|The Silent Beauty of Crater Lake Reminds Me of the Peace of the Soul|
Many know about hospice to some degree or another. Many have used hospice services with their loved ones. In March 2016, I experienced how amazing hospice can be for the first time in my life.
Hearing about them and seeing what they can do with your own loved one and family during an end of life period of time are two completely different things. They have mastered all the things needed during end of life care.
"Hospice care is a type of care and philosophy of care that focuses on the palliation of a chronically ill, terminally ill or seriously ill patients pain and symptoms, and attending to their emotional and spiritual needs. In Western society, the concept of hospice has been evolving in Europe since the 11th century. Then, and for centuries thereafter in Roman Catholic tradition, hospices were places of hospitality for the sick, wounded, or dying, as well as those for travelers and pilgrims. The modern concept of hospice includes palliative care for the incurably ill given in such institutions as hospitals or nursing homes, but also care provided to those who would rather spend their last months and days of life in their own homes." - Wikipedia
In my case my mother, age 91, had lost some weight and was turning a bit yellow, so the administrator at her senior living residence advised her that she should see a doctor. It turned out that she had evidence of pancreatic cancer from an MRI screening.
This was only three weeks before she passed away.
During the days leading up to these final moments hospice was prescribed by a doctor when she was scheduled to have a biopsy that was cancelled at the last minute due to a do-not-resuscitate legal document. My mother was overjoyed that she could now finally move on, and was praying privately that it would happen fast.
We also had hoped that if something ever happened, that it would be fast and she would not have to suffer.
Hospice immediately put her on morphine for pain, provided protocols for the senior living residential care with medications, and also was very comforting to our family that was experiencing the beginning of the end-of-life moments. They told us what to expect, approximate days, and kept us informed about every step of the end-of-life journey.
During the final moments Karen, who had worked for hospice care for seven years, said she had never seen anything quite like what happened with my mother. Coming out of a deep sleep and right before she passed, my mother regained some awareness to be able to respond (non-verbally) to what my sister and I were saying, about family members who had passed over, our gratitude for her, and other words of encouragement and love.
Hospice proved to be an invaluable service for my mother and our family, and they are non-profit, funded by donations, Medicare, and government grants.