“Hospice is Family Recommended”

Denise Stancill, Director of Business Development, Hospice of Holland Inc. 

Why do families recommend hospice?  Many families recommend Hospice based on personal experience.  Often they called Hospice for a parent, spouse, or friend and have already experienced, first-hand, the loving care delivered by the hospice care team. 

When individuals elect Hospice they gain access to an interdisciplinary team, all who are fluent in the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the terminally ill.  The hospice care team of physicians, nurses, social workers, hospice aides, chaplains, dieticians and volunteers seek to ensure everyone receives a “holistic” approach toward care delivered with dignity and compassion.  

The hospice team are medical experts in the medical specialty of Hospice.  They are fluent with having frank discussions about prognosis and understanding disease process.  They are familiar with available medications and treatment options best suited for the body as it begins to decline or in anticipation of decline.  The hospice care team works to ensure patients remain as physically, emotionally, and spiritually comfortable as they desire to be so they may experience the best possible days and nights given their condition.  Dieticians are a helpful member of the team when there are dietary needs or if nutrition is an issue. 

Members of the hospice care team help patients and their loved ones maneuver through challenging family dynamics. They provide assistance with establishing end-of-life wishes and bring understanding to those who may need to interpret those wishes. Members of the hospice care team assist in making referrals to local community resources if that becomes a need.  The entire team walks alongside patients, and their loved ones, as they near their final days so they do not have to face it alone.  The team is especially helpful during those days following a loss of a loved one as family moves through their grief and begins to find hope.

Spiritual care is often an important aspect for many in West Michigan.  The hospice team is equipped to help patients as they come to terms with their mortality.  Chaplains may be especially useful to those who are questioning God’s will and wish to have guidance as they make decisions related to their care. 

The hospice team understands the sacredness of human life.  They help provide important personal cares such as bathing, toileting, and assistance with dressing patients when wanted or they no longer can perform them on their own.  Family members who are inexperienced as caregivers can learn to support and care for their loved one with the assistance of the hospice team.  During their time spent caring for people, hospice team members often gain a unique perspective of the individual care needs of each person and use that as a guide when delivering care.

For more information about Hospice of Holland programs and services, to make a referral, or for answers to your questions about hospice care, please call 616.396.2972.  View www.hollandhospice.org  and hear from others why care from Hospice of Holland made a difference for their loved one.