“And me, I got what I wanted. I died with my life around me. Isn’t that what any of us would ask for, to be fully in our lives as we leave them, to have been ourselves all the way first? This is the gift…” Excerpt from “Heaven’s Coast: A Memoir” by Mark Doty
If you’ve recently gotten news that a loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and has chosen hospice services, you may be thinking, “isn’t the decision for hospice about giving up hope and waiting to die?” No, it does not mean that, not at all. In the words of Mark Doty, “this is the gift.”
Hospice is about life and living, not death and dying. Hospice brings quality of life and comfort to patients and their families. Hospice enables patients to live fully to the end, to die “with their lives around them.” In a nutshell, hospice is a patient and family support service that keeps the patient comfortable, teaches the family to provide care, and offers emotional and spiritual support.
At Heart ‘n Home, a team of Physicians, Nurses, Social Workers, Bereavement Counselors, Spiritual Care Providers, Hospice CNAs, and Volunteers provide care and education to patients in their home, a family member’s home, nursing home, adult foster home — wherever the patient resides. Using some combinations of medications, counseling, and therapies most patients can be kept pain-free, comfortable, and peaceful. Hospice neither hastens nor postpones dying. Hospice provides presence, specialized skills, and knowledge during the end-of-life process. And, after a patient death, hospice provides continued contact and support to caregivers for at least 13 months. These are the gifts.
As Heart ‘n Home wishes you and your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving, we are also taking this opportunity to express our own gratitude. The “gifts” we are invited to give through care, service, and education come back to us a million times over every day, every time. End of life is a very special, private, delicate, and intimate time. Being a part of that process is a privilege like no other and we thank our patients, your families and friends, and our community for inviting us into your lives to share it. These are the gifts you give to us. Thank you!