I had a personal experience with hospice care when my mother was dying last year. Two years earlier, she learned that her heart and lungs weren’t working as they should and we knew her time with us was coming to an end. She chose to enter an Iowa care facility as she required IV medications and she and my father could not handle that at home. For the last six weeks of her life, she had wonderful hospice care.
I come from a medical family with two brothers who are physical therapists and one who is a pharmacist. As a physician, I’ve cared for many hospice patients and even made some home visits to patients who were dying. But it becomes a very different experience when it’s your own loved one who is dying. It was so comforting to have volunteers to talk us through the complex emotions and help my mother come to terms with her dying as well.
One of the neatest experiences for our family was the dedication and caring from an 18-year-old hospice volunteer who worked at the care center. Her desire to be there for my mother after her working hours was inspirational. One of the biggest bouquets of flowers at mother’s funeral was from her, a college student on a limited income.
From a patient perspective, everyone wants to feel that their last days will be peaceful, without pain, filled with dignity and comfort. Hospice care makes this happen.
To make a gift to hospice programming in our local community visit our Give Now page.
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