The people who reside in and near Livingston are well known for their sense of community, caring nature, as well as strong family values. Whenever tough times come, the people of Livingston have a reputation for pulling together and supporting each other, just as they did when Katrina rained destruction upon Louisiana’s towns and cities. Unfortunately, life is full of storms, and while the forces of nature brings most storms, others are simply part of life. None more distressing than when a person we care for develops a terminal illness. Still, these storms happen to every family. Inevitably, we will all need to suffer through the loss of loved ones because each of our lives will ultimately come to its end.
When a person we love is coming to the end of their earthly life, many of us are not prepared and oftentimes at a loss as to where to go for the guidance we require to help us through this challenging and often unfamiliar aspect of life. In most instances, hospice care is the solution we are looking for to support us through the challenges of taking care of our loved ones 24-7.
The majority of Livingston natives most likely believe that hospice is a facility that terminally ill people go to pass away. But, hospice is not a place, and it is not about dying. The truth is, hospice is a compassionate, holistic medical treatment that improves the quality of life for our patients and their families. It also permits individuals who have a life-limiting illness to lead the best quality of life possible in the time they have been given.
Hospice also makes it possible for people approaching the end of their lives to continue to live in Livingston and reside in their homes with their families near them. As a matter of fact, almost 90% of the folks that elect hospice as a treatment program continue to stay in their residences up until they pass on. It doesn’t matter if they reside in a house, a retirement community, or an apartment in Livingston because hospice is almost always conducted in a patient’s home, regardless of the place they call home. Hospice Associates’ caring staff will come to your Livingston home and deliver the compassionate care you or your loved one needs, and we will do it when you or your loved one requires it, anytime, day or night. Hospice Associates is only a phone call away.
How is it that just one word can cause so much fear?
How does one word cause people to cringe?
One word that a lot of people never hope to hear…
That word is HOSPICE, and it’s not nearly as scary as you might think. Hospice isn’t a thing to be feared, it is something to be embraced.
Hospice was originally a shelter for those with a fatal disease– a place where the dying would go to live out the final days of their lives. Today hospice is no longer considered a destination. Instead, it is now viewed as more of a medical service that offers comfort and care to patients in their homes. Whether that home is within a nursing home, assisted living facility, family members’ home, or their very own home. Hospice can be provided to patients irrespective of the location they refer to as home.
Among the biggest mistaken beliefs regarding hospice I’ve encountered is that a lot people often assume hospice is exclusively for individuals that only have a few days left to live. The reality is hospice becomes accessible when a doctor tells their patient that their condition is terminal and a cure is no longer a possibility.
My experiences as a hospice nurse have allowed me the to witness the wonderful aspects of what hospice care can offer to a family. One of the many things I learn from families is that they wish they would have known hospice was an option long before they did. I believe this is because hospice reduces the burden placed on family members and provides them peace of mind. Once they understand the relief hospice provides, families can start to appreciate the time they have left with the people they love.
I think this is because the sooner hospice is made available to a patient’s family, the sooner they can let go of the anxiety and fear of being the only ones giving care to their family member. And once they realize the freedom hospice offers, they are able to start enjoying the short time they have remaining with their loved one.
We help walk families through each and every component of the disease process, so they can understand how illness will progress and what they should come to expect. Then, as issues occur, we are available to answer each of their questions and address any problems they might have. Because of this knowledge and understanding, families shed the fear of the unfamiliar and are given the resources they need to help their loved ones through the dying process.
This is not only for our patients but also for their families. Comfort is a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint. Hospice provides patients and family members spiritual, psychosocial, and physical comfort. Pain can be caused by many different things, but it is not restricted to just physical distress. I have realized that spiritual pain could be equally as challenging to ease as bodily suffering is. Our chaplain and social workers strive together alongside our hospice nurses to attend to all of the pains that may occur.
Hospice also helps to clear away the restrictions you might think your condition has put on you. Our goal is for you to be comfortable and live each moment you have left to the fullest with your loved ones.
Virtualy all hospice care is provided in-home, regardless of the place the patient considers home. Hospice can be provided at your personal home, retirement community, assisted living, group homes, or family residences.
Hospice care, even in-home hospice is usually 100% paid for by Medicare and Medicaid, so hospice care is something every peson that requires can afford. Private insurance can sometimes help fund the cost of items Medicaid and Medicare may not cover.