Yep, we are in full-swing with the “H” word and things are running as smoothly as possible. My previous post on hospice (a damn good post if I must say so myself – so go read it!) talked about how I would embrace it and not fear it when it came. Dad turned 83 on December 10th. The average life expectancy is 78, so we are fortunate to have thee extra years (my way of looking at things). The week before dad’s birthday there were two unexpected passings of loved ones in my life, my friend and Dad’s sitter Dora and my little cousin Stephen. Within 48 hours of these 2 tragic events, Dad also took a turn for the worse and entered Hospice. Actually, it was the day Dora passed (coincidence – I am not sure – but he loved her very much and she took great care of him and he has asked for her since). Dad expressed his wishes for a comfortable passing both in legal writing and to me during several lucid intervals. Hospice is here to make his final time here on Earth comfortable and to support all our family.

1. My life of running around to pharmacies, doctors (dragging Dad) and to the store to get this or that for Dad has come to a halt. They deliver everything to my door and come to the house for all Dad’s needs.
2. Medicare covers all Hospice expenses (this does not include sitter care by the way).
3. Hospice is a well-coordinated team, as good as any military unit! Nurse, social worker, Chaplain, assistant nurse for bathing, pharmacy, durable medical equipment…all working together.
4. They will speak to all family members! Nothing worse than playing that game “telephone” with family members regarding important information regarding a loved one. Makes things much easier for everyone and information is clearly communicated to all. All the family has access to the main Hospice number regarding any concerns.
5. They are one step ahead of you! They know what they are doing and have things in place for you to anticipate upcoming needs. For example, Dad was never on oxygen, but it was delivered to the house. Turns out he needed it for a couple of days and managed to turn it around and get off it for now.
6. They offer 24 hour support. They have nurses that just work nights, either to talk to or if something happens and the loved one needs to be seen.
7. They really care! And if you are not happy with your experience, you can always transfer to another Hospice (they even tell you this).
8. The entire team loves what they do and many have had previous experience with Hospice with their own family and that is how they got into this field.
9. They treat the whole family – everyone – and educate at the same time.
10. It is all about comfort for the patient/loved one! They prefer the patient to stay where they are (their home at the time) but would transfer the care to a facility if needed. One can even go on Hospice in a facility. No pain, no discomfort at all…Dad is very much at peace each and every day!

To tell you the truth, I am truly OK knowing he may pass now or whenever he and God decide it is time. We are blessed to have Hospice with us until the end and even if we need support afterwards!

Picture stolen borrowed from here.

5 Replies to “10 Things I Have Learned About Hospice”

  1. Greta,

    Your journey of late with your Dad has been handled with such grace. Having gone through the Hospice experience with my Mom, I have the same sentiment about them. Hospice is a great, great organization that deserves so much positive recognition.

    My friend (and I am lucky to call you that) – blessings to you, your family and your father. You are truly pulling angel duty!

  2. That is wonderful, Greta. You and your family have been so good to/for your father and now to have the wonderful hospice to let you regain your strength/wits is a blessing. Keeping you all in my daily prayers.

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