LIFE RELIGION FAMILY

a place to come and discuss in peace, things of religion, life, and families

HOSPICE, WHAT IS IT? HOW DO I PROCEED ??

Posted by tawodi on June 13, 2007


In today’s world the word,  Hospice,  has taken on new meaning from that which it used to have.  If you are here reading this,  you may have already recieved the shock of your life.  You,  or someone you love,  has gotten the news that you,  or they,  have contracted an illness that is not survivable.  It does make a difference which it is,  you,  or they.

In many cases  you may have heard of them,  but,  you may not. Usually the first use of Hospice is when a loved one is the one who will need them and that is because they are older and more at risk than you.

O.K.  you have gotten the news,  have you talked with the person in question about what their wishes are?  If so, you are now looking to find out the next step. Most care givers have a pamphlet or hand out that they give to patients to whom they give this news, along with some counselling,  others do not.

So now you may find yourself cast adrift so to speak and wondering where you go from here.  If you are not a church goer it may be doubly difficult for you to access help because you don’t have anybody with experience to show you the way.

The very first place to look is in the phone book under Hospice. The next is public health services they are constantly reffering people from all over the map so to speak,  to different services and caregivers.

DO NOT,  be afraid to call them if you are poor… they are set up to offer care to the dying even with no money exchanging hands,  as a matter of fact they very often are completely free of charge to all.  Most of the people who serve are trained volunteers and they don’t charge so the service does not either.

The range of services they offer is as follows, I by the way have set many people up with some or all of them.

Placement for those who can not go home for terminal care,  due to lack of family members to help care for them.

Arranging the home care equipment such as oxygen,  toilet helps,  hospital type beds,  excercise equipment,  support care of professionals,  (medicare or other plans pay for this)  Clergy that is specially trained for these circumstances,  support services for the dependants of the terminally ill,  such as help with child counselling,  councilling for you,  people who will come in several times a month so you can take a break from providing care,  (very important) even drivers and others to make this the supportive nurturing experience you and all in your family,  will need to weather the coming trials.

One of the things that brings grace to these situations is the fact that you will have time to face this,  to grieve together as a family and to get to know the one who will pass. I have written before what a great boon it is to be able to make audio or video tapes of conversations with the loved one and preserve who and what they were,  for you and your family, yes, but also for them,  it is a great comfort to know you will not be forgotten. The thoughts and love they have for you can be stated and confirmed while alive,  looking you in the eye,  a grace that some never receive to give to their loved ones before they pass from this life.

The plans for after death and what will be the final disposition of property,  keepsakes and momentos,  is critically important to some people as they attach a special signifigance to each item with certain members of the family. Record these wishes either on tape or write them down,  it will be of great comfort to them.

Last,  but by no means least,  Hospice care extends to the family before and after the passing of the family member,  there are support groups to help you weather the storm and there will be a storm.  You will be concentrating on the care of the person who is ill when the end comes,  it can come to pass that you will suddenly find that you NEED some help,  all your emotions and fears needs and wants have been on the back burner,  some times for months or even as long as a year or more. All most every one involved with the long term care of a loved one passes through this and needs and DESERVES help.  The range of emotions you will go through,  is almost infinite and pricipally guilt,  is the most dangerous one.

One of the best weapons I can give you is this,  every thing you feel is real, they are your feelings and you have a right to them, you can not, control  your  feelings,  BUT,  you can control what you do with them,  and self destruction of the bad feeling need not overwhealm you,  if you have help. The people involved in Hospice care are familiar with this aspect of things and nothing you say,  will surprise them,  bring them dismay,  or poison their feeling for YOU and what you are going through. There is a reason for this. They’ve been there, most of the volunteers in Hospice care have become familiar with them because they used this care for a loved one and they,  themselves were greatly helped and want to pass it forward,  so to speak,  to others in need of the support and assistance they received  in a terrible time,  a time made bearable by the loving support of the Hospice volunteers,  around the world.  If you have questions post them in a comment I will answer them every one with information  and the places to go to find help

Be well all and at peace………Rev.  Bruce                                                  Tawodi

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One Response to “HOSPICE, WHAT IS IT? HOW DO I PROCEED ??”

  1. Mike Dolan said

    Bruce

    I was by my mothers side when she passed away from cancer not all that long ago and I can tell you this, Hospice was a Godsend to my family. They knew exactly what they were doing, were respectful and courteous. They were precise on everything they told us down to the minute she would die.

    So I guess what I am saying is that I have nothing but good to say about the Hospice program.

    God Bless

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