One word… One word that’s the most solidifying word you will ever hear. A word that can often be misinterpreted.
One word… Hospice.
This means you are dying. Maybe not dying today, tomorrow or the next day – but it is a word not many want to hear. As a hospice liaison, helping people understand to not be afraid is part of what makes my job so rewarding. Watching potential patients and their family member begin to ease as I explain the role of hospice is an incredible feeling.
As a hospice liaison, I help ease all your previous notions about what we do and assure you that we are here to help.
Hospice doesn’t mean you will die tomorrow. It does not mean you will be taken off all your medications or stay home while waiting for the end. What it does mean is that you have a terminal illness and instead of continuing to seek aggressive treatment, it is better for you to be comfortable and have a quality of life with loved ones, however that may be defined by you.
It is shown that a hospice patient lives more comfortably when: a nurse visits to manage pain and symptoms, a home health aide provides personal care, a social worker assists with community resources and counseling, a chaplain offers spiritual support, volunteers play cards with and a physician oversees it all to ensure you are as comfortable as possible for however long that may be.
That one word… Hospice. Let’s look at it in a more positive way, focusing on the benefits we can offer a patient and their family.
So, I ask both professionals and patients – Why would you not want to live more comfortably with support from hospice?
-Tracy Wagoner, Hospice Liaison