This evening we had the pleasure of learning about Hospice from Diane Fasselius the Community Education Specialist for Hospice of Dubuque. There are several important ideas that we can take away from her visit!
-There is great wisdom in planning ahead. Why are we so hesitant to plan for the last phase of our life, we plan everything else? Have your wishes in writing, and talk with your family members about what you prefer. Planning means getting the wishes in writing before a major issue arises. Typically decisions that are made in an emotional crisis-mode aren't always made with the best intentions. Sometimes that can leave a family member with some feeling of guilt if they aren't confident about what the person wishes.
-Bereavement support groups are not limited to families that have been served by Hospice. It's available to anyone in the community.
-Hospice wants to give education and guidance to give patients and families more comfort and knowing their options. Quality is often more important than quantity.
-Being diagnosed with a terminal illness can be similar to being dropped into a foreign country. You don't know the language, customs, and routines. It can be very intimidating to deal with. The Hospice Mission Statement: To provide compassionate care for the terminally ill AND their loved ones.
-Hospice focuses on providing comfort and managing symptoms.
-Hospice is not about dying and death. They are about life and living!
-Hospice is not about giving up control. The hospice workers provide the options and the patient is allowed to make the best choice for them. Balancing benefit vs. Burden. Comfort vs. Cure. Healing vs. Curing.
-Early Referrals are extremely important. A referral for a patient can come from anyone invested in someone's care. A friend, a family member, or a healthcare worker. Informational meetings are free, a nurse will meet to answer questions.