Hospice care is often not started soon enough. The doctor, patient or family member may resist hospice because they believe it means they’re “giving up.” This is not true. Hospice care offers hope and a quality of life, allowing patients to make the best of each day during their last stages of life.
What is hospice care?
Hospice care offers compassionate care for people in the last phases of their lives so that they can live fully and as comfortable as possible. Hospice accepts death as the final stage of life, and their goal is to help patients live as alert and pain-free as possible in their last days. Pain and symptom management is a major part of hospice care; they believe emotional and spiritual pain is just as important to manage as physical pain.
Hospice care is provided in the individual’s place of residence which may include their home, an assisted living facility or a nursing home. The hospice team includes physicians, nurses, aides, social workers, spiritual care givers, counselors, therapists and volunteers. Family, friends and facility staff serve as primary caregivers. They are trained to work closely with hospice staff to help feed, bathe, turn, administer medications and monitor the patient’s condition. Hospice staff is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Hospice volunteers are able to provide support to patients and their family by running errands, preparing light meals, staying with the patient to give the primary caregiver a break and lend emotional support and companionship to patients and family members.
When is hospice care appropriate?
Hospice is palliative care provided in the last months of life. Hospice care is comfort-focused care for anyone with a chronic or incurable, life-limiting disease and is not seeking curative treatment. Anyone who has a life-limiting disease may be eligible for hospice if their physician and the hospice medical director agree the patient is in their last stage of life.
What is the Season of Hope program and who can participate?
The Hospice team at Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital is anticipating the 2013 Season of Hope campaign. Everyone is welcome to participate in the Season of Hope program, which provides the opportunity to honor and remember loved ones, and to celebrate the birth of a child. Your loved one’s name will be displayed on the registry for a minimum donation of $15. For every donation of $200 or greater, your loved one’s name will be placed on a stone outside the Hospice office on the IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital campus.
For your loved one’s name to be listed, please call the IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital Foundation at 765.747.3420 to donate by April 19. Names submitted after the deadline will be recognized the next year. Your gift is tax deductible and will be used to assist with special needs for terminally ill patients and their families.
Please attend the 2013 Season of Hope Open House on May 8 from 3 pm to 6 pm at the Hospice Office on IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital’s campus.
Ruth Ann Tolle serves as the Manager of IU Health Ball Memorial Hospice. For more information about hospice or Season of Hope, please contact the IU Health Ball Memorial Hospice Office at 765.747.4273 or visit iuhealth.org/ball-memorial.