Impacts of Hospice

Back CameraI was out with friends the other day and one of them recommended a fabulous Italian restaurant they had just eaten at. One of the other gals chimed in about how much she also loved that restaurant- and how it brought back so many memories because while her grandmother was at Evergreen Hospice, they would eat at this restaurant regularly since it was so close to the hospice house.

She then went on to describe her experience with hospice– and what an amazing service it is. She talked about how much it helped her family through a very difficult time. One thing she mentioned that I found to be very interesting was that originally her grandmother had been admitted to the hospital and the doctors were trying to run all sorts of tests, MRI’s and prescribe medication to treat her problem. When in reality, at age 97, all she really wanted to do was to die peacefully surrounded by loved ones and without any pain. Luckily, they were made aware of Evergreen Hospice House and advocated that her grandmother be transferred there. According to my friend, most doctors won’t mention hospice– it is a topic that you must bring up to them.

My friend spoke about how glad she was that the hospice staff educated the family on the stages of dying – so that when her grandmother started talking about taking an airplane ride- she knew that was a sign that the end was near. Because of the expertise of the hospice staff, they knew to not try to correct their grandmother and explain there were no airplanes… instead they encouraged her to get on the plane when she was ready. And when the time came, the family was there to experience and witness a beautiful death.

To have been a part of the process of dying in such a peaceful and safe environment was life changing for my friend. She could not say enough wonderful things about the Evergreen Hospice house and the experience she had.

After she finished sharing her story, my other friend spoke up about her personal experience with hospice. In her case it was her mother in law who was dying. My friend spoke about how rather than be in the hospital, they wanted to bring her home and let her make the most of the limited time she had left. My friend commented on how wonderful the hospice staff were- they arranged for a hospital bed to be delivered to the house, they took care of all pain medication, offered education and training to the family regarding what to expect as the illness progressed- and after she died- they took care of all the arrangements, making it much less stressful for the family.

Hearing my friends share their personal experiences with hospice makes me glad that more and more people are taking advantage of this service. Many people don’t realize that Hospice is covered by Medicare, and is often an under-utilized service.

According to Gentiva/ Odyssey Hospice, some possible indicators that hospice may be appropriate are:

  • Life expectancy of six months or less

  • Hospitalization or emergency room visit more than once in that past 6 months

  • Weight loss with a noticeable difference

  • Shortness of breath even while resting

  • Several falls over the last 6 months

  • Feeling weak or more tired than usual

  • Making frequent phone calls to physicians’ office

  • Spending most of the day in a chair or bed

Death and dying do not have to be a scary, lonely event. Allow experts to assist your family through this process. Capability Homecare works daily in conjunction with hospice teams. We can provide respite for families, help with housekeeping, companionship and assist with ADL’s. Our caregivers are experienced and trained in hospice care. We offer:

  • Increase communication with team members

  • Liaison between client, family and hospice

  • Increased awareness of pain management, communication

  • Tracking and communication of pain changes to hospice team

  • Increase staff during crisis management – during last 72 hours of life and as needed

  • Peace of mind for families who are looking for extra comfort and help

  • Caregivers are experienced working with hospice

  • Support hospice team managing disease

  • Provide 24/7 care so the patient is never left alone

  • Respite for family

For more information about hospice, click here, or call Capability Homecare at 425 679 5770

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