The passing of yourself or a loved one may seem like an uncomfortable subject to discuss. More than 50 percent of Americans die in hospitals, quite often in an ICU setting. Most of us, given the choice, would prefer to die in our own home, surrounded by loved ones.
There are many situations that preclude a home environment. End-of-life care is difficult. Patients at this stage are acutely ill and rarely can do much to care for themselves. Private homes may not be large enough to accommodate the patient, a 24/7 caregiver or caregivers, and the ongoing activities of the family. It can be particularly troubling when there are small children at home.
Patients feel alone and vulnerable, because they are. Families worry about them, because they should.
This is what we do every day, 365 days every year. Our compassionate, professional staff provides pain and symptom management. We work to make our patients as physically comfortable as possible. We provide comfort and support both emotionally and physically. We strive to meet people’s spiritual needs, however they define them.
Our hospice teams consist of doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers who help the patient and his or her family to develop an individualized care plan. Above all, the patient’s dignity and sense of control is always a prime consideration.
Patients and families can find rest from the wearying experience of fighting a terminal illness, rest from endless tests, waiting rooms, and hospital stays. We focus on living, not dying. It’s not depressing. It is uplifting for our caregiving teams, the families we serve, and our patients.
“We can create a serene, home-like atmosphere where family members and friends can come and go. There can be no greater gift than investing in helping people maintain their dignity...”