My Hospice Experiences
by RaChelle S.
My first experience was with my grandmother, Melba. She was nearing the end of her life and could no longer take care of her own needs. My loving mother brought my grandmother into her home and wanted to make sure to give her mother the best, most loving care possible. My grandmother had raised a very large family and had fostered almost one hundred children. She was always the caregiver and now it was her family’s turn to care for her. Knowing our situation, a good family friend, Cindy Lee, offered hospice services to my grandmother. Cindy and her team were kind, calm, professional, and wonderful guides through the end-of-life process. With the help of the Heart ‘n Home team, my family was able to spend quality time with our grandmother/mother and pamper and love her until she passed from this life.
Approximately eight years later, a relative of mine decided to open an adult foster home and they were looking for caregivers. Because the extra income sounded great, I accepted a job offer. Little did I know that this job would be one of the most rewarding jobs that I ever had. I soon learned that caring for elderly clients was an honor. Being able to physically and emotionally help these amazing individuals truly was an honor. They had lived full lives, but their bodies were aging and they could no longer do the things they used to do. I enjoyed listening to their life stories and experiences as well as getting to know the families that loved them. It was at this facility that I came in contact with Heart ‘n Home again. I watched as they gave professional and loving care to each of our clients on hospice. The Heart ‘n Home employees had a passion for what they were doing and it was obvious by their attitudes and actions. I still remember many of them by name. They were amazing at what they did and I saw how hospice care was a blessing to the patients and the families.
A few years later my mother-in-law started to show signs of heart failure. She did not want to seek any treatment. She knew about her heart problems long before the family could see the signs. By the time we saw the signs of heart failure, things were progressing very quickly. We called Heart ‘n Home to get her on services, but we had waited too long. Heart ‘n Home came and did the initial visit, but she passed away the following day. Sadly, she was not able to have the benefits of hospice. Her children and I were able to care for her, this amazing mother who had taken care of everyone else her whole life, but we did not get that support that hospice could have provided.
The one common factor in all of my hospice experiences was Heart ‘n Home Hospice & Palliative Care. This spring I started considering a career change and since I thought so highly of Heart ‘n Home, I applied. I was thrilled when I learned that I was able to join their team the first of May. Over the last month and a half I have learned so much more about hospice. I have learned why the employees are passionate about making sure each person has the benefit of hospice at the end of their life.
Here are a few of the things that I have learned about hospice since joining the Heart ‘n Home team:
Hospice is a benefit that each and every person is entitled to. Hospice has been set up to make sure that individuals and their families are taken care of at the end of their life. Hospice covers 100 percent of necessary hospice services including medical equipment, medications, care, counseling, and bereavement. Knowing that families will not have those out of pocket expenses for this care and that there is someone looking out for the family after their death, brings great peace of mind.
Another thing that I learned is that people can actually live longer on hospice services compared to not having services. There have been many studies conducted between test groups of people with common terminal illnesses and the groups that were on hospice were able to live months longer than those without hospice services. The group on hospice also consistently reported being happier and pain-free. Hospice allows a person to be comfortable until the very last breath of life.
Hospice services allow families to have more quality time with their loved ones. Families often become the caregivers as their loved ones age. A hospice team can come in and be a support for the family as well as the patient.
Hospice care is personalized according to the needs and wants of the patient. We want the patient to be happy and comfortable. There are many benefits available and each is offered to the patient and the patient decides what they want to use. The services available to each patient include Volunteers who can come and visit or help where needed, Medical Social Workers who can help with paperwork and advance care planning, Spiritual Care Providers who can be a person to talk to and be a friend to the soul, registered Nurses who manage care under your doctor, Hospice CNAs who give excellent care, and bereavement services for families. All of this is offered to patients and they choose their personalized care.
Things that I’ve learned about Heart ‘n Home:
Heart ‘n Home employees love their jobs. I have been told this over and over and I didn’t understand why until I joined the team. The leadership team spends a great amount of time training their employees well so that they can succeed in their positions. They encourage and expect their employees to be kind and positive towards everyone they meet. The Heart ‘n Home team has core values that they strive to achieve including things such as being passionate, respectful, trustworthy, compassionate, as well as giving legendary service. Each employee is taught to think of others, and not just think about yourself. These values are demonstrated by employees daily … creating a wonderful work atmosphere.
Heart ‘n Home is very good at being compliant with all laws and regulations and they pride themselves with being so. All rules and regulations are followed, always. We believe in being honest and ethical in all that we do.
We love Veterans. We want to honor and show respect to all Veterans for their service.
We are passionate about hospice care! We want to exceed our customer’s expectations and give the highest quality care to each and every patient.
If you or someone you care for may benefit from hospice services, please contact us today.
Fruitland CARE Coordinator
Heart ‘n Home Hospice & Palliative Care, LLC