The work of hospice is personal and emotional. Comments from survivors regarding hospice are revealing. Here are a handful of excerpts taken from the individual stories told at HospiceFoundation.org.
“If I had one wish it would be to be able to reach people that have the same fears about Hospice that Fred and I had and to be able to reassure them. Hospice gave him the quality of life for his last days that he would not have had without them.”
“The people we were lucky enough to have assigned to our team while Dad was at home were some of the most caring and professional individuals I’ve ever met. They even attended Dad’s funeral service.”
“Our family is so grateful to have had Hospice. They are such wonderful and loving people and we will forever more recommend hospice services to anyone who is in need… You all make such a difference to those departing us and those of us who are left behind.”
“There simply are no words to express what I feel for these wonderful people who helped each of us, especially Mom, who was allowed to die at home, surrounded by people who loved her. I don’t know what my Dad would have done without them.”
“I appreciated the hospice staff and their attention to even the oddest of our requests during this difficult time… Although losing a loved one was unimaginably personal, hospice lent a heartfelt hand, gently guiding us through this anguished journey.”
“Hospice care does not end at the moment of death…. The warmth the hospice staff has extended to me and to my Mother’s caregivers has made it much easier for all of us to get through the past months since her death.”
Take a moment to read these stories. Click HERE to check out the full list.
If you have questions about hospice care, please call us at Hope Hospice at 314-984-9800. We serve patients and families throughout the St. Louis area.
One of the great misconceptions of hospice care is that it is only for those who are just days away from dying. We at Hope Hospice work to educate the St. Louis community that hospice is for all persons who have a life expectancy of 6 months or less.
But some hospice patients live beyond the 6-month time period. Upon reevaluation, a patient may be determined to be well enough to go off of hospice care. Or a patient may be recertified to allow care to continue. Hope Hospice closely follows state and federal guidelines regarding patient eligibility.
A recent article on hospice care that ran in the Washington Post points suggests reasons why some patients outlive “a legitimate prognosis of six months.” Citing an executive at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and others, the article states: “A larger portion of patients today have diseases whose outcomes are harder to predict. That’s because the portion of hospice patients suffering from cancer, a disease that has a more predictable course, has shrunk.”
An article distributed by McClatchy newspapers in 2006 shares details of a Harvard Medical School study of doctors’ diagnoses of terminally ill patients: “In 4 out of 5 cases doctors’ estimates of how long a patient would live were wide of the mark by at least a third. That is, for a patient who actually died in 30 days, 80 percent of doctors predicted 20 days or less or 40 days or more.”
One reason for the increased number of hospice survivors may be the actual care provided by hospices. The McClatchy article suggests: “With the focused attention of hospice doctors, nurses, social workers and spiritual counselors, patients get their medications adjusted and take them regularly. They get painkillers adequate to assure a night’s sleep. They eat regularly, and their loved ones get some help and relief.
A clinical director at a hospice in Pennsylvania said, “Often, just taking away the pain and enabling them to sleep through the night gives people a second wind.”
If you have questions about hospice care and the benefits of hospice care, please call Hope Hospice at 314-984-9800.