The people that reside in and around St. Tammany are known for their civic pride, caring nature, as well as strong family bonds. Whenever difficult times come, the residents of St. Tammany have a history of coming together and helping each other, just as they did when Katrina brought devastation upon Southern Louisiana’s towns and cities. Regrettably, life itself has many storms, and while the weather brings most storms, others are simply a part of living. Likely none more distressing than when someone we care about develops a terminal illness. Even so, these storms happen to every family. Inevitably, we will all need to suffer through the death of our loved ones because each of our lives will ultimately come to its end.
When a person we love is reaching the end of their life, most of us are ill prepared and frequently at a loss as to where to turn for the guidance we require to help us through this challenging and often unfamiliar part of life. In many circumstances, hospice is the answer we are seeking to help us through the difficulties of nursing our loved ones full-time.
The majority of St. Tammany residents probably believe that hospice is a place that people go to die. But, hospice isn’t a place, and it isn’t about dying. In reality, hospice is a compassionate, holistic medical care that improves the quality of life for our patients and their family caregivers. It also enables people diagnosed with a terminal condition to experience the best quality of life attainable with the time that they have been given.
Hospice also allows people nearing the end of their lives to continue to live in St. Tammany and live in their homes with their family members near to them. In fact, almost ninety percent of people that choose hospice as a treatment continue to stay in their homes up until they pass on. It doesn’t matter if they live in a house, a retirement community, or an apartment in St. Tammany because hospice is almost always conducted in a patient’s home, irrespective of the place they call home. Hospice Associates’ experienced staff will travel to your St. Tammany home and provide the compassionate care you or your loved one requires, and we will do it whenever you or your loved one requires it, any time, 24 hours a day. Hospice Associates is no more than a phone call away.
How is it that just one word could cause so much fear?
Why does one word often cause people to cringe?
One word that a lot of people never want to hear…
That word is HOSPICE, and it is not as scary as you may think it is. Hospice shouldn’t be something to fear, hospice is something to be welcomed.
Hospice was originally a shelter intended for those with a terminal disease– a place where the dying would go to live out the remainder of their lives. These days hospice is no longer viewed as a place. Instead, it is now viewed as a medical service that offers comfort and care to patients in their homes. Regardless of whether that home is within a nursing home, assisted living facility, family members’ home, or their own home. Hospice can be administered to patients irrespective of just where they consider home.
Among the primary mistaken beliefs concerning hospice I have encountered is that a lot people quite often think hospice is exclusively for patients that may only have a short while left to live. The fact is hospice becomes available as soon as a doctor informs their patient that their disease is terminal and a cure is no longer a possibility.
My personal experience as a hospice nurse have allowed me the opportunity to experience the wonderful aspects of what hospice care offers to a family. Among the things I learn from families is that wish they would have known hospice was an option well before they did. I believe this is because hospice reduces the burden placed on the family and provides them peace of mind. Once they understand the relief hospice provides, families can begin to appreciate the time they have left with the people they love.
I think this is because the more quickly 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 loved one. And when they discover the relief hospice can provide, they have the opportunity to start appreciating the time they have left with their loved one.
We help walk families through every facet of the disease process, so they can understand how illness will progress and what they can come to expect. Then when things develop, we are available to respond to all of their questions and tend to any worries they may have. Because of this knowledge and understanding, families shed the fear of the unfamiliar and are given the tools they are in need of to help their loved ones throughout 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 limited to just physical suffering. I have come to realize that spiritual pain is often just as challenging to lessen as physical suffering is. Our chaplain and social workers strive collectively alongside our hospice nurses to attend to each of the pains that may occur.
Hospice care can also help to remove the restrictions you might believe your condition has placed upon you. Our mission is for you to be comfortable and live each moment you have left to the fullest with your loved ones.
Almost all hospice care is provided in-home, regardless of the place the patient calls home. Hospice can be offered at your personal residence, nursing homes, assisted living, group homes, or family homes.
Hospice services, even in-home hospice is almost always 100% paid for by Medicare and Medicaid, so hospice care is something every peson that needs it can afford. Individual insurance can occassionaly help fund the cost of items Medicare and Medicaid may not cover.