Melissa, a community representative for Baptist Health Home Care, spends her days educating patients, families, and community partners about the benefits and services of home health care. However, when her grandfather was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Melissa learned the benefits of a different type of in-home care; Hospice care. She describes her family’s experience with Hospice.
When you hear the word “Hospice” does it bring forward emotions of fear, anxiety, and sadness that it is ‘the end’. Or emotions of relief, hope, and a sense of control and dignity?
I did not know much about Hospice. I work in the healthcare field, however, have a very limited knowledge of what Hospice is all about. My family and I were able to experience Hospice care with a family member. My grandfather had terminal lung cancer that chemo and radiation did not help. It is difficult for anyone to have a diagnosis of terminal cancer, but to see a loved one experience the ups, downs, the pain, the frustration and many other hurdles and emotions that go along with it, it is simply put ‘hard’. The last thing you want to do is to have a conversation about “end of life”. Due to his poor prognosis Hospice care was an option to consider. I am very glad that he was agreeable to Hospice because he had such a great quality of life for the time he had left.
After Hospice was contacted, there was an initial visit by Hospice staff. This visit was an information session discussing the services that are available to the patient and family. The main part of the visit was discussing what he wanted and what his goals and concerns were. Having this conversation helped the staff to tailor an individualized plan of care for him and also his family. During his care under Hospice, he had a nurse that was assigned to him that checked his vitals at each visit and addressed any concerns or needs. We were so happy that we were set up with Hospice early on in his care so that he had the best experience with hospice care.
If you or a loved one has a terminal illness, Hospice may be an option. Call your doctor or Baptist Health Hospice at 270-326-4660 to find out more. The sooner Hospice is contacted the more help and care your loved one will receive.