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Hospice is far more than I thought

Without any experience, we think of hospice as someone who will hold the patient’s hands in their last few days of life on Earth. We just learned how much more our local hospice service is, and how wonderful the providers are.

I suspect it is much like that everywhere. The quality, knowledge, skills and nature of people who go into that line of work is likely quite similar – that is to say incredibly caring, helpful and considerate.

They have tremendous experience with the final phases of life as it effects the main person and all those around them. In our case they helped us understand what Mom was likely feeling and what we could do to make her last days as comfortable as possible.

Adding to that is the tremendous knowledge of local, available resources and ability to bring them all in as needed. They can provide a great sense of comfort to the primary care givers. The value of knowing they are doing “the right thing” is a tremendous relief. The suggestions, advice and tools are godsends.

While we think of them as ‘final few days’ specialists, they are happy to help LONG before that. We could have, and should have contacted them many months ago. It would have been better for us all.

Much like asking that cute girl for the first date: Don’t wait.

In the case of Hospice, even rejection would be handled with great grace. More likely, if you think it may be time to invite them in, it most likely IS TIME.