Having “the” Discussion

Having “the” Discussion

Sometimes the hardest things to talk about are the ones we most need to discuss.  One such occasion is learning that you or a loved one has a life-limiting illness.   Discussing options sooner, rather than later, is critical, since starting hospice care in a timely manner is the key to its success.


Hospice has a unique approach to end-of-life care that allows for active participation in developing a tailored, personalized plan — so that together you and a hospice professional team can make sound decisions based on what is important to you and your family.   Open communication is the key.

Hospice offers people with a terminal illness an opportunity for gracious living at the end-of-life. Hospice treats the whole person, not the disease, while also providing care and support for their families.  A team approach is used to address emotional, psychological, and spiritual concerns.  The care you need is brought to you… wherever you call home.   Hospice provides medications and medical supplies/ equipment, at little or no cost to you.  In fact, Medicare hospice benefits are available to pay for care, when two physicians prescribe this care for patients whose prognosis is for 6 months or less.

The emphasis of this care is on helping the patient make the most of every moment by providing comfort and relief from pain and symptoms (often referred to as palliative care)… and most importantly, listening and understanding.  The earlier the hospice team is brought in, the quicker the pain and symptoms can be managed, and suffering minimized.   It has also been documented that those who receive hospice care early statistically live longer and more comfortably than those who wait.   This not only benefits the patient, but also the family, who need time to organize their affairs and desires, and to minimize the stress during this period.

Hospice recognizes that quality of life is just as important as quantity.  We encourage you to make the commitment to discuss your wishes with your loved ones, prior to your final needs.

Editor’s note:  This article was submitted by Alpine Home Health & Hospice.   For further information, they can be reached at 1-800-Hospice.