Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Good of Hospice Care

I've known three people who were in hospice care, two friends from my church in Connecticut and my uncle in California. In each case, I was so impressed with the quality of the care. Truly, these people received highly caring, gracious care. I felt like the home health aides and nurses were angels, taking their gifts for helping the dying and applying them here, now, on Earth.

So when I read Jane Brody's column on Hospice Care in the New York Times Science Times on December 1, I knew I had to post a link so that others could read it. I knew I had to write about hospice.

There are many people who do not believe in aging in place, especially at the end. They believe that it's wrong to turn the home into a hospital and have people coming and going. But for the people I know who chose to stay at home and have hospice care come to them, aging -- and dying -- in place was peaceful, loving and graceful.

That said, I one of my friends who had hospice care was not at home. She was in Stamford's Hospice near Stamford Hospital. (Richard L. Rosenthal Hospice Residence). When I visited her there, it was clear that she was getting the loving care she needed outside her home. This choice was exactly right for her and her family.

There is no one right way to die. This choice, if possible, should not be dictated by the well meaning social worker or bureaucrat. Rather, each family and each aging individual needs to pick what is right for them.

Here's a link to Brody's column -- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/01/health/01brod.html

Synopsis:
In Hospice, Care and Comfort as Life Wanes
Published: December 1, 2009
Patients receiving hospice care tend to live longer and die more peacefully than those who get intensive care for their disease after the treatment no longer helps.

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