As Crossroad Hospice approaches it's twentieth anniversary, we asked twenty people one question: What is the one thing you wish people knew about hospice? The responses came from all across our community: nurses, social workers, volunteers, patients, and family members.
One question. Twenty answers. One common refrain: hospice isn't really just about dying.
“I believe that Hospice workers are not hired, they are called. There is a piece of velvet inside each hospice worker that allows them to focus on others instead of themselves. It is by design that we were not meant to carry our pain alone. Hospice is not about dying but about living life to its fullest until the end”
"Hospice has changed in my mind a lot. They took care of my Mom when she was dying and provided great support. For me, it has improved my quality of life, and I want people to know its not a death sentence. I have more people to share my life with."
"For me, being a hospice aide for 27 years, it’s not just a job. It is rewarding for me to be able to help patients and families in one of the most difficult times of their lives."
"I think working in hospice over the years has taught me dying is more of a journey than a destination, as I once thought it to be. It's walking a path of profound paradoxes. There is often suffering and pain, on different levels - emotional, physical, and even spiritual. But on the other side of that pain is the most profound sense of love and connectedness imaginable. There is a shift that takes place, and every breath, every word, every minute becomes sacred. Something beautiful comes out of the sorrow. And in the final moments, we realize not the mortality of the body, but instead the immortality of the spirit. It is an honor to walk this journey with my patients and families."
RN Case Manager
"The one thing I wish people knew about hospice was that it is not meant just for the final hours/days of someone's life. Hospice benefits require a diagnosis of six months or less to live, but a patient can be on hospice services for even longer than that! We want our patients and their families to be able to fully benefit from the services of our hospice team for as long as they can, to help them through this difficult journey."
"One thing I wish people knew about hospice was how beautiful hospice care can truly be. It is a great honor to be let into someone’s life. People often display love to one another more easily, find resolution with their life journey, pass on their life’s legacy and many times are able to open lines of communication with a new-found honesty. Hope remains, it just transforms to a new type of hope… Hope for comfort. Hope for peace. Hope for resolution. People don’t have to go through the end of life alone, hospice is there to walk side by side."
Assistant Executive Director
"We provide not only comfort to the patient at the end of life with nursing and aid support, we also provide support to the patient’s family by providing spiritual and bereavement support. We provide help from a social worker to help the family with what they may need to help prepare for the future. This support helped my family and myself, when we had used a hospice service for a loved one. I cannot begin to explain the comfort and caring they gave my family and myself."
"What I wish people knew about hospice is that it isn't about dying. It's about living the best life you can until you die."
Karen Campbell Wood
"The one thing I wish people would know about hospice is that Crossroads gives you "more." More education and answers to your questions. More oversight and management of your symptoms. More relief and comfort for your pain. More support emotionally for you and your family. More care spiritually according to your wishes and faith traditions. More from people who truly care, are the best in their expertise, and love to do more. Having a terminal illness or decline should not always mean "less." Less health, less days, less quality. Crossroads redefined hospice to mean MORE quality of care and quality of life, INCREASED joy with loved ones through our life-giving and honoring programs (Gift of A Day events, Veteran Recognitions, Life Journals, etc.), and ADDITIONAL preparation and peace for the days ahead and the life to come. Due to the life you have lived, the battle you have fought, the strength you have shown, and the faith you have held on to, you deserve more. Allow us to help. It's what we do best."
Rev. Mark Telepak
"Hospice is not just for the dying… Hospice is for those that have accepted their prognosis and want to live their remaining days with dignity; and on their own terms. Hospice is also for the living (family/friends), so we can educate and guide them to a comfortable place where they can offer a selfless “presence” to their loved one who is most affected by the situation."
"Hospice seems like one of those “best kept secrets,” because until you or someone you know needs it, you may have no idea what it really is. Part of the secret is that hospice workers are some of the most happy healthcare workers. We get to help patients and families set and meet goals in order to experience things like hope, dignity, comfort, purpose, reconciliation, and LIFE. Contrary to the idea of “giving up,” hospice care provides opportunities to help someone live as fully as possible during a very sacred season of one’s life. Instead of feeling defeated by fighting a losing battle against a terminal illness or the reality of death, hospice workers immerse themselves into a patient’s and family’s journey in order to walk alongside them, lift them up, and help them finish well. On a personal note, my wife has stopped asking why I’m often smiling when I come home from work."
Support Services Director
"I wish more people knew that hospice is about living....and the honoring of an individual's journey. I wish more folks knew that we assist someone at this place in their life to help guide their path so that it is consistent with their deeply held beliefs, whatever they may be."
“When families look into hospice, they are concerned about their loved one’s physical needs; however, Crossroads treats the whole patient and family. We are available day and night. “
Cheryl Sanders, MS
“The ONE thing I wish people knew about Hospice is that it is NOT a death sentence but the KEY to live life to the fullest without any inhibitions. It is an honor for us working in hospice care to help our patients mend relationships, realize their dreams, and come to peace with their lives. It is not just about the illnesses and medications. Many times, we are able to share special moments with our patients where they themselves forget they are sick - even if just for those few moments. I wish people understood that, so they would come onto service sooner so we can help with the suffering part and let them make special memories with the days they have left.“
"Hospice is not synonymous with dying. It’s not something that happens in the final moments of one’s life. It’s about living and enhancing the quality of one’s life through a remarkable level of care and collection of benefits that can only occur once an individual is privileged to be deemed eligible and qualified to receive the hospice benefit."
"People think hospice is a death sentence, but my husband was on service for four years and received so much love and compassion. They took care of the both of us. His physical needs and my emotional needs. I became a volunteer to give back the love and compassion shown to me when my husband was on hospice service. I just want to help people who may not have someone and show them that someone cares about them."
"When you say hospice, people panic. It's just a time in life where you need more help. It's not just for the patient, because after they are deceased, hospice is still there for the family."
"Hospice is about living each day to the fullest, free of pain of other symptoms of your disease. Hospice staff help to manage your symptoms so you can have meaningful time with those you love most."
"Hospice can be life changing, not only for the patient, but for family, friends and caregivers."
DeAnna Looper RN, CHPN, CHPCA
Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations
"When people find out I work for hospice, they always ask, 'How do you do that? Isn't it depressing?' I always tell them hospice is more about living than dying. I've witnessed patients and families appreciating small things, cherishing every moment together, taking very few things for granted and speaking what is in truly in their hearts. Sometimes living more fully than they ever have before. That's 'how I do that.'"
Corporate Pharmacy Consultant, RN, CHPN
To learn more about what hospice is, visit our website or call us at 1-888-564-3405.
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