Dear Mountain Home Health,

     Recently I took my mother to see her primary care physician and they mentioned that it might be time to begin considering hospice care for my mother. I am not entirely sure what is involved when someone chooses to have hospice services. How could hospice care benefit my loved one?


                                   a Nortena.


     Thanks so much for your inquiry. I also want to offer my understanding as I know how confusing this time can be when one is caring for a loved one. It is never easy to navigate this stage of life with one’s own self and can be even more difficult to navigate it with a loved one in mind.

     To give a brief description of what hospice is before I speak on what hospice looks like; Hospice is an end of life philosophy that seeks to provide physical, mental, emotional and spiritual care to persons who are within six months of end of life. The hospice philosophy attempts to provide meaning to this time and to allow a person to engage in their own process as they begin to transition from this life to the Big Journey. It is a wholistic philosophy that looks to not only treat physical symptoms of a terminal illness, but also treat the whole person as they traverse this last experience.

     The hospice approach is interdisciplinary and uses not only clinicians, such as physicians and nurses, but utilizes social workers, spiritual personnel, volunteers, and other disciplines that might need to be called upon to treat the patient’s symptoms or concerns. This approach supports not only the loved but those that are ‘walking’ their loved one through this most profound process. The hospice team is there to support the patient when new feelings, symptoms, or circumstances arise, and does likewise for the family members involved.

     In short, hospice services are there to guide a person and their family on this most precious journey. We live in a death denying culture, but I believe that death is as natural as birth. Because we live in a culture that turns away from death many of us have forgotten and need guidance in how to walk someone through the dying stage of their life. Hospice is there to assist and guide, across several disciplines, so that your loved one can have the opportunity to experience their dying in a way that is most meaningful to them.

                                   Sending you love Nortena

                                   Mountain Home Health

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