We serve patients and families in St. Louis city and county and in Jefferson, St. Charles and Franklin counties.

 

 

 

 

National Healthcare Decisions Day 2014

Wednesday, April 16, marks the 7th annual National Healthcare Decisions Day. The event was started by an elder law attorney in Richmond to call attention to the need for all of us to make important choices now.

This year Hope Hospice will present Informational Events on Wednesday, April 16, to share information about these decisions. The events will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on April 16 at Chesterfield Mall in the Food Court and at the Des Peres Schnucks grocery store.

Personnel from Hope Hospice will be at both locations to answer questions about Advance Directives. We will also have a representative from an elder law firm on hand at each location to answer basic questions about certain legal issues.

For those who have not considered issuing an Advance Directive, Hope Hospice will provide printed information and forms to those who visit our Informational Event.

For those who have given serious thought to these major life choices, Hope Hospice will provide forms that can be completed and notarized on site.

Many of us know friends and relatives who have had to make agonizing decisions regarding the healthcare of a loved one. In many cases, these decisions (and the conversations leading up to them) can lead to family discord and hard feelings.

We at Hope Hospice work to guide patients in making these (and other) important decisions as soon as they come on to our patient roll. When patients are not of sound mind and unable to make their choices known, family members may then be faced with tough decisions.

National Healthcare Decisions Day allows each of us to assert our own preferences for healthcare in the latter stages of our lives. We invite you to join us at Chesterfield Mall or the Des Peres Schnucks on April 16.

We also suggest you visit the National Healthcare Decisions Day website. Click HERE to be linked to nhdd.org.

For more information about the event on April 16 or answers to general questions about hospice care, call Hope Hospice at 314-984-9800.