Submitted by Lisa Hubers
Hospice is a scary word and what does palliative really mean?
Many people associate Hospice only with death and dying, but those that work in hospice palliative care know it is actually about comfort, wishes, and compassion.
Hospice is both a place and a way of thinking. Yes there is a two bed Hospice in Barry’s Bay that provides families a safe, private and homelike setting to spend those precious last days and weeks, but hospice palliative care is a philosophy devoted to quality of life up to the last breath for the dying person, and beyond that for the grieving loved ones.
Like most people, one does not really have a full appreciation for hospice palliative care until you need and experience its benefits.
Lucy King and Barry Goldie did utilize hospice palliative care services both, in their home and in the last weeks, in the Hospice Unit in Barry’s Bay. When Lucy was asked why Hospice is such a scary word for many, she answered, “Because they are afraid of death and people don’t have a comfort around death in general and hospice represents the end of life to people. They don’t think of it as a nurturing environment as I have”.
When asked why palliative care is important and when should you seek a referral, Lucy says, “Sooner than later! People have commented to me – doesn’t that mean we are giving up? I always say to them from what I have learned, it’s absolutely not giving up. It is proactive because the end of life is going to come eventually and everything you can do to make that experience as positive and as comfortable as possible is the focus of hospice and the earlier the better for the staff of hospice to understand your needs.” Early referral does not hasten death and studies have proved actually the opposite.
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