Blog: Hospice & Palliative Care Insights

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The Season of Giving

The holiday season is a time of year celebrated by many around the world. Ashura, Bodhi Day, Hanukkah, Santa Lucia Day, Las Posadas, Christmas, and Kwanzaa are all celebrated in December. So many of us gather together before the new year in a time of reflection and celebration. However you choose to celebrate with your loved ones, we do share much in common. I would like to share with you some of my experiences and wishes.
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Oncology: Have you seen this patient today?

Mrs. James is an 85-year-old female who was diagnosed with colon cancerthree years ago. She underwent definitive treatment with surgical resection followed by adjuvant chemotherapy. Over the past two plus years, Mrs. James has had regular follow up visits with her doctor for physical examinations, surveillance CT scans and blood tests including tumor marker.
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The Griever’s Holiday Bill of Rights

The holidays bring joy, togetherness, hope, giving, laughter and more to people around the world. It’s a time of family and friends, which also makes it a difficult time of the year to deal with losing a loved one. No matter what family member you’ve lost or when you lost them, the holidays tend to stir up emotions of grief and loss. Bruce Conley, founder of Conley Outreach Community Services was passionate about helping grieving families. Leading him to create, The Griever’s Holiday Bill of Rights, one of many resources to help grieving families through the holidays.
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Personal Remembrance for the Holidays

Throughout recorded time, people have used ceremony to help with acceptance of change. In our culture, we use the funeral ceremony to honor the deceased, while comforting the living. After the funeral, many of us continue to need help around Thanksgiving, Christmas, anniversaries, birthdays, and significant occasions that bring back the feelings of grief. Personal remembrance ceremonies can be useful at these times. Although we are physically separated from our loved ones by death, we continue to feel a spiritual connection. While we gather the items needed and perform the observance, we remember the person and honor that connection. We release the energy and stress of the hurt we may have been holding.
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Pulmonary Disease: Have you seen this patient today?

Mrs. Zaron, age 81, has been treated for Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD) for many years. Recently, she complains about escalating anxiety and shortness of breath. In the past six months, she has been taken to theemergency roomtwice for these symptoms and each of these visits was 7-10 days in duration. One of these visits nearly resulted with her needing to be vented for pulmonary support.
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End-Stage Cardiac Disease: Have you seen this patient today?

Patients with end-stage cardiac disease can suffer immensely when this illness transitions from a chronic phase to a terminal one. Today we will look at one particular patient, who’s profile and needs make them a candidate for hospice care. Mr. Deitrick, age 67, suffers from congestive heart failure (CHF). Recently, he has become more symptomatic, requiring increasingly frequent visits to his physician as well as frequent changes in his medications to remove fluids. He is oxygen dependent, uses a walker for support, has plus four bilateral leg edema, and takes multiple rest periods in order to compensate for hisfatigue & shortness of breath. During a recent hospitalization for pneumonia, his wife asked the physician if she thought Mr. Detrick would be able to attend their grandson’s high school graduation. But, with Mr. Detrick in such a vulnerable state, the physician recommended against it.