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Hospice Workers Are Angels

Hospice workers are angels.

They come to people for whom they care, and their families and friends, at times of unique need, and they stand ready to help however they can.

In so doing, they can make trying times less trying.

That sums up today’s column.

It’s that simple.

So if you’re busy and don’t have time to read the rest of today’s column, you can put it down. You don’t have to keep reading.

But keep reading anyway.

Different Hospice organizations fill their missions differently. They’re organized differently. They provide different services. And organizations in different jurisdictions have different laws with which they must comply.

So those who may be wondering about engaging with Hospice in whatever way should reach out to whichever Hospice organization they might consider.

However, reaching out can be hard. Perhaps for those who may need patient care. Perhaps for their families or friends.

One understandable reason is that Hospice organizations tend to extend patient care only to those whom doctors believe have a short amount of earthly life remaining.

For that reason, there may understandably be resistance – among those perhaps needing patient care, or their families or friends – to reaching out to a Hospice organization, because it can seem or feel like giving up.

But there are other ways to look at this.

A significant number of people who receive Hospice patient care live beyond, perhaps well beyond, any short amount of time. To use a Hospice term, many people “graduate” from Hospice.

Besides, the sooner a Hospice organization establishes a relationship with those needing Hospice patient care, the more the Hospice organization may be able to do, not only for those needing patient care but also for families and friends.

Such care can enhance the quality of life for all involved.

Such care can include, for example – with differences among different Hospice organizations – doctors, nurses, and chaplains; home-health aides, who may provide assistance with such tasks as feeding, bathing, skin care, and getting dressed; speech, physical, or occupational therapy; or music or art therapy.

What can be particularly striking about Hospice workers is not only what they do but also the caring way in which they do it.

Which is part of what makes them angels who come to people for whom they care, and their families and friends, at times of unique need.

Hospice services don’t end if the patient passes away. Depending on the Hospice organization, bereavement support may be available for a period of time, either individually or in groups. It’s not hard to imagine that some may prefer individual support, while others prefer groups. Whatever one’s preference, either option may be available.

Nor are the services of some Hospice organizations limited to end-of-life care. Some Hospice organizations also provide palliative care.

Unlike Hospice care, palliative care isn’t limited to those whom doctors believe have a short amount of earthly life remaining. Palliative care can focus on the relief of symptoms of illness, including pain or stress, regardless of whether the illness is terminal.

Although it’s possible for many Hospice organizations to provide their services within their own facilities, or in other facilities, a principal advantage of many Hospice organizations is that they can provide Hospice patient care or palliative care in individuals’ homes.

That can allow remaining in one’s own home, or in a home of family or friends.

Wherever the care is received, Hospice workers are angels who come to people for whom they care, and their families and friends, at times of unique need, and they stand ready to help however they can.

Randy Elf joins many people in appreciating the good work that Hospice does.

COPYRIGHT ç 2021 BY RANDY ELF.

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