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Hospice Helps Patients and Families Focus on Quality of Life

Hospice Helps Patients and Families Focus on Quality of Life – Hospice of Dickinson County Reminds the Community that “It’s about how you live!”

November is National Hospice Month and hospice programs across the country are reaching out to raise awareness. Hospice is not a place, but is high-quality care that enables patients and families to focus on living as fully as possible despite a life-limiting illness.

“Every year, nearly 1.4 million people living with a life-limiting illness receive care from hospices in this country,” said Edo Banach, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “These highly-trained professionals ensure that patients and families find dignity, respect, and love during life’s most difficult journey.”

“For 16 years I have loved my job as a Home Health and Hospice Aide,” Hospice of Dickinson County Home Health Aide, Laurie Johnson said.  “One of my joys is being able to help people stay in their own home for as long as possible due to the care that we can provide. Working with a patient and their family puts everything on a personal level, and gives me a chance to meet people from all walks of life.”

Hospice programs provide pain management, symptom control, psychosocial support, and spiritual care to patients and their families when a cure is not possible.

Hospice combines the highest level of quality medical care with the emotional and spiritual support that families need most when facing a serious illness or the end of life.

“Working in hospice for the last 15 years has been life changing,” Hospice of Dickinson County nurse, Shannon Walters explained. “I have sat next to many patients as they take their last breath. At Hospice of Dickinson County, we provide comfort, and compassion to people who are at the end of their life. It is rewarding and humbling to provide that comfort to patients and families. Working with those who are dealing with the worst times in their life reminds you of the importance of life, never to take anything for granted. As a group, we come together to help the patient and family; Social Workers, Chaplains, Nurses, Aides and Volunteers. I have been blessed to be able to serve my community for the last 15 years and look forward to many more years.”

Hospice care is available to people of all ages. In Dickinson County, anyone who meets criteria is provided care regardless of ability to pay. This service is made possible through the generous donations Hospice of Dickinson County receives from caring individuals in our community.

Why do I love my job as a hospice nurse? Dani Gantner, a nurse at Hospice of Dickinson County, answered, “I love the fact that I get to help patients and their families through some of the most challenging days of their lives. There are all sorts of emotions that families and patients go through when they are losing a loved one. No patient or family is like the other. You get to see people at probably their most vulnerable moments, and although you can’t change things or make them better, you have a hand in getting them ready for what lies ahead, and hopefully help the transition go smoother for everyone involved. It has been the most rewarding job I have ever had. My patients and their families impact my life on so many levels. I believe I learn and take away something from each one of my patients, and learn more from them than I could ever give back. I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the most amazing people; people who have truly made a difference in my life. What sets being a hospice nurse apart from any other area, is that I feel we get to see the “the whole person” and all of the family dynamics in their environment. That, after all, is what makes us who we are.”

Hospice is covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and by most insurance companies.  Hospice care is provided in the home, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and long term care centers.

Dickinson County is very fortunate to have a quality, local non-profit hospice to care for our community. Celebrate National Hospice Month by celebrating life!

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