David Hibbard Guest Columnist
July 25, 2014
At Hospice of Scotland County, we see this situation all too often: a family is at the bedside of a loved one who is seriously ill and nearing the end of life. Each member of the family has a different idea of what should be done and what the patient would have wanted.
Far too many people wait until they are in the midst of a health care crisis before thinking about what options are available or what care they or their loved ones would have wanted. Our staff of hospice professionals deal with these challenging situations every day — that’s what they’re trained to do.
When a family is coping with a serious illness and a cure is no longer possible, hospice provides the type of care most people say they want at the end of life: comfort and dignity. Hospice care is considered to be the model for high-quality, compassionate care for people with a life-limiting illness, and includes expert medical care, pain management, and emotional and spiritual support. A compassionate, expert team of professionals and trained volunteers provide this care at Hospice of Scotland County, and the wishes of the patient and family are always the foundation of care.
Most of the time, we provide hospice care in individual homes — where the majority of people say they want to be during this time of their lives. In addition, hospice care is also provided in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and Morrison Manor, our hospice care center here in Laurinburg.
A common misconception people have is that choosing hospice means giving up, that hope is lost. In reality, hospice care is about choosing quality of life, about making each day as good as possible for the patient and their family. Many patients feel better and enjoy a better quality of life thanks to the nursing, social work and chaplain visits that are all part of hospice care. Another benefit of hospice care that often goes unmentioned is the tremendous support caregivers, family members and friends receive. Many times, the patients and families we are privileged to serve will say, “I wish we had chosen hospice earlier.”
We encourage families to talk about hospice care long before it’s needed. Also, talk with your medical provider now about hospice care; by doing so, they will be aware of your wishes. We understand these conversations can sometimes be difficult to have, but it is much easier to make important decisions like this before there is a crisis.
David Hibbard is director of public relations at Hospice of Scotland County. Reach him at 910-276-7176 or firstname.lastname@example.org.