Ask a Local Expert: Is hospice care the best decision for my loved one?

CONTRIBUTED CONTEN/T — As loved ones reach their final stages in life, most people want them to retain their dignity, be comfortable and have the peace of mind that all their needs are being met. It can be a challenge to do alone, but hospice can help.

Hospice care provides compassion to more than 1.5 million Americans annually. It is a philosophy of care that focuses on quality of life issues wherever the patient lives, whether living at home, in assisted living or in a long-term care facility.

“When you hear the word ‘hospice,’ most reactions are negative,” said Pauline Bale, registered nurse at Sun Tree Home Health & Hospice. “I find that there are many misconceptions regarding what hospice is and what hospice is not.”

Learn about some of the misconceptions of hospice care from the experts at Sun Tree in the media player above

One myth that Bale said many people believe is that hospice is about giving up, but she said it is actually about making the most of life and living as full and richly as possible. With hospice, the patient receives care that is specifically tailored to their needs.

“When a loved one does make the transition in to hospice, it is not about giving up or hastening their death,” she said. “Rather, it is about making the passing comfortable and painless as possible. People sometimes live longer because of the reduction of stress and the increase of comfort that can help benefit their health in a positive way.”

A patient has the right to be involved in their medical decisions, and since all hospice care services are not equal, Bale recommends interviewing at least two agencies and reading their customer reviews online.

“Remember, it is always the patient’s and their family’s choice.”

For more information, visit the Sun Tree Hospice website or call to schedule a consultation today at 435-767-1171.

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