Hospice – Quality of Life until the end

by Joyce Dennison and Jerrie Lea Hopf

Hospice is a type of health care that focuses on the comfort of a terminally ill patient and on their symptom management.  Hospice also helps with spiritual and emotional needs for  end of life care.  Comfort and quality of life are the goals as pain and suffering are reduced.  The term palliative means reduction of pain, and the iterm palliative care is a part of hospice care so that the patient is kept comfortable.  Quality of life until the end is the goal.  Here is one person’s story of hospice and what was involved for her in doing hospice at home.

It is always a shock when the medical providers say that there is no more that can be done for your loved one and hospice is the next step.  Your mind whirls as you try to figure out what to do next and how to cope.

If you are lucky, you will have assistance from the medical facility with contact information and a list of what you have to do.  If not, Google is your friend as you try to find hospice in your area.  Hospice of the Valley serves from Phoenix to the base of Yarnell hill.  There is another Hospice that comes from Prescott to serve from there to Yarnell.

Some of the decisions will be centered around the level of care needed and if you will be bringing your loved one to your home.  I chose to bring my husband home as that was his wish.  He was not in pain nor did he have to have continuous nursing care.  I know the local hospice also have in-house facilities that can provide this.

First of all, the living room had to be cleaned out to make room for a hospital bed and supplies.  I ordered bedding from Amazon and hospice provided the rest.  Bed, diapers, lotions, medications and any other supplies all came from them.  Shortly after the transport driver brought him home, nurses came with information, supplies, phone numbers and a shoulder to cry on.  They were incredibly kind and gentle with me and I felt the support from that moment on.

Continuing care included a case nurse that checked several times a week in person and was on call the rest of the time, a person who came to bathe him and to continue to give me support by teaching me tricks to care for him and answering questions, and, if I would have needed them, counselors were available at all times.  I had good friends and two pastors that gave me that support.

It was as good an experience as one can have at that stage of life.  I will be forever grateful for their kindness.

Hospice of the Valley (623-209-7003)  Good Samaritan Hospice/Prescott (928-968-6727). These are offered as resources, not as an official endorsement by the Weaver Mountains Health Initiative.  If you have a medical experience or health and wellness story to share, please visit WeaverMountainsHealthInitiative.org.  Our mission is fostering connections for healthy living in the Weaver Mountains.