Archive for Home Health Aides – Page 2

Hospice and the Last Days

hospiceBelow is an overview of what it’s like when someone agrees to hospice care for her or his life-threatening illness. Spoiler alert: my description is intentionally optimistic.

This scenario assumes a patient will be supported by a hospice over several months. Maybe more. As I’ve written elsewhere, nearly a third of all hospice patients die within the first week. Though I understand why, I believe some wait longer than necessary to consider hospice. My hope is that a few find this “optimistic” sketch about the first (and last) days with hospice and make the hard, but equally likely good choice of seeking comfort care when a terminal illness forces you to ask . . .

How can I have the best quality of life in the last days of life?

Meeting the hospice team that will care for you and your family will be overwhelming . . .

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It’s bad enough you’re sick. But not just sick, since you have a terminal illness and your physician—maybe your friendly family doctor or a guy in a starched white lab coat who didn’t know your name without glancing at the chart—told you there are no more options for a cure.

Simply put, you are dying. 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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