Archive for Home Health Aide – Page 2

Hospice Strangers at Your Door

It's like a crowd headed your way . . .

It’s like a crowd headed your way . . .

In 1989’s Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner’s character famously heard, “If you build it, he will come.” If you haven’t seen the film, I won’t reveal the enigmatic “he” that eventually arrived at the baseball field built on an Iowa farm.

I usually recall the quote as “If you build it, they will come” . . . since crowds did gather at that heaven-like spot of the Midwest.

Field of Dreams was a sweet fantasy, but the reality of hospice means that many strangers will also arrive at your house. While hospice care happens away from a person’s residence, 58% (according to 2014 data) of all hospice patients remain in their homes and the “team” from hospice knocks on your front door. Part of hospice’s appeal is allowing people to continue living in the place they know best: home. For some families, that appeal is undermined by the flood of “strangers” from hospice phoning to make appointments and soon parking on your street.

If only it was one “he” that arrived at the busy “field” formally known as your lovely, quiet home!

First it may be the admitting nurse that visits. Maybe she or he actually came to the hospital, and they shared about the great things hospice will do. You heard hospice’s wonderful promise about the patient—your beloved—being able to return home. Where do you want to die? (Research I’ve read indicates 7 in 10 prefer home.) You may never see the admitting nurse again once you’ve agreed to hospice, but I hope it was a good experience. I hope she helped you understand the hospice benefits. I hope he was able to answer many of your pressing questions. Read More →

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Home Health Angels

In the brief time I was a hospice chaplain in the late 1990s, and certainly as a pastor serving churches, I entered into people’s homes.

Dad HandI’d spend time at kitchen tables, settle onto sofas and often—especially with hospice patients—pull up a folding chair and sit next to a bed. Maybe I’d talk about an upcoming baptism for an infant around one of those tables, with the remnants of dinner still between the excited parents and me. Or on that sofa, balancing a cup of coffee, I’d help an eager couple plan their upcoming wedding. However, when I eased onto a chair by someone’s bed, it was rarely a happy occasion.

I recall one church member who’d had back surgery and was bed-bound for months. While Marilyn was blessed with many friends, most of them worked during the day. For long stretches, she felt alone and lonely. And so I sat beside her, my prayers for her strength and health probably as important as our joking and swapping stories that helped pass the dreary time. Read More →

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