In addition to being National Home Care month it is also National Hospice month in November. The word, “hospice” usually brings a sad connotation as none of us wants to think about our loved ones’ end of life. However, sharing from personal experience, hospice can serve a positive and invaluable role in caring for your loved one.

There are many ways hospice can assist the patient and family at a very difficult time. Once a person qualifies for hospice, their medical care is supervised by the hospice company they have chosen. This means, no more trips to the doctor or hospital; a nurse can come to your home and if needed a physician. Medical equipment and supplies are provided by hospice and delivered to the home. A personal aide will come to the patient’s home twice a week for a bath, shower, shave, and clothing change.

In addition to meeting the patients’ physical needs they are equipped to meet emotional and social needs. Social workers on staff are available to meet with the patient and family. A Chaplin is also available to visit with both. Many companies also have bereavement care for families.

I personally experienced all the good hospice has to offer in one day when caring for my father.  I awoke one morning to find my ailing father on the floor, unexpectedly lethargic. While in this crisis, my husband (the only other person in the house) was throwing up and in pain. I called our hospice company for help as my husband was on his way to the hospital as our doctor thought it was appendicitis. Within an hour the nurse, nurses aid, and social worker were all at my house to help me with dad! The social worker confirmed she would stay until we learned about my husband’s situation. Thankfully, my husband recovered from what was the stomach flu. Three days later, my father passed.

Gratitude does not express how I feel about the help I received during that time. Caring for a dying loved one can be extremely overwhelming. Let the caring professionals of hospice come along side you to help. If you are in need of hospice resources, you can call Family Private Care and we will be happy to refer you to a local hospice organization.


Written by Pam Kell